Lead Generation

Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing What's The Difference

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing: What’s The Difference?

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 much more. Here are the sections to follow:-

Inbound Marketing: The “pull” strategy

Inbound Marketing
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Inbound marketing is a customer-focused approach technique that focuses on acquiring and engaging a target audience through relevant content and experiences. Rather than pushing your products or services to your customers, it is all about making genuine connections with them. 

As a result, it is known as the ‘Pull’ tactic. 

Here are some of the most popular inbound marketing channels used by businesses

  • Content marketing:- Creating articles, blogs, and other forms of content.
  • SEO:- The process of optimizing content (blog posts) in order to rank higher in search engines.
  • Social media marketing:- Interacting with audiences channels like as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  • Email marketing:-  Sending tailored emails to subscribers.

Outbound Marketing: The “push” strategy

Outbound Marketing
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Outbound marketing is a traditional marketing method of reaching out to potential customers via multiple channels. The traditional advertising tactics comprised television ads, radio, print media, and billboards. 

The same push approach is now being used in digital media, with ads on social media and cold outreach via DMs, phone calls, and emails.

Here are some of the most popular outbound marketing channels used by businesses:-

  • Traditional advertising:-  Ads on television, radio, and print advertisements.
  • Direct mail: Sending promotional mails to potential buyers directly.
  • Trade shows: Participating in offline events to display products or services
  • Digital Outreach:- Cold emails, Cold DM’s and Cold Calls

Difference Between Inbound vs Outbound Marketing

This section is written to help you grasp the differences between inbound and outbound marketing efforts at a surface level. Here you will get a simple understanding of pros and cons of both.

Inbound MarketingOutbound Marketing
1) Inbound marketing is all about the pull. It entices the audience with value and then pushes products to your customers.
1) Whereas Outbound marketing is all about pushing our products and services in front of people.
2) Inbound marketing focuses on customers first.
2) Outbound marketing relies on the product/offer first.
3) Inbound marketing is largely done online through blogs and social media. As a result, it’s ‘Trackable’.
3) Outbound marketing is done both offline and online. Such as billboards, TV commercials, and Meta advertising too. But some of these campaigns are ‘un-trackable.’
4) The emphasis is on audience who are either interested in their product (or) aware of their problem. Hence covering the whole sales funnel. Audience are nurtured.
4) The emphasis is on a wide spectrum of audiences. As a result, you may find yourself targeting an unqualified set of audience. Hence audience are not in a nurture sequence.
5) Inbound marketing is about creating brand awareness, hence it’s a long-term strategy.5) Outbound marketing is about generating leads/sales to the business. Hence it’s a short-term strategy.
6) The success of this strategy is determined by the quality of your content and activities.
6) Here, quantity determines success. What matters most is the volume of outreach and the number of ad impressions.

We feel a short table will not justify the actual depth of this article. Hence we’ll go over both marketing methods in detail in the following sections.

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing: Based on Audience Behaviour

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing Based on Audience Behaviour
Inbound vs Outbound Marketing Based on Audience Behaviour

Audience behaviour and preferences are a critical factor in distinguishing between inbound and outbound marketing. For effective marketing, it’s damn important to understand your audience and where they stand in your funnel.

Without proper analyses of your target audience behaviour, will leave your marketing tactics worthless.

Outbound Marketing (Audience Behaviour):

1. Reactive Response: In outbound marketing, the audience often reacts to the information offered to them, whether it’s a television commercial, a billboard, or a cold call. Their participation is frequently spontaneous and depending on the advertisement’s immediate impact.

2. Short Attention Span: Because outbound techniques are obtrusive, the audience may have a shorter attention span. If the message does not resonate with them within the first few seconds, they will most likely move on or disregard it.

3. Broad Audience: Outbound marketing frequently targets a broad audience. As a result, not every viewer or listener may find the topic relevant, resulting in a wide range of varied responses

4. Seeking Quick Value: When a prospect responds to an outbound advertisement, they frequently seek quick value or benefits, such as discounts, promotions, or limited-time deals.

Inbound Marketing (Audience Behaviour):

1. Proactive Engagement: In inbound marketing, the audience are actively seeking for information or solution to their problem. They might look for a blog post, view a tutorial video, or sign up for a newsletter because it is useful or relevant to their requirements.

2. Increased Engagement Time: Because the audience chooses to connect with the content, they spend more time learning, reading, or watching. Thus resulting in greater engagement.

3. Specific Interests: Inbound marketing is designed to address unique audience concerns or interests. As a result, the content is precisely targeted and relevant to those interests, resulting in higher conversion rates.

4. Relationship Building: Inbound marketing audiences are frequently looking for reliable sources of information or answers. Thus offering consistent and valuable content can lead to the audience forming a relationship with or loyalty to the brand over time.

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing: Based on Technology

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing Based on Technology
Inbound vs Outbound Marketing Based on Technology

Technology is at the forefront of redefining marketing techniques in today’s digital world, that includes both inbound and outbound approaches. With the help of tech, there are plenty of new ways through which marketers have been leveraging these strategies for their businesses.

What Technologies impact Inbound Marketing?

1. Content Management Systems (CMS): Platforms such as WordPress or HubSpot help businesses to efficiently develop, manage, and optimize website content, ensuring it effectively reaches the target audience.

2. SEO Tools: Tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs provide insights into keyword rankings, backlink profiles, and competitor analysis, allowing businesses to structure their content for improved search visibility.

3. Social Media Platforms: Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have potential prospects on their platforms, allowing businesses to reach out to certain demographics and interact with their audience in real time.

4. Analytics: Google Analytics and other comparable tools provide insights into user behaviour, traffic sources, and conversion rates, helping businesses with understanding the efficacy of their inbound efforts and making any improvements.

What Technologies impact Outbound Marketing?

1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems: Platforms such as HubSpot, Salesforce, or Zoho CRM help businesses in managing leads and customer interactions, thus ensuring timely and appropriate communication.

2. Email Marketing Platforms: Tools like Instantly AI that are used for cold emails to reach out to a large number of people at once. Alongside tools like LeadBoxer can help you in collecting leads for your outreach by providing leads.

3. Programmatic Advertising: Advanced algorithms automate media inventory purchase, placement, and optimisation on ads. Thus ensuring ads to reach the correct audience at the right time.

4. Retargeting Tools: Cookies and other technologies track user’s online actions, allowing businesses to provide tailored ads to their consumers who have previously interacted with their website or products. However, because to privacy concerns, Apple and other platforms are clamping down on this.

As technology advances, it will undoubtedly play an increasingly greater role in determining the future of marketing including both inbound and outbound.

Inbound Marketing Challenges and How to Overcome Them 

While being effective, inbound marketing has its own set of obstacles. Understanding these challenges and developing solutions to overcome them is critical for success.

1. Saturation of Content:

  Challenge: With so much content available online, standing out and capturing the audience’s attention is becoming increasingly tough.

   Solution: Concentrate on producing high-quality, distinctive, and value-added content. Do extensive keyword research and research in general in order to meet specific audience inquiries.

2. Longer Time to See Results:-

 Challenge: Unlike outbound marketing, which can produce quick results, inbound techniques can take time to gain traction.

 Solution: Be persistent and patient. Monitor and adapt your plans on a regular basis based on analytics and feedback. Celebrate minor victories while keeping in mind that inbound marketing is a long-term commitment.

3. Changing Search Engine Algorithms:-

– Challenge: Search engines, particularly Google, regularly updates their algorithms, which can have an influence on website rankings.

   – Solution: Stay updated on SEO changes and best practises. Consider creating content for both people and search engines as a priority.

4. Engaging the Right Audience:-

Challenge: Getting traffic is one thing, but getting the right traffic that converts is another.

   Solution: Develop detailed buyer personas to better understand your target customer. 

5. Creating Consistent Creation:-

Challenge: Creating fresh and relevant content on a regular basis can be time-consuming.

Solution: Have a content calendar in place to plan and schedule content ahead of time. To keep them coming, consider collaborating with guest authors or outsourcing your content generation.

Outbound Marketing Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Just like Inbound marketing, outbound marketing has it’s own set of challenges.

  • Higher Costs:-

Challenge: Outbound marketing strategies, such as TV commercials or billboards, can be costly.

Solution: Spend your money wisely by focusing on platforms and channels that provide the best ROI. If you’re a small online business, shift to Meta ads or cold outreach.

  • Intrusive perception:-

Challenge: Consumers frequently perceive outbound ads as interruptions, especially when they are irrelevant.

Solution: Make sure your messaging is focused. Understand your audience’s preferences by using data analytics. Tracking website visitors and email click-throughs can help you develop an understanding of your audience’s behaviour and preferences.

  • Tracking ROI:-

Challenge: Traditional outbound campaigns, unlike digital methods, are difficult to measure. Hence their direct impact on the businesses can be attributed.

Solution: If possible, you can incorporate tracking measures, such as unique promo codes for offline marketing. If you use cold emails, however, our Outlook email monitoring can assist you in tracking your efforts.

  • Rapidly Changing Consumer Habits:-

Challenge: With the rise of ad-blockers and streaming services, traditional advertisements may no longer reach as broad an audience as they once did.

Solution: Expand your marketing mix. While TV and radio advertisements are still effective, consider incorporating digital outbound strategies like running cold email campaigns or pay-per-click ads.

  • Compliance and Regulations:-

Challenge: Outbound marketing, particularly telemarketing and cold email operations, might face stringent laws.

Solution: To prevent legal ramifications, keep up with the latest updates on local and international marketing regulations.

  • Saturation and Competition:-

Challenge: As more and more businesses use outbound strategies, it leads to market saturation and makes it difficult to stand out.

Solution: Concentrate on generating captivating and memorable campaigns. Understand your unique selling proposition (USP) and make sure it’s featured in all of your marketing content.

  • Short-term Effect:-

Challenge: The influence of outbound marketing, such as a television commercial, can be brief.

Solution: Strengthen your campaigns across multiple media. If you have a TV ad, supplement it with radio spots, print advertisements, and internet banners to ensure consistent visibility.

Inbound or Outbound Marketing for Your Business? Which One To Choose?

If you run a business of this era, then your primary objective should be to test out all possible channels over time and establish your own brand. Because people love brands and once they start seeing your brand name everywhere they start trusting you more.

This is where, integrated marketing, the big brother, steps in.

Integrated marketing is a comprehensive approach that incorporates both inbound and outbound marketing methods to provide consumers with a united and seamless experience. Thus making your business have that omnichannel presence.

Rather than considering each marketing channel separately, integrated marketing considers all channels to be interrelated components of a wider ecosystem. The primary purpose is to ensuring that all marketing initiatives, online and offline, present a consistent and cohesive brand message.

Examples Highlighting the Effective Integration of Both Strategies 

1. Nike’s “Just Do It” Campaign:-

Overview: Nike’s classic “Just Do It” campaign effortlessly combined TV advertisements (outbound) with social media participation (inbound).

 Results: Not only did the campaign boost sales, but it also created a community of dedicated customers who connected with the company online, sharing their own “Just Do It” moments.

2. Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” Marketing Campaign:-

  Overview: Coca-Cola customised their bottles with common names and encouraged people to share their “Share a Coke” experiences online.

  Outcomes: The campaign resulted in a huge boost in sales as well as a massive influx of user-generated material on social media, demonstrating the successful blending of traditional advertising and digital interaction.

3. Dove’s “Real Beauty” Campaign:-

Overview: Dove began a series of television commercials that questioned beauty norms. They supplemented it with online content, such as films and essays about actual beauty.

 Results: The campaign resonated emotionally with consumers, leading to widespread media coverage and a surge in online discussions regarding beauty standards.

4. Airbnb’s “Live There” Marketing Campaign:-

Overview: Airbnb promoted the idea of experiencing cities like a local through television advertisements. This was coupled with their internet platform, which allowed customers to find local experiences and accommodations.

Outcomes: The campaign successfully positioned Airbnb as more than a housing provider, emphasising the unique experiences it provides, resulting in increased bookings and user engagement.

These case studies demonstrate the value of combining inbound and outbound initiatives. When done well, integrated marketing can magnify brand messages, create deeper engagement among consumers, and generate measurable business results.

Conclusion

While each marketing technique has its advantages, it is the harmonious combination of both that accelerates a brand’s success. 

However, we recommend small businesses in the B2B space to begin with outbound channels such as cold emails and cold emails. Because you can easily contact your target audience and make money in the short-run.

Using services like Lead Boxer an excellent place to start searching for leads for your outbound email campaigns.

However, once your company is up and going, the emphasis should be more on creating a brand. Like that businesses can develop strong, long-lasting relationships with consumers by producing consistent, high-quality content and engaging with audiences across many channels, resulting in increased growth and brand loyalty.

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Digital Lead Investing

Digital Lead Investing: Definition, Myths, Steps, and Strategies

When it comes to traditional marketing businesses usually go for TV ads, flyers, and billboards to attract leads. Instead of those offline channels when businesses prefer digital channels like social media marketing and ads for their marketing to generate leads. We call it as ‘Digital Lead Investing’.

Leads generated from the digital channels can be termed as ‘digital leads’. In today’s digital age, every business that sells products or services online needs to invest in digital advertising. 

In this blog post, we will discuss digital lead investing and digital lead generation strategies in more detail.

Digital Lead Investing is nothing but doing digital marketing to attract leads for your business. Unlike traditional marketing channels, digital marketing attracts leads based on their online behavior and interests and offers a more targeted and faster way to convert potential customers efficiently.

Every marketing strategy that anyone uses to invest in leads for any business falls into these categories: inbound marketing and outbound marketing.

1) Inbound marketing:- It’s where businesses bring audience organically through their assets, like content on their website or posts on social media to convert followers into customers 

2) Outbound marketing:- It’s where businesses often push their products to their audience through cold emails or paid ads to convert them into customers.

Every digital marketing strategy, whether organic or not, includes a sales funnel for leads.

Digital lead investing is a strategy that small to medium-sized businesses find effective. The strategies can be automated and are very data-driven. However they are more cost-effective and scalable than other traditional lead generation channels.

5 Steps To Know Before Building a Successful Digital Lead Investing System
5 Steps To Know Before Building a Successful Digital Lead Investing System

No matter what you call it a digital lead investing system or strategy. Having one system in place is important (To keep generating leads for your business)

Defining your specific goals for the business is the first step: A business without any goals is a drive without any destination. Each business has unique goals but fundamentals remain the same when defining your goals. Is it more direct sales, qualified leads, or brand awareness?

Not just defining them but being specific helps you. Something like generating 100 sales in this quarter or increasing your newsletter reach by adding 10k+ subscribers. According to your goals, your lead generation efforts should will be planned.

The more specific the goals, the more detailed your strategy will guide you toward success and help you measure success.

Before you invest in digital lead generation, you need to set clear, measurable objectives. It helps you answer this question, ‘What do you want to achieve with your digital lead investing?’

To build a successful digital lead investing system follow these five steps:

Remember, marketing to everyone means marketing to no one.

Understanding who your potential customers are is vital. Research their demographics, interests, and online behaviors. Niche down your target audience as narrow as you can.

This knowledge will direct your content creation process, helps you personalize your marketing campaigns, and ensure you’re targeting the right people.

Budget in the marketing is that one piece of the puzzle that dictates the whole puzzle. As a business, your goals should be to invest as little amount as possible in digital marketing and generate the maximum possible outcome for your business.

A well-sorted-out budget ensures businesses to think and strategize where to allocate their funds wisely across different channels. Remember, more budget doesn’t always mean better results. Efficiency, return on investment (ROI), and other essential KPIs should be your guiding metrics.

To build a successful digital lead investing strategy choosing proper channels is the key here.

Not all channels are equal for every business. This is where those initial first two steps on defining goals and knowing your audience helps you decide which digital channels to target.

Anyhow, first you need to identify where your audience spends their time online and if it helps check out your competitors and understand how they generating leads for their business. 

 Is it on social media, search engine, or industry-specific forums? Choose channels that align with your goals and audience preferences.

Once you have selected your channels, create a strategy to produce consistent content and leverage those channels to meet your business goals.

In 2024, all businesses, even the smallest of the small startups, seem to have access to same kind of tools and marketing channels that a big brand has. Also, due to the abundance of similar companies and products in the market, it will be harder for you to be different from the rest.

Hence, creating a brand helps you stand out, build trust, and stamp your authority in front of your audience. 

Although, the best way to build a brand is to scale your digital lead investing channels that have worked for you in the business and take those marketing campaigns to the next level by investing more money, or honing in with more exciting content, or experimenting with creative strategies.

Best Digital Lead Investing Strategies
Best Digital Lead Investing Strategies

We assume you would know most of these strategies if you’re not living under a rock. However, learning about them in detail won’t hurt. 

These 5 Best Digital Lead Investing Strategies are designed to maximize your online presence and convert your audience into loyal customers. Here’s how they work:-

SEO is about helping websites get traffic by ranking their pages on Google. If you’re good at SEO, you can generate traffic from organic search results on Google, which can generate more leads for your business.

However, that being said, SEO isn’t a short-term strategy where you expect to see leads coming in for your business with just a couple of weeks of work. There are many moving parts to SEO, and the approach is gonna be different for each business, depending on their goals.

But you should know that the fundamentals of SEO will remain the same. If you have a website and are looking to leverage SEO in your digital lead investing strategy, then you need to focus on these things:-

1. Find Keywords:- Keywords are the searches your customer types on Google. As a business, you need to understand what your potential customers type in the search engine, you can take the help of tools like Ahrefs to develop keyword ideas for your content to rank on Google.

2. Content:- Once you have the keywords and topics to write. Writing and publishing articles on your blog is necessary to get your pages to rank for those particular search terms and reach your audience.

3. Building Backlinks:- Whenever a website links back to your website or an article, consider it has a backlink. These backlinks can be earned through email outreach (or) organically. As you publish more content, you need to invest more efforts into building backlinks, because backlinks can send a signal to search engines that others vouch for your content.

Sending cold emails for your business is a more in-organic approach and falls under an outbound marketing strategy. 

There’s a good chance that when you send cold emails to your audience, they might have not heard about you or your business. Hence, that’s the reason why we refer to it as ‘Cold Emails’

The major challenge for businesses with cold emails is convincing people (or) other businesses to buy their products.

Unlike SEO, cold emails can help you calculate it’s ROI within weeks of launching the campaigns. Hence, it’s a short-term strategy to book calls with leads and convert them into clients. 

How to run cold email campaigns for your business:-

  1. Figure your ICP first:- The ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is a persona that businesses use to describe a set of target audiences who are more likely to be your clients
  2. Gather emails:- Scrape email data from relevant sources. Use some paid tools to gather email addresses of your prospects
  3. Write cold emails and launch campaigns:- Once you have your target emails, input those emails into a cold email sender tool, then write a well-crafted personalized message to your potential leads
  4. Monitor your inbox and book calls:- Once you send a personalized message with a compelling offer related to your products, you will receive positive replies, and its you’re job to book them into calls and close the deals.

Using cold emails is probably the best channel for B2B or software businesses looking to land high-ticket clients (or) recurring clients for their business. If your business isn’t a B2B service, then prefer other strategies from this blog post

Creating valuable content to attract and engage with your audience through digital channels is a widely used digital lead-generating strategy. The content can include blog posts, videos, infographics, and more. The goal is to establish authority and trust through content, which can lead to increased brand loyalty and customer conversions.

There are numerous ways where you can leverage content marketing for business. Here are some of those:-

  1. Collaborating with YouTube influencers for videos
  2. Appearing as a guest on someone else podcast
  3. Co-hosting a webinar related to your business and products
  4. Writing and publishing blogs on authoritative websites
  5. Using social media influencers for your giveaways

Almost everything you do online with content intended to grow your audience and build more trust for your business can be considered as content marketing. Hence, this is one such strategy you can’t avoid when generating leads for your business.

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter are a digital home to billions of individuals online. Not leveraging social media is definitely a missed opportunity if you’re in 2024.

When it comes to social media marketing, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. You must select your platforms accordingly to your business type and understand where your customers hang out.

For example, if you’re an eCommerce store who sells premium sneakers online. Then, we don’t think that being on LinkedIn and posting content on LinkedIn can generate more digital leads when compared to being on other platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

Let it be any platform, you can generate leads on social media in two ways:-

1) Organic: Publishing content to attract leads on the platform and engaging with your followers to build your brand

2) In-organic:- Running social media ads on Meta, where your ads are tailored to capture the attention of potential leads and drive them to take action, such as following your profile or making a purchase

As of today, there are multiple social media platforms available for businesses to take advantage of, it would surely be a missed opportunity if your business isn’t doing social media marketing for digital lead generation.

Ads you see on your search results on Google are referred as PPC (pay-per-click) ads. These ads can be highly targeted to your ideal customers as they appear when people are searching for something very relevant to a product or business on Google.

Hence, compared to ads on Facebook and Instagram, PPC campaigns tend to cost more money for leads and purchases. 

To start leveraging PPC ads as your digital lead investing strategy. You can follow these steps:-

  1. Build a website and design a well-designed landing page
  2. Optimize the landing page with good offers, good copy, and proper CTA (Call To Action) buttons
  3. Create an ad account on Google Ads
  4. Choose your keywords to target and set your budget
  5. Design your Ad creatives (Images and Videos) 
  6. Write a compelling ad copy
  7. Run those ads and test your campaigns 

PPC (pay-per-click) ads are a great lead generation tool for businesses. This is best for those can’t wait for organic strategies to chip in and are more interested in tracking their ROI.

Digital Lead Investing The Myths vs Reality
Digital Lead Investing The Myths vs Reality

Till now, we feel you have understood a lot of things about digital lead investing through and through. However, we think there are still some questions in your mind that might be unanswered.

Hence, this is the section where we try to bust down some myths related to digital lead investing and share which one is a myth and which one is a reality

Considering the various aspects of digital lead investing, here’s a breakdown of the reality versus myths:-

Digital leads can indeed be more cost-effective compared to traditional methods. When compared to traditional marketing and advertising methods like billboard ads, print ads, and TV ads. The cost to invest in those channels might eat up a good chunk of the budget for a small business.

Through digital channels, you can capture leads for pennies (depending on the industry), potentially leading to lower costs per acquisition

Even though in this article, we emphasized focusing on only a few channels for growth but once you build an audience on a couple of platforms. It is recommended to share your content across multiple platforms consistently.

An omnichannel presence across multiple digital channels is beneficial and often necessary for a robust digital lead strategy. It allows you to reach more potential customers wherever they may be online.

Digital platforms offer specific and narrow targeting options that allow you to reach specific audiences based on demographics, interests, behaviors, and more, giving you control over who sees your ads.

Compared to print media and TV ads, where targeting is not in your control. However your business is reaching a broader audience rather than those specific set of audiences.

Many aspects of digital lead generation can be automated with AI and machine learning, from bidding on ads to personalizing content for social media and responding to customer queries on emails.

From planning to executing, everything can be automated, and with the help of AI tools in the market, businesses can save dozens of hours of work. Which means they can work more efficiently in less time.

While digital lead investing can be efficient, expecting immediate ROI is unrealistic. 

If you can wait for a couple of weeks to see results, then ads and cold emails are great. But other marketing channels like SEO, Content Marketing, and Social Media take time.

Like any investment, it takes time to see significant returns as marketing strategies will be tested, optimized, and scaled consistently.

As there are tools to automate the processes, there are tools to analyze those processes as well.

Digital marketing realm offers unparalleled tracking capabilities, allowing you to measure everything from lead generation to real-time conversion rates. Hence, you can make quick changes in your campaigns and strategies to maximize your business gains.

More traffic can be beneficial, but it’s about the quality of traffic rather than quantity. Targeted traffic that is more likely to convert is far more valuable than large number of unqualified traffic.

However, more traffic is the answer if your goal is to build brand awareness and later generate leads. If not, then less targeted traffic is excellent for generating digital leads. Also sometimes, the problem with targeted traffic is that you can’t scale it big.

In conclusion, digital lead investing represents a modern approach to marketing, one that harnesses the power of digital channels to attract, engage, and convert leads. It offers many advantages over traditional marketing channels.

Generating leads is just one step of the process to grow your business. Qualifying those leads is another step in that process, and if you’re running marketing campaigns without qualifying your leads, you might be throwing money in the water.

This is where tools like LeadBoxer can help you identify your leads by tracking their behaviour with your content and their engagement with your marketing campaigns. Thus assisting businesses to understand which leads to nurture and which leads to not nurture.

Nurturing the right leads means more sales opportunities and more customer purchases.

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Local Lead Generation

5 Steps To Start Local Lead Generation For Your Business

If you have a physical store or run a software business and want to reach customers in specific areas, local lead generation can help you grow.

Local lead generation involves connecting with people near your business and targeting them to become potential buyers, also known as leads.

In this blog post, we will talk about how you can use local lead generation strategies to generate leads for your business and the best channels to use.

Local lead generation is when a local business tries to get the attention of potential nearby customers. Now, this attention can be done through offline and even online marketing channels.

Most businesses in 2024, whether physical or online, can use any marketing channel.

For example, A brick motor is not stuck with flyers and posters anymore, they can run Google ads and work on Local SEO for leads.

Similarly, a software company can sponsor relevant local events if the audience fits their ideal customer profile (ICP). Thus helping business owners with wide range of options for local lead generation.

Before we dive more into local lead generation, let’s talk about the benefits of doing local lead generation for your business:-

  • Community Engagement:- Because you want to reach people in a specific area, it’s likely they already know each other. Hence, the engagements and interactions in your community will be more.
  • Improved Conversion Rates:- When businesses focus on local customers, it helps build trust and relevance. Meeting face-to-face and having convenient access to products and services boosts customer trust. Thus, you can see improved conversion rates with local leads for all those reasons.
  • Lesser Competition:- When a business competes globally, sometimes you can’t keep track of its competitors, but when you’re local. You have less competition to beat.
  • Worth of Mouth:- As potential customers share the same locality with your existing customers, there is a possibility that word-of-mouth promotion that can increase your leads and sales directly.
Best Channels To Start Local Lead Generation
Best Channels To Start Local Lead Generation

Local lead generation is all about connecting with customers in their own your backyard. 

No matter what channels you choose, they will either fall into the category of inbound marketing v/s outbound marketing

Here are the best channels to kickstart your local campaigns:-

This is your bread and butter for getting noticed in local searches. Whenever someone types ‘Best cafe near me’ or ‘Best auto repair shop near me’, you want to show up in the search results if it’s relevant to your business. Since local SEO is cost-effective and works in specific areas, Local SEO should be at the top of your list when choosing a channel for local lead generation. 

To start, you need a Google My Business listing with your business details, photos, and reviews from your existing customers.

You can hone in on this channel by optimizing your lead gen website with local search keywords, ensuring your Google My Business listing is up to date, and getting listed in local directories. It’s all about ensuring that when someone searches for your type of business in your area, you’re on the top, if not top 3.

Pay-per-click ads, aka Google ads, can be a game-changer. You can target specific locations, ensuring your ads are seen by people in your specific location. 

If people are searching on search engines for something about a product (or) service, it is more likely that they are looking to purchase. Hence, Google ads are a great way to get in front of potential customers who are actively searching for what you offer. Also it helps you by-pass the organic search results.

Unlike Local SEO, Google Ads can help you generate leads faster. If you’re starting new and want to compete with other businesses with strong local SEO. Then start paying for ads is great channel for lead generation. Hence, if you have the budget, investing in Google ads is worth a try for your business.

Just like Google ads, Facebook and Instagram paid ads allow you to target specific demographics within your local area. The only thing here is that, unlike Google, people don’t search for your product (or) there to buy anything on social media.

Hence, it would help to tailor your ads based on interests, behaviors, age, and more, ensuring your message reaches the right local audience.

However using paid channels like ads, you get to focus on ROI and keep track of your new customers through this channel. It only makes sense if you have positive ROI for your ads as a local business owners.

This might seem a bit old school, but targeted cold emails can be effective. The key is personalization and relevance. Make sure you’re reaching out to people who are likely to be interested in what you offer and provide them with real value in your message.

In the digital age, a well-crafted direct mail piece can still have a big impact. It’s tangible and can stand out in a pile of bills and junk mail. Tailor your message to the local community and offer something that grabs attention.

Text messages have a high open rate. Use SMS marketing to send out special offers, updates, or reminders to a local audience. It’s direct, personal, and can drive quick responses.

Tip:- Cold calling your SMS prospects as a follow-up to your text messages generates better responses for your campaigns. 

Engage with your local community on social media platforms. Share local news, participate in community discussions, and know local trends. It’s about building relationships and staying top of mind.

Know where your audience is on social media. Is it Facebook? Is it Instagram? Is it LinkedIn?

Go to those specific platforms, create content, build an audience, and pitch your products and services via outreach.

Platforms like Nextdoor or local Facebook groups can be goldmines for connecting with your community. 

Participate in discussions, offer advice, and gently promote your business when appropriate.

Participating in or sponsoring local events can put your business in front of a potential local audience. Use your banners and flyers to spread the word about your business by being face-to-face with your community

It’s a great way to build brand awareness and connect with potential customers.

In this local event, offer them free samples of your products (or) offer a free consultation of your service for interested leads.

Each channel has its strengths and can be effective in different ways. The key is understanding your local market and effectively tailoring your approach to connect with your community. 

By diversifying your local lead generation efforts across these channels, you can build a robust strategy that captures the attention of your local audience and turns them into loyal customers.

How To Start Local Lead Generation For Your Business
How To Start Local Lead Generation For Your Business

To start a lead generation campaign for your local business there are a lot of things that you need to factor like how to do the ground work to reach customers, and what channels you’re leveraging to generate leads for your business.

However, that being said, it only seems a viable option to generate leads locally if the business is operating offline (or) if your an online business running location-specific marketing campaigns.

Whichever the case may be, these are the steps that we think would help you get a head start while doing local lead generation:-

It’s imperative to be aware of laws like the CCPA, CAN-SPAM Act, CASL, and GDPR to ensure compliance and avoid legal issues.

Although some of the laws might not apply while you’re leveraging lead generation business model for some location, however it’s best to ensure you’re not violating any.

Some of the underlying laws and regulations you need to keep in mind:-

1. California’s Privacy Law (CCPA):- Have a customer base in California? If you’re using customer data in your marketing campaigns, you need to be straight about their info. In the case of email outreach, you need to provide clear opt-out options.

2. The CAN-SPAM Act:- All over the U.S., if you’re sending out promotional emails and SMS, you’ve got to be honest about who you are. No sneaky stuff with fake email addresses or misleading subject lines. 

3. Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL):- In Canada, you must get a clear yes from people before you send them your outreach messages. In these messages, let them know who you are and make it easy for them to opt-out.

4. Europe’s Data Protection Law (GDPR):- There’s a whole set of rules about protecting personal data in Europe. In recent years, companies like Facebook and Google had to bend their rules for privacy. Make sure you got the individual’s permission to use their data, you’ve got to keep it safe, and you should be ready to delete it if they ask.

5. Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA):- Over in Singapore, they have rules to ensure businesses handle personal data like precious cargo. People should know what you’re doing with their information, you can’t use it without their permission. If someone wants their details to be taken off, you’ve got to have the eraser ready.

Whichever your lead generation strategy maybe, if you’re showing your customers who you are and not manipulating anything with your messages and making it easy for them to opt out of your messages, then you’re good to go. Each region has specific privacy rules, before doing local lead generation, ensure your processes and strategies doesn’t interfere with any of these rules and regulations.

For a small business, even though you might feel targeting the overall population in your location you should know that marketing to everyone is marketing to no one, even if it’s done for a specific region.

Within the region where you operate, you need to know your specific set of audiences, who are your potential buyers, and who will keep coming back to buy products and services from you.

Here are the three steps that you can follow to know your audience:-

  • Research your business and competitors:- Understand the challenges of selling your products and services in a specific locations. Know what the people in that location are already buying. Know your competitors and reverse engineer to look into their lead generation traffic sources to understand how you can do the same in a better way.
  • Sort out a target audience base specifically and locally:- Use demographic attributes such as age, gender, location, and occupation to sort out your specific audience sets. Also, using firmographic attributes such as company size, industry, revenue, and job titles of decision-makers within the organization helps.
  • Build Ideal Customer Profile (ICP):- Now, create profiles based on your specific set of audiences, and each ideal customer profile will be marketed differently to convert more qualified leads into potential buyers for your business.

Selecting your target offer and lead magnet is like setting the perfect trap for your ideal customer – but in the nicest way possible.

However, it’s not about enticing people with offers that you cannot deliver because when it comes to local buyers, once you lose the trust of two or three buyers, the word spreads around soon, and you will be short of business.

Thus, to reach your audience in the right way and entice them into buying from you is an art, where you craft suitable target offers along with lead magnets:-

  • Lead Magnets:- For online businesses, generally, lead magnets are nothing but giving away e-books, offering free consultation, and something of that sort.  For an offline small business, a lead magnet should be something like giving free samples of your products, giving away gift cards for your store (or) free consultation before buying your service. It’s important that these lead gen lead magnets should scream “local” and “beneficial
  • Target Offer:- Crafting an offer for your product and having competitive pricing depends on the research you did to know your audience. Your target offers should aim to get as many people as possible to visit your store (or) check out your products.

Selecting your target offer and having a lead magnet is all about understanding and providing value to your local community, If you’re good at both of these, you’ll build a community of loyal customers who feel seen, heard, and valued.

Weather you’re an offline business (or) an online business, for each business, choosing the right platforms to do lead gen will be different.

I guess with the plethora of options that we have today when it comes to selecting platforms for local lead gen makes us dizzy in a sense. 

To keep it simple:-

  • If you’re an online business:- Leverage channels like Local SEO, PPC Ads, Meta Ads, Cold Outreach
  • If you’re an offline business:- Leverage the above channels that an online business does along with that go for trade shows, local events, and other community gatherings

Now, selecting the tools for your lead gen depends on the platforms and the methods you’re trying to generate leads. Hence, for each strategy, there are different tools in the mix.

Anyhow, here’s a list of essential online tools that can significantly enhance your local lead generation efforts:-

1. Google My Business:- This free tool is vital for managing your online presence on Google, including Search engine and Maps. It helps you control how your business appears and performs in when a potential customer searches.

2. SEO Tools (e.g., Moz Local, SEMrush, Ahrefs):- If you want to leverage your website and generate traffic through search engine optimization. SEO tools can help in keyword research, tracking search rankings, analyzing backlinks, and identifying SEO opportunities specific to your local area.

3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software (e.g., HubSpot, Salesforce):- CRM systems help manage interactions with potential and current customers, track leads, and streamline sales.

4. Social Media Management Tools (e.g., Hootsuite, Buffer):- These tools are excellent for managing and scheduling posts across multiple social media platforms, engaging with your audience, and analyzing social media performance.

5. Email Marketing Software (e.g., Mailchimp, Constant Contact):- Email marketing tools helps businesses with creating, sending, and tracking email campaigns, which is an essential part of nurturing leads.

6. Online Reputation Management Tools (e.g., Reputation. com, Podium):- These tools help monitor and manage what’s being said about your business online (including Google reviews), allowing you to respond appropriately and maintain a positive reputation.

7. Local Listing Management Tools (e.g., BrightLocal, Yext):- These services ensure your business information is consistent and accurate across various online directories and listing sites.

8. Google Analytics:- Essential for tracking website traffic, user behavior, and conversion metrics, helping you understand how visitors interact with your website.

9. Lead Capture Tools (e.g., OptinMonster, Unbounce):- These tools help you create effective landing pages and opt-in forms to capture leads.

10. Lead Management tools (e.g:- LeadBoxer, and GoHighLevel):- When you’re doing cold outreach for your local business, may it be through cold email (or) SMS marketing, having tools to assess and manage those leads is essential. Most importantly, these tools can sync with your existing CRM or be the one for your business.

10. Paid Advertising Tools (e.g., Google Ads, Facebook Ads Manager):- These platforms are indispensable for running targeted local ads. They allow you to reach a specific audience based on location, interests, and more.

11. Chatbots and Live Chat Software (e.g., Intercom, Drift):- These tools can enhance customer engagement on your website, providing instant assistance and capturing lead information.

12. Call Tracking Software (e.g., CallRail, DialogTech):- If phone calls and cold calling are a significant part of your business, these tools can track the source of calls and measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Each of these tools plays a specific role in the local lead generation process, and when used effectively, they can significantly boost your ability to attract and convert local leads.

However, each tool has its use cases, and as a business, you can’t incorporate every tool for marketing. Depending on your marketing channels, customer personas, budget, and your goals, the tools can be helpful for your marketing campaigns.

Local lead generation is an essential strategy for location-dependent businesses that run offline stores where people walk through their doors.

The key to growing your business through local lead generation is all about knowing your audience and competitors, then crafting good offers, and using the right marketing channels for leads.

If you’re marketing campaign are generating your local leads at scale, try using a tool like LeadBoxer. We use Lead Scoring as a metric to precisely know which of your existing prospects have the potential to become Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs), leads who are more ready to buy from you.

5 Steps To Start Local Lead Generation For Your Business Read More »

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What is Lead Enrichment?

Imagine you have a lead in your CRM, basically other than their name you don’t know anything about them. What if you’re able to find details like their company, location, job title, and other relevant information.

Now that same lead which was is your CRM was just a random lead. After enriching that with relevant data you’re able to qualify the lead for sales. This is called lead enrichment.

What is lead enrichment and how do you incorporate it into your sales process and CDP software? This guide will cover all of that and more. By the end, you’ll know how to uncover lead details on autopilot so you can close more deals with ease.

To get started, keep reading or ”jump ahead” to these sections:

What is Lead Enrichment?

Lead enrichment is the process of data enrichment that gives your sales team enhanced insight into a prospective customer. With this data, sales reps can better understand how qualified prospects are and what’s the best way to interact with them so they can close the deal.

Lead enrichment is often presented in a profile that gives sales reps an overview of the prospect.

overview of the prospect for sales team

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Types of lead enrichment data points can include:

  • Identifying info about individuals, such as job title, email address, contact information, and social media profiles
  • Firmographic info, like a company’s industry, location, and size
  • Lead behavior, like how often a lead visits your company’s website or engages with your email marketing
  • Lead personality info, which can give you guidance on how to engage with an individual

Basic Steps in Gathering Lead Enrichment Data

Lead enrichment process is closely tied to lead generation and demand generation marketing. When you generate a new lead in the funnel, you should also have systems in place that gather additional data to help you qualify and understand that lead in detail.

There are a few ways to generate and enrich new leads.

1. Capture with a form

With this method, prospective customers learn about your company through email, social media, or blog posts. Prospects then give some of their personal information in exchange for a special offer, such as a white paper, demo, or free trial of your product.

special offer form for prospective customers

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When a lead fills out a form in exchange for an offer, enrichment really begins to happen.

Take a look at this lead generation form from Salesforce. Visitors who want to start a free trial of Salesforce’s product first have to answer a series of questions:

lead generation form from salesforce

lead generation form salesforce

free trial form from salesforce

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Once submitted, this info is sent to the marketing and sales team’s customer relationship management (CRM) software, where it’s turned into a lead profile that’s already populated with several data points about the individual and the company he or she represents.

2. Search social media

Another way to find and learn more about leads is through social media. LinkedIn is often considered as an excellent source of B2B leads. There are several free and paid strategies for finding leads and enrich your leads.

The most basic way to find and enrich leads with LinkedIn is to first create a list of companies that fit your ideal customer profile, also search LinkedIn for those companies. Their profiles often include many relevant data points, such as company size and location. You can also zero in on the employees that most likely have the authority to buy your product. Hence improving your conversion rates.

After finding all this info, you’ll need to manually input the data into the lead’s profile within your CRM.

How to Automate Lead Enrichment

There are several tools available that automatically gather lead enrichment data and sync it with your CRM or other software. Determining which one is best for your business depends on the kind of data you want. Here are just a few to get you started.

LeadBoxer

LeadBoxer makes it possible to identify and enrich leads without capturing their data through a form. With LeadBoxer, you can identify visitors to your website who would otherwise remain anonymous, and then populate their profile with contact info.

lead enrichment data from leadboxer

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LeadBoxer also records lead’s online behavior, such as how much time they spent on a certain webpage or what resources they’ve downloaded. This gives your team insight into what topics or pain points are most relevant to individual prospects.

To give your team even more of an edge, LeadBoxer scores leads so sales reps know exactly who is most likely to close. With a tool like LeadBoxer, your team will spend more time pursuing the most promising prospects and none of it chasing dead ends.

VisitorTrack

VisitorTrack is similar to LeadBoxer in that it can identify and track website visitors that would otherwise remain anonymous.

website visitors tracking from visitortrack

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VisitorTrack further enriches leads with intent data. Intent data tells you whether or not a lead is in the market to buy a product like the one you offer. It works by tracking and analyzing certain context clues, like what kind of topics a lead has been searching for around the web.

Crystal

Crystal is an app that tells you how to communicate with and pitch to a prospect. It works by gathering data about a prospect from their LinkedIn profile and around the web and then crafting clear dos and don’ts that are unique to that person.

communication with a prospect from crystal

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If you want to walk into any conversation with a lead feeling confident about your communication style, Crystal is worth checking out.

CRMs and Lead Enrichment

It’s usually possible to integrate a separate lead enrichment software with your main CRM so that both tools automatically work together.

However, if you prefer having an all-in-one system, consider using a CRM that comes equipped with needed features. Also most of these CRM helps you with lead routing where you can automatically assign your leads across the sales team.

These are just a few of the most popular choices.

HubSpot Sales

HubSpot Sales is a CRM that lets you track and accelerate everyone in your sales pipeline. There are also several helpful features that uncover new leads and enrich the ones you have.

predictive lead scoring from hubspot

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HubSpot can show you who is visiting your site, how often they visit, and what pages they’re most interested in. It also logs which emails they open and what links they click on. Predictive lead scoring then prioritizes the prospects that are most likely to become customers. Hence marketers and sales teams can focus right kind of leads for lead nurturing and right kind of leads for sales.

Sugar Sell

Sugar Sell is a sales CRM solution from SugarCRM. The platform includes a feature called Sugar Hint, which automates lead enrichment.

lead enrichment automation from sugar sell

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Sugar Hint gathers data from social media, news, and business sources, and then automatically offers insight and intelligence within the platform. Sugar Hint can also give you actionable intel so you know to act when prospects are most engaged, open to upsell or cross-sell opportunities, or at risk of churning.

Freshsales

Freshsales is a CRM offered by Freshdesk. The platform comes with AI-based lead scoring and automatic profile enrichment.

automatic profile enrichment from freshsales

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With Freshsales, you no longer have to spend hours combing through LinkedIn for info or doing manual data entry. Their lead enrichment helps you dig into leads social media accounts and publicly-listed info, then saves the data for you.

Benefits of Automated Lead Enrichment

Automated lead enrichment increases the efficiency of your sales process in a few ways:

  • It reduces the time sales reps spend manually mining lead data on social media platforms or around the web
  • Lead scoring tells reps which leads to focus their time and energy on converting
  • Insights guide reps on when and how to interact with leads so they’re more likely to make the sale

All of these factors work together to increase your team’s productivity, and ultimately, your revenue.

Automated lead enrichment can also help improve your lead generation efforts. Without automated it, you may find yourself relying on lengthy lead generation forms like the Salesforce example shown earlier in this article. However, the longer the form, the more likely that some prospects will lose interest and leave the page before completing it.

If you’re using the right lead enrichment tool, you can shorten or in some cases forgo the form. LeadBoxer, for example, only requires an email before you can start a free trial.

the best lead enrichment tool

Prospective customers can start using the product for less effort, and since they only have to submit their email, they’re less likely to become distracted or navigate away before submitting their info.

By attracting more leads and enriching their data later, you can further optimize your lead-to-conversion rate.

Start Using Lead Enrichment Today

There’s no doubt about it: lead enrichment can massively improve the efficiency of your sales process. The goal of lead enrichment is to help with lead conversion, close more deals faster, and increase your revenue with less effort.

However, manual lead enrichment can be a time-consuming and inefficient process. The key to getting the most out of it is to use a tool that automatically mines as much data as possible, then gives you actionable insight into each prospect. The same goes for sales intelligence tools.

LeadBoxer can help. With LeadBoxer, you can identify anonymous website visitors or enrich profiles of existing leads with contact info, company details, and their online behavior. LeadBoxer then creates a score that tells you whether or not a lead is worth pursuing. Take it for a spin and try LeadBoxer for free today.

What is Lead Enrichment? Read More »

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The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn Lead Generation For B2B Brands

If you were to focus on only one channel for your company’s lead generation, it should be LinkedIn. The numbers show that the platform isn’t just a good choice for B2B marketers – it’s the best. The conversion rates are higher and the cost per lead is lower compared to other advertising networks. Plus, there are plenty of ways to do LinkedIn lead gen for free, and a couple of tools that make the process easy. This guide will dig into the benefits, the paid and free strategies, and the tools that help streamline LinkedIn lead generation. By the end, you’ll have a method for generating leads on LinkedIn. Use the links below to navigate to each section:

The Benefits of Using LinkedIn Lead Generation

Why bother with LinkedIn? Why not focus on generating leads with search engine advertising, cold email outreach, display networks, email marketing, or more high-traffic social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter? Simply put, LinkedIn is where professionals go to level up in business. The average user might log on to stay informed about what’s happening in their industry, look for new employees to add to their team, or seek out tools that can optimize their team’s workflows. If your business offers a solution to their needs, LinkedIn is the best environment for attracting their attention. There are a few other reasons why LinkedIn is the best place to generate leads for B2B companies:

It’s made up of professionals with purchasing power

Over 20% of LinkedIn users can make buying decisions for their companies. That’s at least 61 million senior-level influencers and 40 million decision makers that your business could be connecting with. It’s also the most-used social media platform amongst Fortune 500 companies, so there’s a good chance your potential customers are already on the site.

Its users are extremely active

LinkedIn has over 500 million total users, and over half of them (260 million, to be exact) actively use the platform every month. Of those 260 million users, 44% log on daily. That means a lot of potential leads to engage with on a regular basis.

LinkedIn lead generation is one of the most effective

Those 100+ million decision making users are proven to take action. The site’s own content marketing blog ran the numbers and found that 80% of B2B leads generated through social media come from LinkedIn. There are plenty of case studies to back up the claim, too. Simplus, a Salesforce partner, says that 70% of their website form fills have come directly from LinkedIn. NetBrain Technologies Inc. doubled their click-through-rate with LinkedIn ads and saw 94% of leads generated accepted by sales team.

LinkedIn lead generation converts more leads for less

There are ways to do LinkedIn lead generation for free, but even if you go with a paid strategy. For B2B businesses, LinkedIn offers much high-quality leads compared to running a similar ad campaign on a search engine or another social media platform. HubSpot aggregated all of their customer’s results with LinkedIn Sponsored Content and found that while the ads have a higher cost-per-click than Google Ads, they also have double the conversion rate.
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With a $1,000 ad budget, you could generate 11 conversions for only $90 each on LinkedIn, while the same budget with Google Ads would generate 8 conversions for $125 each.

Its targeting audiences are tailor-made for B2B lead generation

LinkedIn Ads allow marketers to get extremely granular about the audiences they want to target. These are just a few of the many targeting options:-
    • Company industry, size and name
    • Job title, function and seniority
While competitors like Facebook Ads also allow marketers to target users by employer and job title, workplace networking is not the primary purpose of the platform. It’s possible that some users may not be listing their employment info at all, making this a less than ideal channel for reaching target audiences.

LinkedIn lead generation: the go-to choice for B2B marketers

According to the Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn, 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content. This means that either a lot of B2B marketers are wrong, or a lot of people are on to something. In either case, you’d be remiss to pass up on what 94% of your competitors are already taking advantage of. Also content marketing has always been one of the best practices to generate leads.

Free Strategies for Finding Leads on LinkedIn

Many of the actions you already do on a daily basis in LinkedIn can help you find leads. You might only need to think a little more strategically in order to get the most out of your time on the platform. Here are a few examples:-

Publish articles

Articles are the best way to generate attraction from your ideal clients and articles can also help your LinkedIn account position itself as an expert in your industry. You can use them to anticipate and answer prospect’s questions, which can instill confidence that you’re the right choice when it comes to solving their problem. Publishing articles on LinkedIn comes with benefits you can’t get from blogging on your site alone:-
    • Your content gets shared with your connections and followers in their news feeds and sometimes in their notifications.
    • Users that aren’t already in your network can follow you from your article, so the next piece you publish will automatically appear in their feed.
    • If your profile is visible, your article is searchable both on and off the platform.
This is a great, free option for establishing your authority without having to convince users to navigate away from the site.

Post daily updates

Posting daily updates to your LinkedIn Page or Showcase Page is a great way to stay top-of-mind with your connections. Your updates will appear on their home feed, so it works as free, organic advertising. Note that this doesn’t mean you need to publish a unique piece of content every day. Here are a few suggestions for how to keep this step quick and easy:
    • Repurpose content shared to your other social media accounts
    • Link to existing blog posts or resources on your site
    • Direct users to your most recent newsletter
    • Share your take on news from your industry
The name of the game is to make use of the content you already have and keep updating your page as often as possible.

Join groups

LinkedIn Groups are where people from the same industry can discuss interests, share insights, and ask questions.
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They’re great places for networking with potential leads, and you can establish your expertise by answering questions or offering resources that are relevant to the conversation. However, it’s important not to join a group and then immediately begin pushing your product or service. This comes off as disingenuous and can repel leads instead of attracting them. Build up a relationship with them first before making any sort of offer or pitch.

Engage with a targeted list of users

Your business should already have a set of criteria for what constitutes your ideal client. Use this criterion to search for users that fit the bill, then create a curated list of leads to begin LinkedIn outreach. With LinkedIn, it’s far more common for people to accept requests for connections from people they already know or have had some interaction with. Before you click the “connect” button, see if you can’t interact with leads in another way. The most obvious choice is to like or comment on an article they’ve written or shared. Once your connection has been accepted, continue to engage with them on a regular basis. This could include endorsing them for skills or congratulating them when they announce news about their business. This level of engagement will gradually warm you up to your lead. They’ll remember who you are the next time they see your articles or updates in their feed, and they also may be more likely to answer a personalized message about your product or service once you finally send it their way.

Engage with current clients

Referrals from current clients are a strong way to find new leads. If you already have a solid relationship with your client, asking for a referral might be as simple as firing off a quick email. If you’re not as familiar with them, you can grease the wheels by leaving a recommendation for them on their LinkedIn Page, or endorsing them for skills and expertise. This will keep you top-of-mind and they’ll also be more likely to return the favor.

Paid Strategies for Finding Leads on LinkedIn

If you don’t have the time or capacity to use the free strategies for finding leads on LinkedIn, consider the platform’s paid advertising options for your lead generation efforts.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content refers to all of LinkedIn’s native ad formats. These ads run in the LinkedIn feed across desktop and mobile for the target audience that you specify.
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There are a few possible formats, including single image ads, video ads, and carousel image ads. Use Direct Sponsored Content if you want to share content in the LinkedIn feed to specific audiences without having to publish the content on your LinkedIn Page or Showcase Page. This is especially useful if you want to run slight variations of a campaign geared toward different target audiences.

Sponsored InMail

Sponsored InMail reaches your target audience directly by delivering personalized messages through LinkedIn messenger.

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With Sponsored InMail, you can send personalized invites to webinars or events, promote a product or service, or encourage downloads of white papers, eBooks, and other resources. Sponsored InMail messages are only delivered when a user is active, and delivery frequency caps ensure that your message gets noticed when it matters most. VistaVu Solutions is a business management software company for the oilfield and energy industries. They used Sponsored InMail as part of their strategy and were able to achieve a 23.8% conversion rate.

Lead Gen Forms

LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms can be added to your Sponsored Content or Sponsored InMail to help collect leads from within the platform without asking visitors to go off-site. Use them to offer resources in exchange for their information.

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Using LinkedIn lead generation ads will automatically populates the form with the user’s data so they can sign up with the click of a button. This decreases the chance that a user will lose interest and navigate away. IR, a performance management software company from Australia, used Lead Gen Forms with Sponsored Content to reach their target audience. With this strategy, IR was able to achieve a 2x increase in conversion rates and reduced their cost per lead by 44%.

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic Ads appear in the sidebar on LinkedIn and work in a few different ways.
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There are Follower Ads (pictured here) which encourage the targeted audience to follow your LinkedIn Page or Showcase Page. Spotlight Ads look similar to Follower Ads but drive users to your site or landing page with a clear call-to-action. Content Ads allow users to download content, such as a white paper, then stores lead info directly in your LinkedIn Campaign Manager.

Display Ads

Display Ads are images that run in the right column and above the fold. According to the company, users are 3x as likely to engage with content when exposed to both Sponsored Content and Display Ads.

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Even when used on their own, case studies show that Display Ads are an effective form of advertising for B2B companies. Analytics software SAS used Display Ads to drive downloads for their whitepapers. The result was that their cost per lead was 10% the cost of the most expensive competing publisher.

LinkedIn Lead Generation Tools That Will Help You

From browser extensions to full-on software, there are several automation tools out there that will help you get more leads out of LinkedIn. Each has very different functions. Some, like Skrapp.io, will only help you find email addresses, while a tool like LeadBoxer can automatically find b2b marketing leads (and their contact information) that are already interested in your business.

LeadBoxer

It’s one thing to generate leads through LinkedIn. It’s another to actually turn them into customers. LeadBoxer helps you identify visitors to your website, calculate their value as a lead, then retarget them with paid advertising, for example through effective LinkedIn lead generation campaigns until they become clients. Let’s say you’ve published several articles on LinkedIn. Those articles then attracted visitors to your website. With the LeadBoxer Lead Pixel installed, you’ll be able to identify those individuals down to the company they work for, their specialties, and even their work email:
leadboxer
LeadBoxer also calculates a leadscore for visitors who engage with your website. This score gives you an idea of how likely that prospect is to convert, so you know whether or not they’re worth pursuing. You can then use that information to create a highly targeted ad campaign on LinkedIn. Recall that LinkedIn allows you to target people by company name and job title, so theoretically, you could run one campaign aimed at a single individual with a high LeadScore.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is LinkedIn’s own solution for prospecting and finding leads. It enhances the platform’s existing features to give you a more premium experience. The most obvious example is its Advanced Lead Search function. With Advanced Lead Search, you can enter the characteristics of your ideal client in order to find the most relevant prospects.

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Sales Navigator can also make recommendations about who is most likely your best point of contact at a target company. It’ll tell you if something big happens, like a potential lead who has a job change. While Sales Navigator can give you an extended look at who has visited your LinkedIn profile within the last 90 days, it can’t identify who has visited your site or indicate how interested they are in your company.

Skrapp

Skrapp.io is a Chrome extension that helps you extract email addresses from profiles on LinkedIn. It also integrates with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, so you can use both at once.
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Skrapp.io has a few other capabilities that help round it out. There’s a company search feature that allows you to find the email address of anyone working in any organization, regardless of whether or not they’re on LinkedIn. There’s also a cloud dashboard that helps store and segment all your lead emails. All in all, it’s a nice, lightweight tool for small or single-member businesses on a budget.

Crystal

Say your lead has made it to the next step of the pipeline and it’s time to make a pitch. That’s where Crystal comes in. With Crystal, you can get a feel for things such as how prospects prefer to communicate and what pitching strategies they respond best to. Crystal extracts data about your lead from LinkedIn and other places around the web in order to offer insights about their personality and suggestions about how to talk to them.

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This provides a much-needed edge the next time the two of you talk. No more “winging it” in calls or meetings. Crystal also helps you write better emails and faster, so it doubles as a productivity booster.

LeadFuze

LeadFuze works like a souped-up version of LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Like Sales Navigator, it can search LinkedIn for leads in specific roles and industries, but LeadFuze takes it a step further by looking at what a lead’s ad budget is, what software they already use, and whether or not they’re hiring.
lead fuze

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LeadFuze comes with an AI-powered personal assistant that can automatically generate leads for you. Fuzebot, as it’s known, crawls the web looking for new leads that match your established criteria, then automatically updates your records for you. Fuzebot even verifies email addresses before adding them to your list of leads, that way you’ll never have an email bounced back to you.

Discoverly

Discoverly is a Chrome browser extension that claims to make social networks work better together. In short, it cross-checks various social networks to show you if you have any more mutual connections in common. Here’s an example of how it might look on LinkedIn:
discoverly

Source (Discoverly)

Assuming that the person in this example matched your criteria for an ideal lead, you could then leverage your mutual Facebook connections (made visible thanks to Discoverly) to introduce yourself and strike up a conversation. In short, Discoverly helps you warm up leads before making contact with them.

Dux-Soup

Many of the free LinkedIn lead generation strategies covered in the previous section are time-consuming. Dux-Soup is a Chrome extension that puts those tasks on autopilot so you can go back to focusing on closing deals.
dux soup

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Basically, Dux-Soup builds relationships on your behalf by sending automated messages, automatically endorsing connections, and even auto-following new profiles. You can then organize leads by tagging profiles and taking notes on them. This data can also be exported as a CSV file to upload into whatever CRM you’re using.

Start Generating More Leads for Less with LinkedIn

If you’re a B2B company, then statistically you’re more likely to find your next lead on LinkedIn. There are several paid and free strategies that will help you find them, but some of these strategies can be tedious and time-consuming. For the best results, you’ll need a tool or two to help you make sense of things. The best strategy is to publish some content (whether it’s an article or an ad) on the platform that attracts users to your site. You can then use a tool like LeadBoxer to identify those visitors, rank them by likeliness to convert, then retarget them with a highly focused LinkedIn ad. This strategy takes all the guesswork out of who is a promising prospect, so you can contact them with confidence that they’re ready to hear from you.

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What is Cost Per Lead Why You Should Be Using It

What is Cost Per Lead (CPL) ?

Advertising and marketing campaigns are key to finding new customers for your business, but how do you know if those campaigns are working effectively? If you’re getting new customers but paying more than they’re worth in ad spend, it could mean an unsustainable future for your business.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to measure how cost-effective your campaigns are. Cost per lead (CPL) is a marketing metric that tells you whether or not your efforts and ad spend are paying off.

In this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into CPL, from what it is to how to lower it. Once you start tracking CPL, you can create more effective marketing campaigns and attract more leads for less money. Keep reading, or jump ahead to these sections,

What is Cost per Lead?

The cost per lead (CPL) is the amount of money it takes to generate a new prospective customer for your sales team from a current marketing campaign. These prospective customers — or leads — have seen an ad, clicked on it, then given some of their contact details in exchange for a white paper or more information about your product, thus keeping your sales pipeline full.

CPL lets marketing teams know if they’re spending an appropriate amount on different avenues of customer acquisition, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads. The higher the CPL compared to other businesses in your industry, the less effective the marketing campaign is. Naturally, a lower CPL is considered ideal.

CPL is only one of many metrics that digital marketers often look at. Try not to confuse it with these other abbreviations:

  • Cost per Thousand (CPM) – The cost of 1000 users viewing the ad
  • The Cost per Click (CPC) – The cost of one person clicking on the ad
  • Cost per Action (CPA) – The cost of one person buying a product
cpm vs cpc vs cpa vs cpl

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CPM is a more useful metric for companies who are trying to build awareness around their brand, like McDonald’s or Coca-Cola

Users who view the ad don’t necessarily take any action, but they might remember the brand later on. CPA comes into play for eCommerce companies that sell low-ticket items at high volume. If you’re a B2B company or a brand with a high-ticket item like a luxury car, it’s not as likely that visitors are going to buy a product the first time they click on an ad.

CPC measures how much it costs when a person clicks on an ad in a pay per click (PPC) marketing campaign, which is important for determining how much you should spend. If your average CPC is $1, your conversion rate is 10%, and you want 100 new leads this month, you would need to spend $1000 on that campaign.

How to Calculate Cost per Lead

Calculating CPL is relatively straightforward. The formula is simply divide the amount of money you spent on a campaign during a set period by the number of leads acquired through that campaign in the same period.

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For example, if you acquired 100 leads through a Google Ads campaign that cost $1000, the CPL for that campaign would be $10.

There are plenty of cost per lead calculators in the market. However on its own, calculating the CPL for all of your marketing efforts across email, social media, and search engines would have limited usefulness. If the CPL was higher than the standard for your industry, you wouldn’t know which platform’s campaign needed adjustments.

This is why it’s so vital to know where your leads are coming from. You wouldn’t want to attribute John Smith to your Facebook Ad CPL calculation if he actually learned about your product through Google Ads.

How to track leads?

A common way to track where leads came from is through a UTM code. A UTM code attaches to the URL of a landing page so that Google Analytics can see which ad campaign referred visitors to the page. You can then count up the number of generated leads through unique campaigns.

Also you can use UTM code to track leads coming from other marketing channels not just ads. Hence this UTM code can also help you calculate cost per lead by channel.

Lead generation software like LeadBoxer automates this process. The Segments feature can add a tag to each lead acquired specifying their industry, location, and referrer, to name a few.

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Finding your total attributed leads is then as easy as selecting the right filters to see who was acquired in a certain period from a certain campaign.

Cost per Lead Industry Benchmarks

Knowing your cost per lead is only the beginning. By comparing the CPL you calculated in the previous step to the industry average, you can know whether you’re paying too much or just the right amount for your leads.

To help out, GoConvert aggregated data from over one hundred sites and reports to come up with cost per lead averages by industry.

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As can be expected, higher-ticket items like marketing agencies and financial services have higher CPL which means higher customer acquisition cost and their average cost per lead is at $100. Media and publishing, meanwhile, have the lowest average CPL at $11.

6 Ways to Reduce Cost per Lead

If your CPL is a little higher than it should be, don’t worry. There are several ways you can tweak campaigns and acquire more qualified leads for less.

1. Personalize your campaigns

One possible reason why you’re not getting more leads for your money is that your ads and landing page don’t match. Message matching is when the expectation set by the ad is met by the experience on the landing page.

For an example of an ad that gets this right, take a look at what happens when you search for “best CRM” in Google. Zoho CRM claims the top spot with this ad:

best crm

Notice how the phrase “best CRM” is repeated in the title of Zoho’s ad. With a title like that, potential customers know exactly what kind of promise Zoho is throwing out there.

After clicking through, visitors land on this page:

zoho crm

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Notice anything familiar?

“Best CRM” is repeated in the page’s header. Not only that, but a call to action and place to submit info is displayed clearly above the fold of the page. From start to finish, potential customers know exactly what to expect from Zoho.

This degree of campaign personalization might seem like overkill, but according to a survey by Evergage, 88% of today’s customers expect to have personalized shopping experiences.

Resultiks, on the other hand, misses the mark. Search for “marketing automation software”, and you might run across this ad:

marketing automation software

There are some indications within the ad’s title that Resulticks is the right match for marketing automation software, but clicking through to the landing page only confuses matters:

Resulticks

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There’s no sign above the fold that Resulticks helps with marketing automation. Customers might be left wondering if they landed on the wrong page and won’t be as inclined to submit their info for a demo.

2. A/B test ads

Between your keywords, copy, and images, there are several variables influencing how well your ads are performing. It can be tempting to go with your creative instincts when crafting an ad, but instincts don’t guarantee results. Only by running two versions of the same ad can you figure out which elements resonate most with your ideal customers.

Here’s how that might play out in an example ad created by AdEspresso for their eBook:

adespresso ebook ad

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The first ad clearly outperforms the second ad with a higher click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate. The lower cost per sale shows the marketing team that they’re on the right track with the first ad.

Remember: When you’re A/B testing, it’s best only to change one variable with each test. Tweak the title of an ad during one test, then the image during another. By reducing the number of variables at play, you can be sure about what your audience likes.

3. Rethink your keywords

Every once in a while, go into your ads manager—whether it’s for Google, Bing, or another platform—and analyze how well your chosen keywords are performing for your marketing budget. Clean out the ones that aren’t driving quality leads and spend time optimizing the ones that are. Don’t worry if the keywords you deleted are highly searched. If they aren’t bringing quality leads to your business, they’re a drain on your ad spend.

Another way to improve your keyword performance is to target more long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are more specific and less searched than broad keywords, but the audience also tends to be more motivated and willing to convert. In this case, the cost per acquisition can be more because long-tail keywords are specific hence it makes lead quality better and also competition will be bidding on them too.

4. Lower keyword bids

Those keywords that are converting but with a high CPL? Consider bringing the bid down. Lower bids might drop your search engine campaign’s average position, but it would also give you longer exposure on results pages and more clicks.

It might also be that the manual bid you set months ago no longer reflects the average cost of landing on the first page, as was the case with this client at White Shark Media:

whitesharkmedia bid

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If you don’t want to manually adjust your bids all the time, Google offers Automated Bidding so you can hit your goals without a ton of extra labor. There are several types of automated bidding strategies, including one to maximize conversions. With Maximize Conversions, Google’s AI tries to get the most conversions for your campaign within your budget.

5. Retarget site visitors based on behavior

It’s one thing to retarget people who have visited your site with another round of ads. It’s another to retarget them based on the specific action they took on your site.

Start by analyzing the behavior of leads who have already converted. Keep your eye out for certain trends, like visiting a particular page or taking a specific action before finally making the sale. It may be that customers exhibit the same behavior before buying from you.

A lead generation tool like LeadBoxer tracks all leads from website and email activity for you, so all you have to do is go into a lead’s profile and check out where they’ve been and what they’ve done. Hence we will track your leads across multiple marketing channels in your funnel.

leadboxer tracker

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Once you’ve identified certain behaviors, you can create a retargeting campaign based around those behaviors. For instance, if a high percentage of prospects turned into customers after viewing the pricing page for more than a minute, you may want to retarget future prospects who take the same action.

This strategy can be applied to almost any behavior, whether they only visited your homepage for a few seconds or watched an entire demo video. Thus cost of acquiring a customer becomes lower.

6. Check performance by time, device, or location

There are several variables about your audience that may be influencing your CPLs. Take a look at your ads manager and compare how campaigns are performing by:

  • Time of day – When are most leads acquired?
  • Device – Are leads more likely to be on desktop or mobile?
  • Location – Where are the most leads located?

These aren’t the only factors that might be driving up your CPLs. Analyze trends in digital marketing,  understand your audience, and try adjusting campaigns to focus on times, devices, and demographics that are performing well.

Use Cost per Lead to Make Your Marketing Campaigns More Effective

If there’s one metric in total marketing to keep your eye on, it might by CPL. Knowing where your marketing efforts stand next to your competitors’ lets you know if you’re on the right track or if you need to tweak some campaigns.

LeadBoxer simplifies CPL monitoring so you can focus on optimizing your marketing campaigns. The Segments feature quickly filters leads based on which ad campaign first brought them to your site so you can quickly calculate the CPL without having manually use a cost per lead formula for each campaign. When it’s time to optimize, use the website and email tracking feature to identify which lead behaviors warrant retargeting. Get started today and try out LeadBoxer for free.

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10 Buying Signals You Should Look For In 2024

10 Buying Signals You Should Look For In 2024

Buying signals are those signs or activities that indicate how likely a prospective customer is to buy. Using these your sales and marketing teams would know exactly who to focus their efforts on. Taking a note of theses signals is key to giving prospects a better buying experience and increasing the efficiency of your sales process.

This guide will review ten of the most common buying signals to look for and how to look for them. It will also go over how to capture, analyze, and act upon those signals. With this information in hand, your team will be well on its way to gaining and retaining plenty of satisfied customers.

What are buying signals?

Buying signals are the actions prospective buyers take that may indicate they’re close to making a purchasing decision. For B2B sales and marketing teams, buying signals are especially important because they can help you hone in on the most promising leads, saving time and closing more deals.

Buying signals can occur at several different steps of a customer’s buying process. Some signals such as when a prospect visits a company’s website. Lead generation software such as LeadBoxer can capture this data and consolidate it into a lead score. A lead score is a way to easily visualize buying signals.

Lead Score

Other strong buying signals occur during conversations between the prospect and a sales agent. These are usually phrases or behavioral cues that show how interested the prospect is. Recognizing these signals requires training as a salesperson and keen attention to detail.

Here are the 10 buying signals which indicates to a customer with a purchase intent.

1. The prospect signed up for a free trial

Signing up for a free trial or other complementary offerings through a lead capture page is a clear indication that a prospect has some interest in the product.

buying signals signup

Even if the prospect doesn’t immediately take advantage of the trial, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re no longer interested. It may show that they’re simply unsure how to use it.

Lead generation software can capture this action and use it as part of the data that generates a lead score. Hence helping businesses and sale teams understand who their potential customer could be. 

To mitigate that risk, consider enrolling anyone who signs up for a trial into an automatic email series that provides tutorials or tips.

You can also offer free one-on-one meetings or phone calls with a customer service representative who can walk them through your product or service. A more personalized experience can help move some prospects further along on the buyer’s journey.

2. They filled out a form

If someone filled out any form, whether it was to sign up for an e-newsletter or a request for more information, it’s a sign that they want to know more about the company and it’s also because they are interested in asking question related to their problem.

Hence as a business, you should be excited to receive inquires through contact forms as well.

LeadBoxer also captures that data and uses it to populate a prospect’s profile. The software will help you log your future actions that this particular prospect takes on the site and use it to adjust their lead score.

Even if a prospect doesn’t fill out a form, LeadBoxer can track and identify previously unknown website visitors

3. They’re engaging with your brand on social media

Following your company’s social media profile and engaging with the content you publish strongly suggests that the prospect is interested in your product.

To identify who is engaging with the brand most often, encourage marketing team members to monitor mentions of the brand or associated hashtags.

buying signals twitter

Regular check-ins between the marketing and sales team are important for identifying the prospects who are active on social media and who share a common pain points of your ideal customer. With that information, sales agents can now know who might be most worth reaching out to or nurturing.

Another option is to integrate your lead generation software with social media sites like LinkedIn so you can capture a prospect’s actions on the platform. LinkedIn is an especially fruitful platform for identifying and cultivating B2B leads.

4. They’re interested in one product

Interest in a single product or solution shows that prospective clients are clear about what they want. They’ve done their research and are taking steps toward making a purchasing decision.

This signal might appear during a consultation between a sales agent and a prospect, but it could also occur on your brand’s website. Multiple visits to a product page, especially over a short timespan, indicate growing interest.

Hence tools like lead nurturing software can look for these actions and use the data when calculating a lead score.

5. They’re interested in the price

If a prospect asks about pricing during a sales call, it’s generally a sign that they’re at least thinking about buying.

Some sales agents might misconstrue questions about money as a pricing objection, or that the prospect finds the cost prohibitive. Instead, think of it as they’re trying to understand how this solution fits into their budget. Use their question as an opportunity to talk about why your company is the right fit for them with respect to the price.

buying signals pricing

Another way to know if a prospect is interested in the price is to check if or how often they’ve visited the pricing page. This information should be available within the lead generation software in the log of actions they’ve taken on the site.

6. They’re interested in case studies

Pay attention to prospects who are looking at case studies on your site or are asking about other customers’ success stories. These potential clients are trying to imagine how they fit into your business and want to know if you have a track record of solving problems that are similar to theirs.

buying signals use cases

To keep the conversation moving, sales follow-up process should start with rep talking about other case studies that are similar to the prospect’s experience or ask if they have any questions or concerns about the company’s previous work. Hence these interaction should lead towards customer buying not sales team pitching.

7. They ask for advice from their peers

Sometimes you’ll notice that more than one person from a company is visiting the site. This might be an indication that someone with purchasing authority has asked his or her peers for their input about the product.

This might also be true when someone copies their colleagues during email correspondences with a sales agent. If they’re cluing other people into the conversation, it’s a good buying signal that they’re discussing amongst themselves how the product fits with their needs.

In any case, if the main contact (or) decision maker is seeking the opinions of people they work with, it’s a good sign that they’re weighing the pros and cons and are close to making a final decision.

8. They ask about terms and conditions

When a prospect starts asking about warranty details or money-back guarantee policies, they’re likely feeling out whether or not they can trust you to deliver excellent customer service. These are some strong prospect’s buying signals, but to convert their underlying questions into buying intent, you should need to have good marketing materials in place while interacting with them.

Look for this signal during meetings or calls with sales agents. If there is a warranty page on your company’s website, check to see if the prospect has visited it. If they have, it’s a prime opportunity for an agent to reach out to them and see if they have any questions about moving forward.

9. They ask about contract specifics

customer buying signals will likely happen during an in-person meeting or phone call. Prospects who are asking sales agents about what needs to happen to move on to the next step are almost ready to pull the trigger on the purchase.

For example, prospect may want to know when the service or use of the product can begin. Show that your company can adjust to their expectations by asking how soon they need it by.

This is also a great time to ask if they have any other questions or considerations about moving forward. Any opportunity you can take to demonstrate outstanding customer service can be another reason why the prospect should go with your company.

10. They ask about methods of payment

Sales agents should be attuned to questions about when or how payment can be made. Prospects who ask about this topic are close to making a purchasing decision but need to make sure that payment options align with their company’s needs.

In this case, the more convenient options you can provide, the better. Automatic payments, payment plans, and accepting credit cards are just a few of the possibilities to make customers lives a little easier. The more convenience you can provide, the more likely you’re going to finish your sales cycle with this prospect.

Pay attention to buying signals and close more deals

We feel these are the 10 buying signals you should look into if you’re a salesperson trying to reach your quota.

Knowing when a prospect wants to buy doesn’t take a crystal ball or a sixth sense. The clues are all there in the buying signals they give off. Good old fashioned attention to detail as well as a mix of data gathered and interpreted by lead generation software makes it possible to take note of and act upon these buying signals in sales.

LeadBoxer is a lead generation software that makes much of this process easy and automated. It can also deliver alerts that let you know when it’s time to take action and make a pitch to a prospect. Get started with a free trial today.

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How to Create a Content Distribution Strategy to Boost Lead Generation

How Do You Develop an Effective Content Distribution Strategy

Your company, like every business, wants to draw in website traffic and generate sales. With everyone online, your first step is to create a website. You could try and wow potential customers with a fancy website and hope that word gets around about it. However, a snazzy, optimized website is not a recipe for effective digital marketing and lead generation. You’ll have to do more. You need a comprehensive content distribution strategy. A content-focused marketing strategy is essential for many reasons. The most important reason to invest in content distribution is that content fosters relationships between your customers and your brand. When it comes to people buying your products or services, relationships mean everything. People who have a relationship with a brand are more likely to do business with that company. Content distribution and content promotion are key to building vital customer relationships. Lead generation content begins with a solid content distribution strategy. Keep reading, or use the links below to learn how to create a content strategy in your company:

Content Distribution

To produce piece of content your customers will love, you must know what content distribution is and how to do it well. Content distribution is when you share, create, and promote content across various media channels to an online audience. Content comes in many forms that include:
    • Ebooks
    • Podcasts
    • Videos
    • Infographics
    • Case studies
    • Webinars
    • Blogs and articles
    • Social media posts
Types of content

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There are three types of content you can share with your online customers. These are: owned, earned, and paid. For effective content promotion, you need to distribute your content in a way that uses all three types.

Owned

Owned content is the content you already produced. With this type of content, you can control how and when it is published and distributed. Examples of owned content include website content, blogs, social media pages, and e-newsletters.

Earned

With earned content, third parties share or promote your content. These third parties include bloggers, customers, influencers, and journalists. This sharing and promoting of content is free to your business. Earned content are product reviews, social shares and mentions, guests posts, forums, and public relations shared by third parties. Though the sharing of the content is free, the third party owns it, not your business.

Paid

With paid content, you pay to have your content distributed. The most common paid content distribution forms include pay-per-click ads, sponsored content, paid influencer content, and paid social ads. Each type of paid content has varying price points, format, and audience.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads

With pay-per-click (PPC) ads, you pay a third party when people click or have an impression on your ad.  These ads are commonly seen on search engine results pages (SERPs). They can also appear on social media platforms where they have “ad” identifiers next to the page listing. PPC is a search engine marketing tactic that, when paired with your SEO strategy, can produce quality leads. Google Ads is a popular pay-per-click ad platform used by businesses.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored content is paid for by an advertiser that is shared by a publisher, person, influencer, or brand. The most effective sponsored content includes a company or person that targets your ideal audience. Sponsored content can include videos, images, podcasts, and social media.

Paid Influencer Content

With paid influencer content, you pay a top content creator to write, refine, and promote the content for you. This influencer should be a well-known person in your industry. Influencer content benefits your business by boosting your brand awareness, conversions, and website traffic. Paid influencer marketing uses word-of-mouth and social proof. Both of these are crucial in establishing brand trust with customers. This type of content has been so successful that companies spend around $15 billion on influencer marketing.

Paid Social Ads

Paid social ads include influencer content, PPC, and sponsored content. These paid ads share your content on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Your content targets a specific audience most likely to interact with it. To maximize your content’s impact on social media, you need a strategy.  A strong paid social strategy will include native social media tools to create, schedule, and share the ads. To have an effective content marketing strategy, you need to incorporate owned, earned, and paid content. SEO, PPC, and paid promotion are ways to blend the three content types. The most powerful content is the middle ground where the three types overlap.
Content Distribution Trifecta

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The Power of Content Marketing

Content production and distribution takes time, effort, and resources. It also tends to be overlooked. While content marketing may have taken a back seat in your strategy, there are many reasons to prioritize it. You can undergo a thorough search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to make your website and your brand more visible. What you’ll find is that you can’t optimize your website without quality existing content. Additionally, posting content because you have it will not do you any good. High-quality content production and distribution are important in your lead generation strategy. Content marketing is important because it centers around relationship-building. It is a chance for you to both share information and bond with your online customers. Chances are that, your customers are already being bombarded with different content pieces. With all the websites out there, they will only do business with those whose content is valuable. This is because people want quick, relevant answers to their problems and questions. Hence it becomes essential to refine your content distribution strategy. If you’re still skeptical of content marketing, here are some key statistics to consider:
    • 91% of business-to-business marketers use content marketing
    • 80% of customers learn about a company through custom content
    • Content marketing costs 60% less than traditional marketing and generates 3 times as many leads
    • 87% of business-to-business marketers use social media to distribute content and encourage sharing
    • 78% of customers feel there is a relationship with a brand through custom content
    • Content creates brand awareness, cultivates loyal customers, and incentivizes readers to convert
Now you know the importance of content marketing, we’ll show you how to build an effective content distribution strategy in 6 steps.
Current state of content marketing

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6 Steps To Develop an Effective Content Distribution Strategy

Not all content distribution strategies are created equal. Throwing out poorly conceived digital marketing content everywhere you possibly can is not a good strategy. You can develop a successful content distribution strategy once know your audience and understand what they find interesting. Promoting your new content can be overwhelming and time-consuming. If you want your create an effective content promotion plan, here are some steps to get you started:

1. Clearly Identify Your Target Audience

As great as you think your content is, not everyone will be interested in reading it. Those who could care less about your great content will go to another website for content they deem to be more relevant. When people bounce from your website, your search rankings and reputation can take a hit. For successful lead-generating content, you need your content to be read by people interested in it. This requires you to research and identify precisely who your target audience is. People who see value in your content are more likely to continue consuming the information you make available. Ultimately, these are the leads that are most likely to convert into successful sales. This is your target audience. To create content your target audience will value, in addition to properly identifying who your ideal audience is, you must understand  their typical consumer journey. Look at their demographics, pain points, objections to buying, and what they are interested in reading. Research your customers’, website visitors’, email subscribers’, and social media followers’ income, age, gender, education, location, and other relevant demographics. You can find this information using Google Analytics and social media analytics tools. Try to narrow down the reach of your content, but don’t over-filter your audience so that it is too narrow. After looking at the demographics, collect customer feedback. Ask readers how they feel about the content and how it’s distributed. Ask them what their pain points are and whether the content you provide adequately addresses these issues. Use the feedback and demographics to create buyer personas. These buyer personas represent the preferences, motivations, and pain points of your ideal customers. Write different versions of content geared toward each of your personas.

2. Choose Your Content Types

There are different types of content. Each type of content caters to a different audience.  To develop a good content distribution strategy you need to understand that every channel requires a specific content type. The kind of content you choose to create will largely depend on where it is distributed. For instance, content developed for a blog is very different in style and length compared to what would be appropriate to share in a social media post. A company blog is a highly recommended place to start creating online content. Blog posts are easy to share and repurpose.  Additionally, nearly half your customers will read your blog before making a purchasing decision. Depending on your objective, tailor your blog content to match the type of action you want the reader to take. If you want to generate leads, for example, offer lead generation and traffic generation content. In contrast, social media content is much more casual and concise. With social media, it is important to research your audience using each platform’s analytics tools. This knowledge will assist you in delivering multiple pieces of content that will not only catch the readers’ attention, it will help you to make personal connections with them. Similarly, when you send emails, you have to carefully think about what to say and how to say it. Email marketing is one of the most effective forms of lead generation around, making it a form of content marketing you should engage in on a regular basis. Content can also be shared via videos and images. Infographics work well when promoted via social media. Video content needs to be engaging, interesting, clear, and brief.

3. Choose Your Distribution Channels

Your website is your first-stop distribution channel. On your site, you have greater freedom as to what you say and how you say it. Your website includes information on your pages and your blog posts. You must conduct audience research and choose your distribution channels before you write your content. These two pieces of data will inform the type of content you write and where and to whom it is distributed. Popular content distribution channels include blogs, social media, email, directories, guest posting sites, and forums. Sometimes traditional public relations may be an option. The content distribution channel you choose must be aligned with your target audience’s interests, demographics, and behaviors. It’s important to know your audience and where they regularly visit online. Young people, for instance, spend a lot of time on various social media sites. Even among social media sites, there are different audiences. Look to see where your target audience tends to go to gather information. Do they read industry blogs, watch YouTube videos, or scroll through Facebook? Knowing which distribution channels your audience frequents most is vital to planning a successful content marketing strategy. Your blog should be your first distribution channel as it is one of your company’s owned properties. Two others that you need to optimize are your social media pages and e-newsletter. With these three channels, you control the content and its distribution.  Also having a content calendar helps you ensure that content distribution is going according to your plan. Social media is a popular distribution channel. In fact, 87% of marketers use social media to share content. Of those, most use an average of five social media platforms. Content distribution via social media is a good option for many reasons:
    • Ease of distribution
    • The content is short and largely image-dominant
    • Ease of audience targeting
    • Provides a great opportunity to have casual, personal interactions with customers
    • A majority of your customers likely use at least one social media channel
    • Content is instantaneously shared with customers
    • It is free to share your content
People are more likely to do business with your company when they trust you. Finding the best combination of distribution channels to share your content will boost your brand authority. When customers see and consume your knowledgeable content, they are more likely to accept you as an authority in your field and will look to your organization as the best solution to their challenges. Guest posting on reputable, industry-specific websites and forums like Reddit or Quora are excellent ways to distribute content to new customers. Be sure that the information you provide is high-quality and free from self-promotion and spammy links. This content should not be focused on your company, products, or services, but should be geared toward educating readers.
Best times to post on social media - Facebook
Best times to post on social media - Facebook

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4. Develop a Content Distribution Plan

An effective content distribution strategy involves having a plan for how, where, and when to disperse information. Both the creation of lead-generating content and its distribution need careful thought. Once you settle on a writing and distribution process, you need to be consistent. Writing content and publishing it everywhere on the Internet will lead to unsuccessful content promotion. If search engines don’t rank your content highly and the appropriate marketing strategies aren’t applied, your target audience will never find your content. A good foundation for your content distribution strategy is having S.M.A.R.T goals. These goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Having such goals helps you see where your current strategy is at and what future success looks like. With your content distribution strategy goals in mind, develop a detailed content calendar. There are many tools out there for you to use such as Google Sheets, Excel, Asana, Trello, and Google Calendar. To start a consistent content distribution plan, assign certain people to develop and create different kinds of content. Then, establish an editorial calendar for publishing the content on a consistent basis. An editorial calendar focuses and aligns your team to work toward common goals. If you contract out your writing, a calendar can inform your editors and writers about what’s coming up. Some questions to ask as you start developing your editorial calendar include:
  • What audiences use which channels?
  • What opportunities exist on each channel that you can’t achieve on others?
  • What subjects are most likely to resonate with your target audience?
  • How often and when does each audience post on each channel?
  • What content types or formats should you use on each channel?
  • When should you post on each channel to get the most engagement?
  • What conversations work best on each channel?
  • Who will be in charge of managing each channel and posting on them on behalf of the company?
  • Where do you want to drive traffic to on each channel?
  • What metrics will you use to assess the success of your content distribution strategy?
No two content distribution strategies are the same. The best one for your company will be unique as there is no silver-bullet solution. How you produce and publish content will depend on how many resources you have, team size, industry, and brand. The concept of creating a comprehensive content promotion strategy can seem overwhelming at first.  Useful content distribution tools include Anchor, AnswerthePublic, Canva, and Vidyard.
Content Backlog in Asana
Content Backlog in Asana

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5. Develop Effective Lead Magnets

You’ve created lead-generating content, but if it doesn’t have a call to action (CTA), it won’t be effective. CTAs tell the reader what to do next after reading your content. With CTAs in your content promotion, be sure to somehow capture the reader’s contact information, especially phone number or email. To bring more readers to conversion from your content, you need to consistently get new leads to cultivate. Lead magnets are the best ways to capture the names and contact information of prospective leads. Through lead magnets you share the content for free with your audience for the exchange of their contact information. Lead magnet content needs to be interesting, valuable, and applicable to the reader. If you don’t know where to start, here are three lead magnet strategies to try:

White Papers

White paper content highlights industry news like trends, the current state of the industry, and what the future holds. Industry overview white papers are the most common. The other type of white paper is a product breakdown. Product breakdowns highlight company products. These white papers may go into detail about what a product does, who benefits, and the problems these items help solve. White papers let prospective leads know that your brand understands their pain points and questions. These types of content also show leads that your product solves their problems.

Webinars

Webinars are another effective lead magnet. You can use live and recorded webinars to get a lead’s contact information. With webinars, you can ask someone to leave their phone number or email address to access the webinar. Webinars can be one-off or regular events. Webinars are great ways to show your product or service. When you conduct live webinars, you allow the audience to interact with you.

Risk-Free Trial

Offering a limited-time risk-free trial has been a long-time favorite lead magnet for B2B and SaaS companies. With this type of lead magnet, customers enter their contact and payment information to access a product or service. Besides free access, some free trials give customers temporary access to an upgraded or premium version of products or services. For most sign-ups, the terms and conditions of the risk-free trial must be clearly stated. You should be up-front about subscription cancellation and when a customer will be charged after the trial period ends. Besides transparency, your risk-free sign-up form must be simple and quick to complete. Once you’ve created your lead magnet, publish it on your website, in blog posts, and on your social media channels. Lead magnets are also effective when used as part of your email marketing strategy.

6. Publish and Promote Content

Now that you’ve created your content, it’s time to publish it. Use your editorial calendar to push it out to your ideal audience at the best time and on appropriate channels. Regardless of what channel you use, follow the rules to optimize your content promotion on each channel. Using a combination of platforms for your content distribution is a great way to maximize its effectiveness. For example, you can publish an industry white paper and push it out via email, social media, and paid ads. Use these channels to get your content before readers or have them sign up to see it. Content creation is and will be key in generating leads. For effective lead-generating content that drives sales, you need carefully-crafted content. A strong content distribution strategy looks at the best content type and what channels you should use. Thorough familiarity with your target audience is the foundation of any successful content promotion strategy. Contact LeadBoxer today to learn how we can partner with you to generate more leads and drive more sales.

How Do You Develop an Effective Content Distribution Strategy Read More »

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What Are Warm Leads?

In one of our previous articles we discussed why warm leads are better for your business but we realised we got ahead of ourselves. So, we decided to double back and try to understand what are warm leads.

warm-leads-leadboxer

Every company needs to follow up and nurture leads as part of its sales process. Warm leads are nothing more than individuals who have expressed an interest in your company in the past or people with whom you wish to establish a relationship. It could be something as simple as a person filling up an online form and asking for more information on a certain product, or making connections with the staff of a particular organisation. When these people get a visit or a call, it classifies as a warm lead. 

Whereas cold leads are taken by surprise and often turn negative, warm leads are formed out of a pre-existing relationship or expression of interest. That’s the difference between cold and warm leads. Hence its lot easier to approach a potential sale, and places warm leads on top of cold leads in the sales cycle. Warm leads result in more effective sales talk.

Why are Warm Leads Beneficial?

Think of it this way: Would you like it if someone tried to sell you something within the first five minutes of knowing you? Of course not! The same applies to your customers as well. They hate it when your company tries to push a product/service on them, and are more likely to walk away. Even worse, they will probably remember your company in a negative light.

This is exactly why warm leads are preferred. Businesses, especially small ones, rely on warm leads to establish a certain level of trust with possible clients until they make a purchase from them. Establishing trust is an integral part of the sales process because the warmer the lead, the higher chance there is of converting it to a sale. Sizeable companies have systems in place for a formal sales process, and these involve introducing the brand to a potential customer, referred to as the lead.

The more the lead becomes exposed to the name and message of the brand, the more it begins to trust the brand over time. Warm leads show interest in your brand in such a way that closing sales becomes easy. In fact, companies boasting of solid, well-thought-out sales processes are adept at monitoring calls, messages, emails, and outreach so that each sales rep understands precisely where every lead is in the process.

The Thing About ‘Warm Leads’

The term “warm leads” is quite flexible. For example, any prospect that has been referred to a business website also qualifies as a warm lead, even though the organisation did not contact that prospect directly. Just the fact that the referrer recommended that particular company to the prospect means that an indirect connection has formed between the company and the lead. It is not necessary that the prospect know the business; simply knowing the person who referred them to the company is enough. In this case, the referrer serves as a sort of middleman, which means that generating warm leads is not a linear process.

There is a flexibility associated with warm leads that is missing in others. This makes them all the more lucrative. When a prospect reaches out to the business looking for information, they usually try to find out the contact number or fill out a form on the website requesting a call back. Such prospects are intrigued to go through all the effort to reach out to the business by themselves, without knowing anything about the company. This shows just how easy it is to work with warm leads rather than cold leads in lead generation.

Warm Leads Mean More Conversion Probability

Though there is still some amount of rapport building to be done on your part, warm leads are simpler to convert into sales than cold leads. The fact that the business had previously established a connection or contact with the prospect is indicative of the fact that they already had some amount of trust between them. This is the reason why the prospect will actually read or listen to whatever you have to say. They are ready to invest their time, and will not be as quick to walk away from the product or service as a result.

Warm leads are actually quite pleasant from the standpoint of the salesperson. They find it easier to distinguish between warm leads and cold leads and interact with the former; all it requires is a little bit of common sense and practice on their part. In the end, what matters the most is the way the prospect views the interaction, instead of how the business classifies it. While interacting with a warm lead, the company should always make it a point to introduce itself and then immediately raise the topic of their pre-existing association with the prospect. The way they respond should be an indication whether the sales team should pursue this lead for conversion or not. The moment you get some sort of acknowledgement about your connection with the prospect, you need to move forward in the sales funnel.

A business is better of investing all their efforts on warm and qualified leads rather than cold leads due to the higher probability of conversion. You might have ten cold leads in your campaign, but compared to them one warm lead in your campaign is always a better use of your time. Firstly, it is difficult to try and monitor ten cold leads. A person who is familiar with your name or the name of your company and who is ready to make an invest in your services or products will be easier to pin down, rather than the phone numbers of people who have never even heard of you.

How to Generate More Warm Leads?

Some companies resort to paying for long email list and phone numbers. But this cold approach is a hit-and-miss, and less effective than building and nurturing existing relationships with customers. Your time and money is better spent elsewhere, namely creating new relationships and conversations with interested parties. Such a process can be time-consuming, but the payoff is always greater. Cold calling isn’t something that their sales people enjoy, but they need to do it as part of their job. The trick is converting the cold leads into warm prospects, thereby increasing the chances of a successful sale by the sales team. Some of the most effective methods are given below.

Forming a Blog

If you have an expert sales team on your payroll, chances are you won’t have to work too hard to reach out to customers who know nothing about your business; instead the sales lead will come to you. It becomes possible through the creation of a website that also hosts a blog offering good content. This, in turn, forms a lead nurturing process that sets your company up with warm and hot sales leads.

All you need to do is research, create a blog with the help of one of platforms for business and share good content on your blog. The blog creates a platform to help attract prospects particular a type of lead interested in your business, products (or) services. This not only improves the SEO but automatically alters the feel of the conversation. The tables are now turned in your direction, it’s warm leads vs you because prospects understand that you have valuable insight to provide them before they even engage you directly.

Using Lead Capture Techniques

Get your prospects to visit your website by setting up a well-aimed blog. However, you should make it a point to know who those site visitors are before they leave. Otherwise, it would all be in vain. Use lead capturing to get the details you require about your visitors. Lead capturing involves creating helpful content that solves the problems of your personas. This could be lead magnet, which can be as simple as e-book, Free webinar, or something of those sorts.

You need to link your blog readers to a specific landing page that requests them to fill up a quick form. As soon as the form is submitted, allow them to access the lead magnet for free. Once you have their email run an effective email campaign for these subscribers to warm them up about business and offerings.

Through email marketing catch their interests frequently to make your way towards building a relationship.

Using a CRM System

It is best if your company uses CRM software. This ensures that none of the information you gleaned from your leads go to waste. You will find lots of different tools on the Internet that not only monitor who visited your website, but what they looked at, when they visited, and what offers they downloaded as well. The purpose of this data is to provide you with a clearer picture of your lead and initiate a sales conversion if needed.

LeadBoxer integrated with your CRM system allows a sales representative from your team to understand the lead readiness to buy from you via assigning a lead score to each individual lead. This score is usually anywhere between 1-100, the higher the score the higher will be the probability to convert warm leads.

Harnessing the Power of Social Media

It is important you know how to use social media for the benefit of your company. Simply opening accounts on social networking sites is not going to help; you must know how to get the most out of them. It helps if you begin by thinking long-term.

You will be able to generate the initial interest via a clever post or a giveaway. New leads are always appreciated, but you should also have a plan on how to plan on building on that foundation. Otherwise, you are going to lose any lead as soon as you get it. Social media metrics are a great way to become familiar with your audience and their needs. Not to mention, a great way to generate warm leads.

However, you should first determine the market you wish to cater to. Also, it is important to link your company’s posts, tweets, and updates with the landing page. This will give visitors the chance to know your company even better.

Cross Promotions and Referrals

Warm leads aren’t always the tricky affair that people make them out to be. For instance, customer referrals are a great way to generate business-to-business leads. Customer referrals are built out of trust.

Another great option is cross promotions with other businesses. This method provides a cost-effective, easy and quick way to get more warm leads; leads who you otherwise would never have been able to gain access to. This is a highly exciting prospect. Planning cross promotions carefully is a great way to tap into an audience base that has high interest in your product.

Webinars and Face-to-Face

Despite the rise of social media techniques, the old-fashioned approach is long from dead. It works wonders, especially in the form of executive events and webinars, where it is possible to interact directly with the lead.

Due to the overwhelming focus on technology in the current digital age, the old ways are easy to overlook. But, these methods were used for a very long time and with good reason – they were effective. Because at the end, leads are people just like you and us, it builds when you listen from someone face-to-face rather than the content online.

So your company should try this out. Even telemarketing could be one of the strategies to generate warm leads who are ready to buy if done right.

Email

Generating a warm lead through email is possible if you email one of the higher-ups in the organisation and ask for a referral down to the correct individual, or email the decision maker directly. Irrespective of your approach, a lot rides on the subject line of your email. It needs to be interesting enough for the lead to actually read it and open the mail.

There is a particular way to develop effective cold email subject lines. Use the names of the leads in the subject line only if it makes sense. Keep the subject as specific as possible. Make the subject line as personal as you can so that it appeals to the lead, and turns it warm. Make sure that the email doesn’t sound too much like a marketing email. Try to keep it casual yet professional. You could try experimenting with a question format for the subject line of the email. Always make sure that you deliver what was promised in the subject line in the actual email.

Customers are no longer the same, and sales and marketing are trying to keep up. The rise of search engines and social media, businesses and individuals do not have to wait for sales people to approach them. They themselves can go looking for the things they want and choose whichever company offers the same. Sales and marketing work together to bring in warm leads. This helps create more business than cold leads ever could.

What Are Warm Leads? Read More »

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What is Lead Qualification & How It Works?

Pop culture would have you believe that the most important part of any sales journey is the art of closing a deal. Equally important, however, is how you open it. Pursuing only the most viable prospects with the need, authority, and budget to purchase your product is a winning recipe for securing new accounts. Lead qualification is an essential part of this recipe. But what exactly is it, and how do you do it?

In this article, you’ll learn how to qualify a sales lead from the moment they first visit your website all the way through to after an initial discovery call. With the information you gather, you’ll be able to effortlessly determine which prospects are worth pursuing and which aren’t, saving you time and money.

Use the links below to navigate to each section:

What is Lead Qualification?

Lead qualification is a process of marketing and sales teams working together to forecast the likelihood that a prospect will ultimately make a purchase. It occurs at every stage of the sales journey and ultimately decides if the prospect will be funneled down the pipeline.

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The first step of lead qualification happens during the inbound marketing stage. At this stage, your company’s marketing team captures contact info via site visits, email subscriptions, email tracking pixel or social media, then decides if the lead fits the profile of your company’s ideal customer.

This qualifies the prospect to move on to the next step, which is a discovery call from a sales rep. The sales rep leads a conversation that reveals the prospect’s needs, project timelines, purchasing authority, and any budgetary constraints.

Information gathered during a discovery call further determines if the prospect is viable of the time it takes to craft a proposal, or if you’re better off pursuing someone else’s business.

Why Lead Qualification is Important?

Lead qualification is important because it saves you time, energy, and ultimately your bottom line. It occurs very early in the pipeline, ideally when you’re making initial contact or even beforehand. It helps you determine:

  • If the prospect is in the right industry and territory to benefit from your product
  • And if they have a need your product can solve
  • If the person you’re talking to has the budget and authority to make a purchasing decision
  • If there is some way you can provide value over your competitors or the prospect’s current vendor

But if the lead doesn’t meet your criteria for what makes a qualified prospect, then you can disqualify them. Disqualification may sound like a bad thing, but in reality it saves you time and allows you to focus on more promising contacts.

Bottom line, lead qualifications allows you to quickly assess whether or not you’re talking to a person that has any real intent in buying what you’re selling. This can also help make sales reps more efficient, productive, and motivated. Without it, you could waste time talking to people who will never close, and no one wants to feel like they’re just spinning their wheels.

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How to Qualify a Sales Leads Using Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is a process of assigning a point value to a prospect at or near the beginning of the sales pipeline. It often happens before a sales rep ever makes a discovery call. In fact, it may inform whether or not a call is worth having in the first place. This ensures that reps spend their time talking to only the most promising leads.

Before you can calculate a leadscore, you’ll need to gather the following data about a prospect:

Buyer Profile

Does this prospect fall into your target industry and territory? Do they fit the profile of your ideal customer?

To find out, you’ll need to include fields in the forms on your landing pages that gather the relevant information. Anyone tasked with this level of qualification – be it a sales rep or a marketing team in charge of identifying prospects – should always keep the company’s ideal customer profile in mind.

From there, you’ll be able to award points to leads whose answers align with your buyer profile and take away points for those who don’t. You can also award points for those who fill out fields that were otherwise listed as optional on the form, as this demonstrates additional interest on behalf of the prospect.

Company Information

If you’re a B2B organization, then knowing the size of the prospect’s company and its contact information is essential to qualify the lead. You can add or take away points depending on how the size of their company relates to your ideal customer profile.

Online Behavior

The more time a prospect interacts with your site, the more likely that they’re interested in your product. Tracking page views, length of visit, downloads, and frequency of visits over a 30, 60, or 90 day period are all good data points to start with.

Email Engagement

Just because someone signed up for to your email list does not necessarily mean they’re ready or even interested in buying from you. Open rates and click-through rates are a more meaningful indication of interest.

Social Media Engagement

Tracking Facebook or Twitter likes, retweets, shares, and click-through rates from your posts are all ways of tracking social media engagement. The more engaged a prospect is, the higher their leadscore should be.

Spam Detection

Using all lowercase letters when filling out website forms is a red flag that the prospect may be a bot. The use of a Gmail or Yahoo email address instead of a company email address may also indicate that they don’t fit your buyer profile. These indicators can subtract points from the prospect’s leadscore if it doesn’t disqualify them altogether.

Now that you have a set of data, you’ll need to interpret it in a way that immediately communicates how qualified a lead is. To manually calculate an actual point value or leadscore, follow these steps:

Step 1: Set Your Benchmark

To do this, divide the number of new customers acquired by the number of all leads generated. This conversion rate is your control, which you’ll use to compare to other characteristics.

Step 2: Choose the Most Valuable Characteristics

Which characteristics did your highest quality leads exhibit? In addition to going with your gut, consult your sales reps, marketing team, analytics, etc. for their insights.

Step 3: Calculate Close Rates

As with setting your benchmark, divide the number of customers acquired by leads generated that exhibited certain qualities. Do this for each characteristic.

Step 4: Compare Characteristics

Which characteristics showed significantly higher close rates to your benchmark? Assign higher point values to those characteristics. For example, if leads who downloaded a certain whitepaper have a close rate of 25%, you might assign that characteristic 25 points on future leadscores.

Once you decide how you’re going to calculate leadscores, you can save yourself time and energy by investing in a lead generation and sales tool. Many will capture all the data you need, then automatically calculate it. Software dashboards are usually visual, easy to reference, and quickly identify who is the most promising prospect to pursue.

Here’s a look at how you can customize different characteristics or information in LeadBoxer to automatically calculate a lead score for potential prospects:

After a lead has been gathered and qualified with a leadscore by the marketing team, it’s time for a sales rep to step in and make a discovery call.

Lead Qualification Frameworks and Questions

At this level, sales reps determine whether or not the prospect has any real need or desire for the product. This is done by asking the right questions during a discovery call.

Several thought leaders and top sales reps have spent decades developing multiple frameworks for their lead qualification processes. The method you chose to follow will ultimately depend on your industry and the average size of accounts you typically work with. Your personal conversation style and comfort zone might also play a role in what framework you reference.

These questions have the added benefit of encouraging potential leads to open up about their needs, frustrations, and pain points. Should you decide that the lead is qualified to move forward in the process, you can use this information to tailor your pitch and deliver a more effective proposal later on.

BANT

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BANT stands for budget, authority, need, and timeline. Although the brainchild of IBM, it’s the go-to framework for qualifying leads in a variety of markets and companies. Some relevant questions to ask during a discovery call would include:

  • Budget: How much of the budget is set aside to address this challenge?
  • Authority: Are you in the position to make a purchasing decision to address this challenge?
  • Need: What challenge are you dealing with and why hasn’t it been dealt with before?
  • Timeline: How soon do you hope to solve this challenge?

Strengths: BANT is simple and straightforward. For anyone with a low-stakes or lower priced product with no existing qualification framework in place, it’s a good option to start with and develop from there.

Weaknesses: BANT’s questions don’t follow a logical order. It would be a bit daring to open a discovery call by jumping straight to a question about money. Plus, according to CEB’s research, 5.4 people are involved in B2B purchasing decisions. When considering authority, the answer is likely that multiple people are involved and should therefore be brought into the conversation.

CHAMP

CHAMP was developed as a solution to the seemingly backward sequencing of BANT so that the more important questions are asked first for both the buyer and the qualifier.

  • Challenges: What problem needs solving in your business? What challenges are you still faced with that your current solution still does not solve or address as effectively as you would like?
  • Authority: In addition to yourself, who else is involved in this purchasing decision? Should we bring them into the conversation? What are the organizational relationships that influence the decision?
  • Money: What are your expectations for the investment necessary to purchase the solution?
  • Prioritization: When do you plan to implement a solution to your problem? Are you looking at any other possible solutions?

Strengths: The ordering of questions follows a more natural trajectory of conversation. For those just beginning to explore qualification frameworks, this may be the easiest to keep at the back of your mind during a discovery call.

Weaknesses: As far as conversations go, CHAMP is still a little shallow. For one, it doesn’t get into how a prospect would measure the success of the project. This leaves the sales rep ill-prepared to fully demonstrate value further down the pipeline during the proposal stage.

GPCTBA/C&I

Hubspot developed what is certainly the longest acronym in sales, but they swear by it. Although they break down their framework into more detail than this, in a nutshell GPCTBA/C&I stands for:

  • Goals: What’s your top priority right now?
  • Plans: How do you plan to achieve that goal?
  • Challenges: What difficulties do you foresee with your plan?
  • Timeline: When do you hope to solve this? If you don’t buy at this time, what remedial actions do you plan to take?
  • Budget: What have you spent on achieving this goal so far? What additional funds can you allocate towards it?
  • Authority: How does your company purchase products of this type? Who else is concerned with this buying decision and what are some of their concerns? What ego or ownership issues come up that need to be managed and respected that I need to be mindful of?
  • Negative consequences: What happens if you don’t reach this goal? What will it cost you and your company if you keep things the way they are today?
  • Positive Implications: What can you achieve next if you do reach this goal?

Strengths: In an era when multiple solutions to a person’s problem are just a Google search away, it’s more important than ever to get clear on how relevant your product is to their needs and how closely they fit into your niche. This framework gets into the nitty-gritty and can quickly indicate if a prospect is truly viable. Plus, it was developed by a SaaS company, so it likely translates well to other SaaS providers.

Weaknesses: Sales reps unfamiliar with this framework will likely need to practice holding a conversation that touches on all these topics in a natural way. Otherwise, you risk hosting a discovery call that comes off as more like an interrogation.

MEDDIC

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Other Questions

It’s possible that there are questions relevant to your product or industry that aren’t covered by any of the frameworks above. In that case, you’ll want to tweak your approach so that you’re covering all your bases.

Some additional questions worth considering are:

  1. What are the concerns or roadblocks that could come up down the road and get in the way of us working together?
  2. What are the timely and relevant issues that are going on internally?
  3. Which is the overall mood of the company and its leaders towards this problem?
  4. What internal resources can you leverage to try and resolve this issue on your own?
  5. How will your current vendors react to the possibility you’ll buy from us?

Whatever framework and sets of questions you go with, don’t overload the person you’re speaking with by asking them too many. The idea is to engage them in meaningful conversation, not convince them that you’re an interrogator.

When to Move Prospects Forward

After making a discovery call, you’ll need to make a decision about whether or not to continue the sales process. Some good signs that prospects are ideal candidates for moving forward include:

Pain Points

The prospect clearly identified what challenge they have and talked about it at length. It’s clear this is an issue that is a top priority and needs to be solved soon.

Specific Goals

During the conversation, the prospect was certain on measurable goals and outcomes. This shows that they’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about the challenge and will be receptive to solutions that propose to meet those goals.

Knowledge

Overall, the prospect knew the ins and outs of the challenge or project like the back of their own hand. This shows that they likely have sway over the purchasing decision if they’re not in charge of it themselves.

However, if you encounter some of these signs during your discover call, you might want to consider stopping the process:

Short Answers

Whether it’s because they don’t have the time to talk, they haven’t thought about their challenges in detail, or they don’t have a pain point you can address, this is a clear indicator that the prospect isn’t interested.

Inconsistent Answers

Conflicting responses are an indicator that the prospect might not have that much influence over the project, or it’s not enough of a priority that they’re willing to find a solution just yet. In either case, you’ll want to save your time and pursue other business.

Qualify Leads and Close More Sales

An optimized leads qualification process serves two main functions: to forecast whether or not a prospect is worth the time and effort of a proposal, and to help reps tailor that proposal for maximum effectiveness.

The first step to qualifying a sales lead is to generate a leadscore based on their engagement with your website, emails, and social media posts. The second step is to make a discovery call to determine their needs, purchasing authority, and budget.

While this may seem relatively straightforward, there’s a lot of data and elements that need to be taken into consideration in order to calculate a leadscore. Thankfully, there are several different kinds of lead generation software out there that can gather, analyze, and calculate that leadscore for you. In no time at all, you’ll be filling your pipeline with qualified prospects and winning more accounts.

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demand gen vs lead gen

Demand Generation vs Lead Generation: What’s The Difference

The difference between demand generation and lead generation can be confusing. Both share similar traits, however, the goals and specific tactics behind each method are different. Thus, having an understanding of both can help you to create a more effective marketing strategy. In this post, we’ll define both demand and lead generation and how they differ from one another. We’ll also discuss specific tactics that each method uses and talk about when to use demand generation vs. lead generation. Let’s get to it:

What is Demand Generation?

Demand generation, or “demand gen” for short, is the process of creating awareness and demand for your company’s product or service. In short, demand gen aims to bring new visitors to your website or business in order to introduce them to your company. The end result is to build your target audience, establish trust, and to spark interest in your company. Types of demand generation content include:

All of this content is provided for “free” in order to attract new potential customers. At this stage, they shouldn’t have to provide their email or other contact information in order to access this content.

Demand Generation Ideas:

To get you started, here are a few demand generation ideas you can use:

Create SEO-Driven Content

One way to create awareness is to create content that your target audience is already searching for. There are many ways to identify keyword opportunities. For one, you can look at Google related searches. Simply search a keyword in Google and then scroll to the bottom of that page:

Here you will see a list of related keywords that people are searching for. You can also look at the types of questions people are asking in Quora or use a tool like Ahrefs for keyword research.

Guest Posts

Guest posting is the process of creating a blog post for another popular blog in your industry. This is a great way to reach your target audience and “piggy-back” off of the traffic that the established blog already receives.

Create Industry Expert Roundups

An expert roundup is a blog post where you gather quotes from experts in your industry on a particular topic that you know your target audience will enjoy. This type of content is often shared well. Not only that, contributors will typically share the blog post with their own social networks once it’s published. One way to find experts in your industry is by Googling your chosen topic and finding people who have already written on the topic or have provided a quote. You can also use a tool like HARO to help to collect responses. For a great example of an expert roundup, check out our blog post, “19+ Lead Generation Tools from the Experts”.

Advertise on Industry Blogs

Running display ads, investing in a sponsored post, or purchasing a sponsored email slot from an industry blog that you know your target audience already visits, can be a good way to take advantage of a site that has a larger viewership than yours.

Run a Viral Contest

You can create a viral contest by creating a contest where you allow participants to earn more entries by referring new people to the contest, sharing it on social, commenting on a post, etc. This increases the likelihood that contest will be shared, making it a good way to increase awareness. Three options for running a viral contest include:

For more demand generation ideas, we recommend the following resources:

What is Lead Generation?

Lead generation, or “lead gen” for short, is the process of converting potential customers into qualified leads (ie. someone who has a genuine interest in what you have to offer). In short, lead gen is a way to funnel-in eventual purchasers of your product or service down the path of buying. The end result is to find qualified leads for your company so that they then be added to a lead nurturing process or so that a salesperson can follow up. Lead gen typically involves creating “gated” content and then asking for someone’s contact information in order for them to receive that piece of content. Types of lead generation content include:

  • Any type of gated content (such as an eBook, PDF, checklist, cheat sheet, whitepaper, etc.)
  • Courses
  • Free-Trials
  • Product Demos
  • Viral Contests (where someone needs to enter their email or other contact information to enter)
  • Email Subscriptions
  • Events

In order to receive access to this content, the person must enter in their email and/or other contact information that the company wants to collect. To learn more, this guide breaks down the basics of lead generation and why it’s so important.

Lead Generation Ideas:

To get you started, here are a few lead generation ideas you can use:

Create an eBook

If you have yet to create any type of lead magnet on your site, an eBook is a good one to start with. Most eBooks tackle a broad topic in your industry, thus you can promote it across multiple blog posts on your site.

Create a Content Upgrade

A content upgrade is another type of lead magnet that is there to entice people to enter their email and/or other contact information in exchange for the content upgrade. Rather than an eBook which is typically more general, a content upgrade is typically specific to a particular blog post. This increases the conversion rate of signups since the content is more closely related to the blog post the person is reading. Examples of a content upgrade might include:

  • A PDF version of that same blog post
  • A checklist
  • Step-by-step instructions
  • A cheat sheet

Host a Webinar

Hosting a webinar with experts in your industry can be another way to collect contact information from your audience by requiring them to sign up in advance for the webinar. Software such as WebinarJam and Demio can help you get this set up.

Use a Lead Analytics Platform

While collecting contact information from potential leads via lead magnets and webinars are viable lead generation tactics, sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands. Not everyone is willing to fork over their email or phone number. This is when a direct outreach approach can be helpful. For people who don’t submit contact information but still might be qualified leads, a lead analytics platform like LeadBoxer can help you to identify these people and find their contact information so you can reach out directly. For more lead generation ideas, we recommend the following resources:

What’s the Difference Between Lead Generation and Demand Generation?

Lead generation is a subset of demand generation. Demand generation is used to create awareness and attract new people to your business, while lead generation is used to qualify those people into “leads” and get them ready for the next step in your marketing or sales process.

A simple way to understand the differences is to take a look at the different types of content each method uses. Demand generation uses free content (such as blog posts, articles, videos, etc.) in order to create awareness and to attract your target audience. Lead generation content is typically “gated”, meaning a person has to provide their email and/or other contact information in order to receive that piece of content (such as a PDF, whitepaper, checklist, etc.).

This allows sales and marketing to continue the relationship and nudge that person towards a purchase. You don’t need to choose one or the other. Both lead gen and demand gen can be used effectively within your overall marketing strategy.

When creating content, you want to consider the goal behind that piece of content. Is the goal to generate awareness or to increase leads? For example, if you create an eBook and the goal is to generate awareness, this is demand generation. In order to maximize your results, people should be able to download the eBook freely without needing to input any contact information.

This will make it easier for people to share it with their friends and colleagues. However, if the goal is to find qualified leads, this is lead generation and that piece of contact should be gated. As you can hopefully see, it’s nearly impossible to go with one without the other.

An effective marketing strategy will include both lead generation and demand generation. Demand generation is used to attract new customers and lead generation is used to identify qualified leads.

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Workflow Automation for Lead Generation & Sales Growth

Workflow Automation for Lead Generation & Sales Growth

Finding ways to lessen the burden of manual processes for your sales team helps increase productivity. In a fast-paced environment, the more time spent with customers instead of handling data entry, the better chances of landing a deal.

Increasing return on investment (ROI) and improving sales numbers are crucial for companies in the B2B industry. By implementing workflow automation into your business, lead generation will become smoother and your team should see a boost in sales growth.

Use the links below to “jump ahead”, or keep reading to learn all the best ways to use automation to help scale your business:

What Is Workflow Automation?

Simply put, workflow automation handles repetitive manual tasks, automates them, and saves your business precious time and resources. By shifting the work from an employee to software, automation can eliminate mistakes, speed up the flow of things, and help improve overall performance.

The goal of this strategy is to reduce the time employees spend handling tedious tasks. Freeing up this time for your sales staff should provide them with more opportunities to spend bringing in new customers and nurturing existing ones. The automated tasks should be parts of the workflow that require little intellectual input, such as data entry.

Another reason to implement automation is to reduce errors. Increasing efficiency is more than simply doing tasks quickly.

By eliminating human mistakes, automation can help your team run smoother with accurate information. This can be as simple as software capturing contacts rather than a salesperson typing out a profile.

Workflow automation is important for companies who want to remain competitive within their industries. This can help management audit processes due to the visibility created through automation. By seeing the workflow from top to bottom, teams can eliminate redundant tasks that clog up the pipeline.

Performance tracking can also benefit from automation. For those driven by key performance indicators (KPIs), like sales, automating a workflow to track productivity can help employees see where they work best and which areas need improvement. This data can help boost sales and push your sales team to a higher performance level.

This can also help improve the overall customer experience (CX). Eliminating errors and freeing up resources allows your customers to have a smoother experience with your product. Salespeople can also provide more availability for customers to help work through any product issues.

Automation can help increase communication across departments and break down silos. Sales and marketing work closely together, and automated workflows can eliminate overlap in tasks like lead generation. Accurate data entry and fewer mistakes can also improve the quality of leads as they enter your sales funnel.

Using workflow automation for lead generation is a great way to boost sales productivity. This technology can help gather contact details, track website engagement, and introduce sales representatives to new, qualified leads.

Using Workflow Automation for Lead Generation

Moving leads through the pipeline is crucial for ending the cycle with a purchase. It can be tedious tracking leads, generating contact information, and updating their stage in the sales cycle. Workflow automation for lead generation can help improve the process, cut down on redundant tasks, and increase overall lead quality.

This type of strategy does more than input leads into your CRM. Automation helps place leads into different sales stages when certain actions are completed. It can also move unresponsive leads from the sales pipeline, which helps your team focus on prospects most likely to convert.

how to set up business process automation

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Using automation can ensure leads are introduced to sales representatives at the right time in the buying process. For example, using trigger points in email campaigns or on the website can create a workflow. This would have sales representatives automatically assigned to leads once a call-to-action has been completed.

By having an automatic outreach plan, your team can be sure to connect with leads in a timely manner. In turn, the sales conversation will begin while the prospect is still in need of your company’s solution.

Workflow automation can help keep your CRM and data as up-to-date as possible. Tracking and updating information in real-time as leads work their way through the sales pipeline helps your team eliminate any duplication. This allows marketing and sales teams to know which leads are ready to convert, and which need to be nurtured through outreach.

Automation for lead generation can also help score and qualify leads to increase the overall quality of prospects. By tracking website and content engagement, as well as other factors, scoring leads can help your sales team determine which prospects are ready for outreach. Your team will better determine which customers can benefit from your product as a solution to their needs and will boost the overall CX.

How Sales Workflow Automation Can Increase Sales Productivity & Growth

Almost everyone has heard the saying “Work smarter, not harder.” In sales, this mantra is important to boosting overall growth.

Rather than getting bogged down in repetitive, daily tasks, sales teams should be focusing most of their time leading prospects through the pipeline. 50% of the time spent on sales is wasted by performing unproductive prospecting.

In an industry where time is invaluable, knowing that much of a sales representative’s day is wasted on mindless tasks is obviously cause for concern among business leaders. In addition, the “Harvard Business Review” reveals that incorrect, outdated, or bad data adds $3 trillion in costs to US businesses every year. Utilizing workflow automation for your sales department can cut down on inefficiency and improve data quality.

Part of the reason bad data costs companies is the manual labor required by employees to fix mistakes. By introducing an automated workflow for collecting information, your team can allow the software to take the burden of cleaning data. This ensures your salespeople are working with the most up-to-date client information and can help leads be reached at a quicker pace.

Rather than spending their time searching for contact data or trying to determine if a lead is a good fit, your sales team can rely on automation to sort this information.

An automated sales workflow can also increase productivity across your team. Salespeople will be able to complete their jobs with fewer resources, including less time spent on mundane tasks, which helps avoid bottlenecks within the process. Automation standardizes much of the sales cycle, which allows your team to funnel leads through the pipeline quickly and efficiently.

Teams experience better communication and increased collaboration. Software allows access to real-time updates in the automated process.

This allows sales and marketing to align their efforts and adjust as needed to provide prospects with the best experience possible. Automation also demands more accountability from your employees, so it’s easier to understand who is responsible for specific tasks.

Sales workflow automation can also help reduce costs within the department. Cutting down on manual tasks lowers the employee turnover rate while providing better customer service. This helps retain clients at a higher rate, which should lead to an increase in ROI.

Top 5 Workflow Automation Software Platforms

Choosing a quality workflow automation software will add an important piece to your tech stack. Using a platform that integrates with your current tools is a great way to reduce extra costs. For companies who want to get the most out of sales automation, check out the following workflow automation software options.

1. Zapier

Zapier Workflow Automation

This platform helps streamline your processes and works with specific apps to make sure information gets to the right place. Zapier stands out due to its number of app integrations, including Leadboxer for lead generation, qualifying, and scoring. This software can help your team create workflows that allow your apps to talk to each other.

Pricing starts at $19.99/month (per user).

2. ClickUp

ClickUp Workflow Automation

ClickUp is great for increasing productivity and managing a team. It also works nicely with external apps to help create an efficient workflow for your department. The automation is pretty simple. Your team only has to decide which action needs to occur once a trigger point has been reached.

Pricing varies based on your needs, but for $5/month per member, your team can have access to the unlimited plan.

3. KissFlow

kissflow workflow automation

For a simple option that may be a great fit for companies beginning their automation journey, check out KissFlow. This platform is use-friendly, which helps your team easily adapt automation into their daily routine.

Plans start at $200/month.

4. Integrify

Integrify workflow automation

Looking for software that’s great for team collaboration? Integrify may be a good fit. This platform streamlines your processes while allowing notes and sequential flows, which encourage teamwork.

Pricing varies, so speak with a sales rep to get a quote.

5. Flokzu

Flokzu process automation

A great platform for project management, Flokzu can help create tasks and send notifications to your team. Their reporting feature is great for tracking metrics and team performance.

A starter plan begins at $19.99/month.

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Discover 2023 Lead Generation Software solutions

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?

traditional b2b lead funnel

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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 Software 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 Software

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

LeadBoxer leads accounts clean
LeadBoxer leads and accounts view. Version 3.

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A strong choice that analyzes data across multiple channels, LeadBoxer is a platform with built-in features designed to enrich company or personal data. LeadBoxer makes your best leads easy to find so you can turn them into customers. It is a complete solution; from marketing campaign through to qualified leads – use leadboards to manage MQLs.

Included are powerful filters and intuitive scoring algorithms to divide your audience into segments. Results can be synchronized or exported using native solutions.

Free Trial. Click here to Get Started.

Top Features:

Integrations: Hubspot, ActiveCampaign, Marketo, Google Data Studio, Clearbit, Active Demand, Gmail, Outlook, Copernica, Google Big Query, Zapier, Google Tag Manager, MailChimp, Drupal, LinkedIn, WordPress, and Pipedrive. Open API.

Pricing: Free trial and starting at $195/month billed annually. See pricing for details.

Pros: Ease of use. Intuitive, automated reporting, flexible, syncs with 1st-party data, automatic scoring, multiple integrations, and tracks email and newsletters. Tracks BOTH companies and individuals. Compliant.

Cons: No ROI tracking, no free lite version

2. LeadForensics

leadforensics lead generation program

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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

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

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

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 Lead Generation Software

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!

Discover 2023 Lead Generation Software solutions Read More »

future of sales post pandemic scaled 1

The Future of Sales in the Post-Pandemic Remote/Hybrid Workplace

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.

Adjusting from the abrupt change to the way business was conducted led to a push for remote working environments to become the norm. While some companies and leaders are still hesitant to make a permanent switch to virtual or hybrid models, workers are enjoying the benefits of telecommuting. Finding a balance that allows your employees the flexibility to enjoy remote work can help your business thrive in the post-pandemic world.

In this updated 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:

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.

A 2022 Gallup survey found that 8 out of 10 employees are taking part in virtual work. The demand for hybrid or remote work continues to increase as employees experience an improved work-life balance. In fact, the Career Pulse Survey found that 97% of employees want some kind of hybrid (32%) or remote (65%) work option.

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.

Navigating this new environment is important for employee retention. Despite its popularity among workers, some companies are still pushing for a return to office culture. Microsoft found that only 12% of leaders feel confident in their remote employees’ productivity.

However, the same study shows that 87% of employees feel they are just as productive at home. Virtual work can help prevent burnout among top performers, allows for more focus time, and cuts out commute times. Employers should take the time to create long-term plans that encourage productivity while acknowledging the benefits of remote work.

The Future of Conferences and Networking

future of sales - virtual meetings

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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 conversations with prospective clients.

Working Remotely With a Full Staff

Since the switch to remote work in 2020, employees are continuing to enjoy the benefits of their virtual environments. The demand for telecommuting has remained strong. According to an AT&T study, hybrid work models were at 42% in 2021, and they are expected to increase to 81% by 2024.

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.

Overcoming Remote Working Challenges

While many employees continue to see benefits from virtual work, employers are faced with challenges in creating sustainable remote or hybrid options. Facing the issues that remote work may create can help your company find its footing and get ahead. Most importantly, understanding that hybrid and virtual options are here to stay, at least for the short-term future, is crucial to a business’s success.

Assessing pain points to help better manage a hybrid team is a great way to figure out where improvements can be made. Using the 5Cs checklist means evaluating communication, coordination, connection, creativity, and culture. These factors can help strengthen your team and boost productivity in virtual environments.

Communication remains the backbone of a solid team. Due to the abrupt transition to virtual work, teams have had to readjust the way they interact with each other and other departments. Utilizing technology and establishing workflows can help streamline communication, which allows teams to work together effectively.

Coordination and connection help make sure no one is left out of the loop in important conversations. When working in-person, employees are easily connected with each other as well as coordinate meetings. Overcoming these challenges in the remote environment will help your team remain social and committed to the organization’s cause.

Finding ways to encourage collective creativity as well as individual ideas can help your team get ahead. Working remotely can silo members and discourage team collaboration, which is when group creativity shines. By utilizing zoom meetings and sidebar conversations, ideas can continue to flow and push for innovation.

Lastly, finding a way to cultivate company culture in remote working environments is important to retaining and attracting talent. While the transition to virtual work may have kept the culture among current employees, new hires face the challenge of finding ways to integrate with teams that don’t meet in person. Company culture is important for all employees, however, and businesses should focus on differentiating themselves from competitors with the environment they create for their workers.

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 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.

Utilize Visual Materials

stats ob b2b content consumption during covid pandemic

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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.

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.

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

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.

Allow employees to provide feedback on remote work before making decisions about returning to the office. As senior leadership within companies begins to discuss the possibility of on-site work, it’s important to understand how that will affect workers. These transitions can have strong impacts on productivity, company culture, and overall employee wellbeing.

Invest in ways for your employees to connect. Focus on cultivating a strong culture, regardless of where your workers are located. Setting your company apart from competitors within the virtual landscape can help retain employees.

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.

As we continue to navigate the new normal and adjust to remote workspaces, keep in mind— virtual business is here to stay.

The Future of Sales in the Post-Pandemic Remote/Hybrid Workplace Read More »

Upcoming Trends in Lead Generation Management for 2023

Upcoming Trends in Lead Generation & Management for 2023

B2B lead generation services are an essential element of any successful marketing and sales strategy for 2023. Lead generation is the first step in creating a full sales pipeline. Along with lead qualification, lead management is an important tactic to use as customers begin their sales journey.

Understanding the upcoming trends across the B2B industry can help your team plan for future success. Lead generation is a proven methodology that has doubled in popularity since 2017.

To get started with your lead generation strategy, keep reading, or use the links below to “jump ahead”:

What Is a Lead Generation Strategy?

lead generation for b2b marketers statistics

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Simply put, lead generation is the process of finding prospects who may be interested in your product and adding them to your sales pipeline. These potential clients should be qualified and scored based on their readiness to make a purchase. Then, they will be handed over to either marketing or sales to continue their customer journey.

Creating a lead generation strategy will help your marketing and sales team plan out where their energy should be used. This strategy will help uncover new leads as well as re-engage those who may have fallen out of the pipeline.

More than half of all marketers are spending at least 50% of their budget on generating leads, yet only 80% of marketers rate their efforts as somewhat effective. Capitalizing and improving lead generation tactics can make a huge difference in return on investment (ROI) for marketing departments.

There are four main components of a lead generation strategy: lead capture, lead magnets, conversion techniques and lead scoring. Understanding all of these elements will help your company create a well-rounded strategy and take advantage of upcoming trends.

Lead Capture

Many buyers do their own research when looking for solutions for their businesses. There’s a good chance most start with a Google search and click through the web pages that pop up.

It takes at least three months for 63% of generated leads to convert.This means identifying, capturing and engaging website traffic is extremely important for filling your sales funnel with prospects ready to start their customer journey.

Capturing leads can be accomplished in a few ways, including contact information forms and the use of lead generation software. Software like LeadBoxer helps your team identify and score prospects based on their activity on your website. Using these tools can help your team gather contact information and interact with interested customers.

Lead Magnets

This component can help your team avoid losing touch with one-time visitors to your website. If your attempts to gather contact information are stalling, lead magnets are a great way to interact with the customer and begin establishing a relationship. 

A lead magnet is a type of content that provides value information to online visitors in exchange for their contact information. Lead magnets can be as simple as a free trial or webinar. White papers or eBooks are also great lead magnet options.

Educational blogs see 52% more organic web traffic than blogs focused on company information. Search engine optimization (SEO) still matters, and prospects are interested in the value your content can provide. This type of marketing material may persuade website visitors to join your mailing list or schedule a sales call.

When a prospect goes to register or download your gated content, they will need to put in their contact information, which allows your team to easily add them to the sales pipeline.

Conversion Techniques

Using a lead generation landing page is another way to gather contact information from prospects. Utilizing this practice can help your team stay on top of the newest trends for 2023. Currently, just 68% of B2B companies use landing pages for lead generation.

These types of pages serve two purposes:

  1. Adding customers to your pipeline while educating them about the services you can provide.
  2. Combining landing pages with ads is a great way to direct web traffic to your site.

Lead Scoring

Before pushing your generated leads to the pipeline, it’s important to rank prospects based on how likely they are to convert. This will help manage your leads and make sure customers are receiving communication that fits their current stage in the buying journey.

According to Hubspot, 79% of B2B companies lack an established lead scoring system. Adopting this tactic can put your team ahead of the curve, ready and able to take advantage of current trends.

As the B2B industry continues its emergence out of the COVID-19 pandemic, some lasting effects can still be felt. In 2023, lead generation strategy will continue to remain fully digital.

According to McKinsey, the majority of decision makers for B2B companies prefer the digital landscape. Relying on automation can help companies stay competitive in the B2B industry.

Webinars and video content will continue to grow as key components of marketing for the B2B buyer in 2023. Insider Intelligence found that webinars about the product are attended by 55% of prospects before they accept a sales meeting,

Implementing a chat bot may be a way to get ahead of competitors. While it seems like a lot of websites have chat bots available, only 33% are used to create conversions with marketers.

Taking advantage of this opportunity can help funnel more interested prospects into your pipeline. Research predicts the use of chat bots will help facilitate $142 billion USD of consumer spending by 2024.

What Is Lead Management? 

Lead Management Cycle

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Lead management is the strategy your marketing team uses to capture, qualify and track leads before passing them along to your salespeople. It is crucial to organize this data. If your company isn’t focused on executing a strong lead management system, resources and efforts will go to waste, which can contribute to an overall lower ROI from marketing costs.

Inbound leads can lower costs per lead by 61%; outbound leads tend to cost 39% more. This means using lead generation strategies and creating a successful management plan can help lower overall costs for your organization.

A main component of successful lead management is automation. Investing in the right software can help your team reduce manual labor, maintain clean data and analyze leads in real time. 80% of marketers believe incorporating automation into their marketing efforts helps generate more leads, as well as conversions.

Using LeadBoxer as your lead generation and management platform can help you identify, qualify, score and manage leads in one place. It also includes integrations that work seamlessly with other software in your tech stack. This helps streamline communication between sales and marketing departments.

Leadboxer successfully helps with data cleansing by using profile enrichment to update customer information. The platform also provides marketing insights, which helps give automatic data analytics for your team to use.

LeadBoxer’s Custom Lead Scoring Tool works to make sure your sales team is concentrating on customers who are most likely to convert. This cutting edge software automatically calculates a lead score using a variety of factors to determine how each prospect should be ranked.

By integrating with your tech stack, Leadboxer works with Google, HubSpot, LinkedIn, Mailchimp, Marketo, Outlook, WordPress and others to ensure your data is clean and leads are properly qualified.

Using lead management and qualification can help your company stay ahead of the curve. For companies working without automation, verifying leads and deciding their value can be a difficult challenge. 

Just 56% of B2B marketers verify a business and its information before sending the lead to sales. With Leadboxer’s platform, lead scoring is handled automatically, so marketing doesn’t have to worry about passing along bad leads.

The B2B Lead Generation Services Market

The B2B lead generation services market is trending upwards for 2023 and beyond. This data can help predict what to watch for in the coming years.

Experts predict the market will continue to benefit from technological innovation. With new advancements, products will continue to improve, which will increase usage across the industry.

The market is expected to expand to multi-millions by 2027. Reports show the 2021 market held a value of 1900.34 million USD, which is predicted to grow to 3733.52 million over the next four years.

Business Research Insights revealed challenges the industry may face in 2023 include a lack of awareness around its services. Smaller businesses need to discover the market so they can boost participation.

Get a jumpstart on your lead generation strategy for the new year, and see how LeadBoxer’s lead scoring feature can help your company with a free trial!

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Why a SaaS Business Model Can Help Your Startup Budget Evolve and Grow

Why a SaaS Business Model Can Help Your Startup Budget, Evolve, and Grow!

Running a software as a service (SaaS) business is exciting but challenging. By offering a digital product or service, a traditional business model won’t help your company scale. A B2B SaaS lead generation model is needed. 

Read on for the full article or “jump ahead” to the following topics:

SaaS Lead Generation Model

The traditional software business model is losing popularity compared to the SaaS model. With the former, lead generation is based on acquisition. With the latter, it’s based on customer retention. This is because it costs 5-25 times more to acquire new customers than it does to retain existing ones. 

The SaaS lead generation model shows how incremental improvements are highly profitable. Bettering customer retention by a small amount can greatly scale a SaaS company as customers support the brand. In fact, a 5% increase in customer retention can boost revenue by up to 95%.

Of course, you’ll need to have a scalable SaaS company in order to take full advantage of the SaaS lead generation model. Successful SaaS businesses have the following elements: 

  • Find an unmet need and offer a solution to it.
  • Have a minimum viable product.
  • Have a deep understanding of your market and customers.
  • Add product features based on customer feedback.

Once you launch a SaaS company, you are ready to implement your SaaS lead generation strategy. A big part of this strategy is subscription payments. 

How Subscription Payments Help Your Budget and Financial Forecasting

Subscriptions are the backbone of a SaaS business. Your budget and profitability likely depend on these predictable transactions.

The B2B SaaS lead generation model “rents” access to software users instead of charging a one-time cost. This subscription payment method is effective at generating a profit and scaling a business. Instead of relying on new customers to make a purchase, SaaS companies can safely depend on monthly subscription payments.

To get people to subscribe to your product or service, they need to become customers. Afterward, the customers need to engage with you to make those payments. The SaaS business model emphasizes the use of smaller, regular subscriptions. 

The SaaS lead generation model stresses the use of more frequent, cheaper subscription payments. Instead of converting prospects into customers and then having them pay you for subscriptions, you direct customers to your website. Once on the website, customers can sign up for a subscription. 

Regularly charging customers smaller subscriptions removes the high price that keeps some prospects away.  Additionally, this business model increases customer loyalty and upgrades, and reduces security vulnerabilities. 

These frequent subscription payments help SaaS companies maintain a healthy budget that helps them plan for the future. This is because the subscription payments are predictable. You’ll have consistent money coming in. 

The lower subscription costs help attract and retain more customers. A high customer retention rate means companies save on high acquisition costs. SaaS companies scale by relying on loyal customers to pay subscriptions. 

The Data-Driven SaaS Model

Companies that adopt a traditional business model tend to make decisions based on intuition and gut feelings. With SaaS lead generation, the emphasis is on data, and there are numerous tools readily available for data analysis. 

In the SaaS business model, information about website visitors and prospects is gathered and used to attract and retain customers. Prospect information leads the nurturing process. Data obtained in the SaaS model also helps the company to see which areas are going well and which areas need review. 

While it is easier than ever to analyze business data, an astonishing 73% of organizational data is never analyzed. This means non-data-driven organizations are not able to make the best decisions to scale. 

Barriers to harnessing digital analytics

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The Benefits of Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is some of the most valuable data you can get for B2B SaaS lead generation. When you make necessary feedback improvements, you acquire more prospects, have higher net revenue, and accelerated product growth.  

Feedback from current customers helps you identify your ideal client profile. The information you obtain can also be used to create buyer personas that direct your sales and marketing efforts. 

When you listen to your current customers, you provide better customer service and experiences. These go a long way in acquiring and retaining customers. Forward-thinking, customer-driven SaaS companies do the following: 

  • Segment their customers.
  • Design customer-friendly onboarding and in-app product walkthroughs.
  • Reach out to customers to increase engagement based on product data.
  • Create health scores on prospects and automate plans of action based on those scores.

With customer feedback-driven data, companies can meet their customers where they’re at. Your business can do its lead generation for SaaS with less time and cost using automated triggers.

The benefits of customer feedback include improvement of your product or service, higher brand loyalty, and better lead generation endorsements. These will help your SaaS lead generation efforts succeed and make your company grow.

Creating a flow of qualified leads

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Improve Your Product or Service

Under the traditional business model, the sales team is responsible for pushing product or service upgrades onto customers. This creates a one-sided, transactional relationship between a company and a buyer. As a result, customer service dwindles and buyers don’t have a positive experience. 

With lead generation for SaaS, the customer success team drives customer attainment and upgrade conversations into authentic experiences. When customers don’t feel pressured to upgrade but have positive relationships with a brand, they are more likely to convert. When clients have a good experience with your brand, they will enjoy your product and be eager to upgrade. 

SaaS lead generation increases net revenue retention (NRR), which indicates potential business growth from customers. This metric measures recurring revenue from existing customers. Upgrades, churn, and downgrades are included in the NRR. 

Automation helps your customer success team in getting upgrades and renewals. Your sales managers will be freed up for high-risk accounts. Automation enables your customer service teams to better their outreach prioritization with growth likelihood and churn forecasts. 

SaaS B2B companies that use automation give customers consistent service that leads them to value a brand, product, or service. These businesses rely on user experience gained from customer segmentation, behavioral data, and buyer’s journeys. Through data and analytics, SaaS businesses can improve the adoption of their product or service. 

Increase Brand Loyalty

Customer feedback can help increase brand loyalty by letting companies know how to improve and better meet customer needs. You can better market your product and service to meet the pain points of your customers. 

You can develop a customer journey map once you know their needs. Monitor your customers as they go through the sales process. If a customer stalls in the funnel, your team can intervene to keep them progressing forward.

Conversely, if a customer masters your product or service, you can use feedback to upgrade or upsell advanced features. Strategic touch points along the buyer’s journey help sales teams track customer engagement throughout their lifecycle. 

These touchpoints go beyond specific milestones such as onboarding and renewing. Observing customer behavior, where they are at, and what they need, creates more touchpoints. Additional touchpoints lead to reduced churn, customer value maximization, and improvement in customer service. 

Encourage Endorsements for Lead Generation

Word of mouth is one of the most powerful SaaS B2B lead generation strategies. People are more willing to do business with you when they see others benefiting from your products or services. Endorsements are a great way to up your lead generation.  

Endorsements of a product or service are through a distinct, outside party, usually an influencer, celebrity, or industry titan. These people or companies help sell your product or service to your customers. Credible spokespeople boost your company’s brand so your products and services appeal to and are trusted by a wider customer base. 

Product and service endorsements are an important component of lead generation for SaaS. This is because the SaaS business model is customer-centric. Customers are skeptical of working with a business unless its brand, services, and products get approval from trusted others.  

Word of Mouth Marketing Statistics

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Importance of Nurturing and Retargeting

To scale a SaaS business, you must attract and retain customers. B2B SaaS lead generation is customer-centric. Each person in the company needs to make customer success their priority. 

One way to get lead prospects interested in your brand, service, or product is through retargeting. This effective advertising strategy shows targeted, customized ads to each prospect. The tracking of a customer’s interaction with a business’s website generates these ads. 

Retargeting is a way to get prospects into your sales funnel to begin the nurturing process. These ads keep your business at the top of a customer’s mind, making it more likely they will convert. 

Lead nurturing is also important and is tied to retargeting. Nurtured prospects are higher quality and more likely to make a purchase. 

Nurtured leads will have consistent interactions with your brand and are more likely to convert. They will know your brand and what you offer. The personalized treatment they receive will give them increased confidence in your company. 

Why a SaaS Business Model Can Help Your Startup Budget, Evolve, and Grow! Read More »

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Top Lead Strategy for 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Top Lead Strategy for 2023

The most effective lead strategy methods are constantly changing and your company must evolve with them. The nuances of technology mean what worked for lead generation even a year ago may not be applicable now. If you aren’t regularly reassessing your lead strategy tactics, you’re missing opportunities to find new prospects.

We’ve compiled a list of the top lead strategy approaches for 2023. We have included statistics that will make you want to start using them. We will first go over some of the foundations of an excellent lead generation campaign. 

Read on or jump ahead to a section:

First-Party Data Analytics

When it comes to data collection sources, you have two options: your own data or data from a third party. While there are instances when using data collected from an outside business can be helpful, your own data is better. First-party data analytics are important for many reasons including: 

  • The data is your own, meaning it’s readily available and it’s free to use
  • The data is obtained from interactions with your customers
  • The data can be easily tweaked and improved upon

Third-party data gets gathered by a company that likely doesn’t fully know your target audience. They aren’t as familiar with your products or services so they can’t relay the same convincing messaging that you can. This can lead to inaccurate, less thorough data analytics on which to build your lead strategy. 

The foundation of a strong lead generation strategy begins with the quality of your data. The source by which you collect data will impact how successful your lead generation campaign will be. Your own first-party data takes time to collect and requires effort, but will better bolster your bottom line.

Once you decide to use your first-party data collection, you need to research your target audience and competitors. 

Know Your Audience

It’s important to get your content in front of people who want to read it. Potential leads who are interested in what you offer are more likely to convert into a sale. On the other hand, those who aren’t interested will leave your site and/or delete your emails. 

You need to figure out who your target audience is, those who see value in what you offer. Once you identify your audience, you’ll need to find them and learn how to reach them. 

You likely already have access to information on your target audience. Analytics tools such as Google Analytics give you insights into your target audience such as demographics and preferred communication channels. 

Analytics tools identify your ideal customers and what channel source they will most convert through. Researching your target audience includes taking note of the following:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • User’s interests
  • User’s location
  • Language
  • Browser type
  • Device
  • Channel
  • Source
  • Referral

In addition to learning about your target audience, Google Analytics can also reveal information on your competitors. Competitor research gives you valuable insights into what the competition is doing and alerts you to their strengths and weaknesses.

Google Analytics 2

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Know Your Competition

The next step requires you to dive into competitor research to uncover where your competitors are investing. You can find everything your competitors are doing using tools like Google Analytics Benchmark Reports, SimilarWeb, Semrush, and SpyFu. These tools will show you which networks they’re advertising on and how much they’re spending to do it.

Then, you need to figure out what is in-between where you are and where your competitors are. To help you with this, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What is your spend, and what is theirs?
  • What is your cost per acquisition for each channel?
  • How much can you scale each channel?
  • What is the saturation point for each channel?
  • What is the plan to improve each channel so that it converts for less?

After you get first person data and research your audience and competitors, it’s time to look at lead generation strategies. 

1. Product Demos

You can extensively market your product, but people need to be convinced that what you offer meets their needs. Product demos show people how the item works and how it can help solve a problem. Demonstrations are an excellent way to sprinkle video into your lead generation strategy

Product demonstrations are one of many video formats you can use. Some other lead generation video ideas include explainer and straight offers.

2. Email Marketing

People check their email up to 20 times a day, making email marketing an effective lead generation channel.  What makes email marketing so effective is that it captures email addresses. An email address is another avenue by which you can interact with a lead. 

There are numerous ways to get a lead’s email address off your website including:

  • Email capture pop-ups.
  • Nano bars.
  • Footer captures.
  • Gated content.

A strong email marketing campaign centers on testing and analysis. A/B testing of messaging, performance, and delivery will help your emails avoid the spam folder. In addition to testing, map every page on your website to a micro-conversion for improved tracking.

A cold email campaign is a great place to start an email marketing strategy. The content of a cold email is valuable to readers and features links to your website. 

Getting Started With an Email Marketing Campaign

The purpose of an email strategy is nurturing leads into customers through continuous touches. Each email should offer content that urges prospects onto the next step of the buyer’s journey.

The first step in developing an email marketing strategy is to implement a tracking pixel into your email campaigns. The tracking pixel will provide better statistics to measure email engagement and give real-time data. Use software that will integrate with website data for the most accurate view of users’ behaviors.

Lead Nurturing Campaigns

With the average conversion rate of 2-5%, lead nurturing campaigns are vital to lead generation.You need to foster relationships with those in your sales funnel. Lead nurturing takes time and effort and must be done correctly to maximize conversions. 

Implementing a lead nurturing campaign that uses marketing automation sends relevant information based on what leads view on your website. This increases the possibility of them converting into customers. 

Newsletter

If you don’t already send out a newsletter, you need to start. Newsletters help inform your current customers of your service or product offerings to cross-sell them on other services. People are more open to reading an e-newsletter than an email ad, which makes newsletters great for getting contact information. 

Email Marketing Help

Check out LeadBoxer’s complete email tracking guide for B2B sales teams to learn about successful email marketing campaigns. You can also review the best email tracking apps that work with Gmail and Outlook to track campaigns.

3. Conferences And Events

Around 75% of marketers generate leads through event marketing with 85% of leadership teams saying events are important for business. At events, you meet with people who are more likely to be interested in the services or products you provide. Also, conferences are a great place to show people your company’s brand and let them know what you stand for. 

Demand Generation

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4. Networking

Networking is one of the best ways to get to know other people who may be interested in your services.

When you go to trade shows, you can expect to acquire 5% to 20% of your new customer base.  When networking, you need to remember you’re not meeting these people with the intent of selling to them.

You’re simply making new business connections. Even if you’re able to help them or sell them something they need, it shouldn’t be your top priority.  

5. Cold Calling The Right Prospects

You might hear people say cold calling is dead, but in fact,  cold calling was still relevant. When you combine this tactic with the right tools, it can be extremely effective.

Use a lead intelligence tool that can identify website visitors and provide you with their information. This way, you’re only calling people who are interested in your services.

Though poorly-trained marketers and pushy salespeople tarnished cold calling, it’s still one of the most effective lead-generation tools. In fact, according to marketing research by MarketingSherpa, 92 percent of B2B buyers are open to cold calls. 

According to a leading lead generation company, SalesHive, cold calling is still one of the fastest ways to get direct prospect feedback. This, in turn, optimizes your pitch and marketing strategy. The goal is to allow your reps to focus on one thing and one thing only – booking meetings. 

To be effective in cold calling, consider outsourcing qualified B2B sales cold-calling specialists. Such reps are dedicated to your account, are more comfortable with your market, and consistently book meetings with prospects. 

6. Video Campaigns

More than 90% of people say videos make their buying decisions, and 84% say a video makes them more likely to purchase. Below are some great ways to begin creating videos: 

Webinars

You can start creating video content by hosting live and recorded webinars. Create a content calendar to schedule topics, dates, and times when the webinar will go live. Then, send people emails asking them to sign up for the webinar, and promote it on your social media channels.

Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn Live

Another way to get started with video content is by going live on social media platforms. You can do this from your smartphone.  You’ll notice you reach a larger audience compared to the response you receive from a standard image or video post.

Survey Data

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7. Social Media Advertising

Nearly 4.5 billion people use social media, allowing you to easily reach new people who fit your target demographic(s).

Facebook

Facebook is great if you’re looking for a less formal way to reach your potential customers. Two-thirds of Facebook users regularly visit a local business’ Facebook page. 

Posting interesting content and images that grab people’s attention allows you to build a large audience without advertising. If you use Facebook advertising, you can do so without spending much money as the cost ranges from .63 to $3.77

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the best places for B2B companies to generate leads. More than 90% of marketers use LinkedIn because it produces 80% of all B2B leads. The leads from LinkedIn far outpace those from all other social platforms. 

One of the best tools LinkedIn offers to aid in your strategy is its lead generation forms. These are specific LinkedIn ads that get people to fill out their information so you can contact them. 

These lead generation forms work so well because people are actively engaging with you by volunteering their information. Additionally, they understand that you’re going to reach out to them. Once a cold lead, they have now been converted to a warm lead ready to receive your pitch.

Lead Generation Statistic

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Instagram

For companies that have products and not a service, Instagram is a great place to showcase it. The platform only allows posts with images or videos, making it the perfect venue for grabbing attention with eye-catching photos. Around 90% of Instagram users follow one or more businesses, so posting on this platform can yield great results.

8. Public Relations Strategy

Most companies only look at public relations (PR) strategies after something bad has happened. With most people having a cell phone to share videos, your company could easily find itself facing a PR disaster. 

Consider hiring a PR manager if you don’t already have one. Work with them to start doing community outreach and implement positive campaigns before a crisis occurs. Be sure to fully inform employees about your company’s values and guiding mission.  

Any kind of negative publicity is bad, especially if you’re trying to generate leads. With easy access to information and countless competitors, prospective customers will be critical of your brand. Show your leads that your company can be trusted with great PR.

9. Content Marketing

Content marketing is a popular and effective solution when done right. That’s because, like consumers, business firms want to equip themselves with the right information before a big buy. 

Approximately 47 percent of buyers read three -five pieces of copy before contacting a salesperson. This means that nearly half of your potential customers have already done research on your company. When a salesperson contacts them, many likely have already decided whether or not to make a purchase. 

It is important your content provides targeted, valuable information so it can sell your brand before your salesperson contacts them.  You can also make sure you integrate your content with lead magnets. Whitepapers, courses, or e-books are free resources you offer your visitors in exchange for their information. 

Create A Content Marketing Plan

Companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those who don’t. Blogging generates 3 times as many potential customers compared to outbound marketing. It also costs 62% less than traditional marketing campaigns, making it a powerful lead strategy. 

Inbound marketing best practices

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Blogging is one of many content marketing strategies. Others include social media and video. However, it’s not enough to create content; you need to have a plan that includes the following:

Search Engine Optimization 

It would be unproductive to create content, only to find you’re not showing up in search results. This is why you need to create a search engine optimization (SEO) plan. This way you can understand the types of information your customers are searching for and develop your content accordingly.

A foundation of any SEO strategy begins with identifying keywords to use in your content. The keyword tool on Google lets you see the search volume for words and other valuable content information.

You can go on with ongoing SEO campaigns with B2B content marketing support to generate meaningful leads. It aligns with your intentions by offering first-rate content that educates prospects and moves them through your lead generation funnel. 

You can do this in a variety of ways. For example, you can start by understanding how keywords attract different users. Keyword use will drive different people to your website, so it is vital to understand each set. 

A Link Building Strategy

A backlink is an incoming website link that Google factors in determining search rankings. To gain more backlinks, you need to look for opportunities to guest post on blogs within your industry. For example, if you’re a web designer, write guest posts for these 11 blogging platforms that specialize in web development.

Keep Your Website Updated

A good content marketing plan can go wrong if you have a bad or outdated website. Google recommends websites aim for a loading time that’s less than 2 seconds. If you create a great article relevant to your target customer, but it loads slowly, people will not read it.

Keeping your website updated is an essential component of your lead generation strategy.  When looking at your website, implement both inbound and outbound marketing strategies.  

Start Generating Leads Today

Now you know how to start a lead generation campaign and use the top lead strategies it’s time to get started. Read this post on B2B lead generation strategies for additional information on drumming up more profit for your business. 

There are people out there who need and want your products and services. You need to find them, engage with them, and deliver quality content.  If you’re ready to get serious about your lead strategy, Start free or get a demo with LeadBoxer today.

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7 Reasons for the Growing Demand for Lead Management Software

7 Reasons for the Growing Demand for Lead Management Software

You know how important it is to find potential customers most interested in your products or services. These are the consumers who will make a purchase. Quickly finding these prospects with a lead management platform shortens your sales cycle, increasing profits. 

To learn more about lead management software and the importance of qualifying leads, keep reading or use the links below to jump ahead:

The Purposes of Lead Management Software

To make any sale, you need to invest in building relationships with the best prospects. 

Relationship-building takes time and energy. A lead management platform helps salespeople qualify good leads and disqualify bad ones.

Why is it important to qualify leads? 67% of lost sales are a result of sales reps not properly qualifying potential customers. Unqualified prospects will not go through the entire sales process, so they won’t become paying customers. 

Qualifying leads will not only result in more sales. It shortens your sales cycle and betters the use of your sales team’s time by focusing them on ideal leads. Sales teams can prioritize building relationships with the most promising prospects with lead qualification tools.

There are people out there who want your product or service. Lead qualification software helps your sales team identify and build relationships with them. Engaging the right people will bring more sales at a quicker pace.  

LeadBoard

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What Is Lead Qualification?

Lead qualification is the process of identifying prospects most likely to make a purchase. The process prioritizes the nurturing of the most promising leads.

Below are the three types of qualified leads: 

  • Marketing qualified leads (MQL): These leads gain interest in a brand, product, or service through marketing strategies. These leads come by clicking on a link in an email, downloading an e-book, or subscribing to a newsletter.
  • Sales qualified leads (SQL): These leads are interested in a brand, product, or service after interacting with a sales representative. They often will ask about pricing and agree to a presentation or demo.
  • Product/Service qualified leads (PQL): These leads are interested in a company, service, or product. They usually contact a salesperson after a free trial or consultation.

Lead management platforms identify the prospects your sales team needs to prioritize in nurturing. Qualified leads will progress through the sales funnel at a more rapid rate, resulting in revenue.

MQLs vs Other Types of Leads

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Lead Qualification Tools

Qualified leads are crucial in generating revenue for your organization. Lead qualification tools can help you quickly identify your most promising prospects. Here are some lead qualification tools you can use to attract and nurture quality prospects: 

Interactive PDFs

PDFs are effective ways of informing people in a way that is easily accessible. They are downloadable, saveable, and shareable.  Interactive PDFs add engagement and shorten your sales cycle.  

Interactive PDFs are lead qualification tools that allow you to add filtering questions, thereby identifying your most promising prospects. These PDFs can help tailor your follow-up and move them quickly down the funnel. 

Solution Finders

Other effective lead qualification tools are solution finders. They help identify and provide a custom-tailored solution to a customer’s problem. When leveraged appropriately, solution finders can shorten the sales cycle. 

Solution finders, also called product pickers, help leads navigate the various products or services your company offers. Prospects get personalized product or service recommendations with short assessments. 

Qualified leads may not always know what they want or the best solution. Through solution finders, you help prospects avoid frustration and headaches. This goes a long way in building relationships between your salespeople and customers. 

ROI Calculators

ROI calculators work similarly to solution finders in that they provide tailored customer service. These tools generate numeric results for each lead based on a formula generated by customer input. These calculators quickly identify and evaluate pain points, speeding up the qualification process. 

ROI calculators offer personalized, valuable content tailored to each stage of the buyer’s journey. ROI calculator data can be used for scoring, disqualification, and trigger campaigns.

ROI Calculators

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The Lead Qualification Process

Leads don’t automatically get qualified or disqualified on their own. There is a lead qualification process that is simplified using lead qualification tools.

1. Establish Lead Qualification Criteria

The first part of the lead qualification process is establishing prospect criteria. This has two parts: whether the lead is a good fit and how interested the lead is in your offerings. 

When looking at whether a lead is a good fit for your offerings, use the BANT methodology. This looks at the following four factors a lead will consider when faced with a buying decision. 

  • Budget: What is the financial capacity of the lead to make a purchase? What budgetary constraints are there that will affect their willingness to spend? 
  • Authority: What is the lead’s position, authority, or power to finalize a deal or make a purchasing decision? 
  • Need: How useful are your products or services for meeting the wants and pain points of the lead? 
  • Timeline: When does the lead need to make a purchase? 
What is BANT

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2. Lead Generation

The second stage of lead qualification is lead generation. Once you have the qualification criteria set up, you’ll need to attract prospects. There are a variety of inbound and outbound strategies you can use for lead generation.  

Inbound lead generation involves methods to get leads to come to you. These include referrals, social media ads, and web form submissions. 

Outbound lead generation strategies involve seeking potential leads and using sales strategies. Cold calling, introductory emails, and meetings are examples of outbound lead generation activities. Once you’ve generated leads, you can begin the process of qualifying them. 

3. Lead Score and Categorization

Once you have your lead qualifying criteria and the prospects pouring in, it’s time to score and categorize them. The leads that show the greatest interest through your inbound or outbound sales activities will earn more points.

It’s important to separate sales and marketing qualified leads. As you’re interested in sales leads, assign fewer points to prospects that interact with your marketing campaigns. They will be nurtured differently. 

You can score and categorize leads manually, though lead management platforms and customer relationship management software does this automatically. After you score your sales prospects, it’s time to rank them. 

4. Distribute and Rank Leads 

Once you generate your leads and score them, it is time to distribute and rank them. MQLs and SQLs require different lead nurturing techniques. 

For example, a sales qualified lead will get a sales presentation or demo to understand your product or service better. Each sales prospect should be ranked and prioritized by lead score or BANT analysis.  

To nurture MQLs, offer more in-depth content. Start with emails and free trials for top-of-funnel prospects. Offer an e-newsletter and then whitepapers and e-books to bottom-of-funnel leads.

Once you categorize and distribute your leads, it’s time to rank them. Lead qualification tools prioritize sales-qualified leads with the highest score and rank. These will be your most qualified leads.

5. Continue Qualifying Leads Throughout the Pipeline

The last step for lead qualification is to continue down the steps of your sales pipeline. The goal of lead qualification is to move prospects through the funnel. 

For SQLs, your salespeople may ask additional probing questions during presentations and demos. They are qualified and nurtured to move on through the sales funnel.  

For marketing-qualified leads, you need to get them sales qualified and handed over to your sales team. MQLs will continue receiving lead scoring points as they show additional interest and interact with your campaign. 

Lead management platforms that qualify leads make it easier to move prospects through your funnel. The quicker leads become paying customers, the more closed sales you’ll have.

Steps to Effective Lead Scoring

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The Importance of Qualifying Leads

Every company has a sales process or funnel whereby prospects enter as mildly interested leads and leave as paying customers. Along the way, you employ various marketing and sales tactics to move them onto the next stage. If your sales process is long, there are more opportunities for leads to drop off before becoming customers. 

When you nurture your ideal prospects, they quickly progress through your sales funnel. As they are already excited and knowledgeable about your service or product, a long sales process is unnecessary. 

Lead qualification tools shorten your sales cycle. A shorter sales funnel leads to more conversions and quicker sales.

The Growth of Lead Management Software

Lead management software is by no means going away anytime soon. Lead qualification software use will increase. Technavio predicts that the lead qualification solutions market will increase by 17.5% between 2021-2028.

Some of the driving factors that contribute to the growth of lead management platforms include: 

  • The development of cloud-based and SaaS software and solutions (especially on mobile)
  • Increased demand for social interaction between companies and consumers
  • The heightened popularity of crowdsourcing 
  • The increase in CRMs integrating lead qualification into their marketing and sales automation platforms
  • More companies looking to improve the relationship between their sales and marketing departments
  • The higher likelihood of sales conversions
  • The increased need for enterprise-level lead management software

With information at their fingertips, your leads and prospects will be selective about who they do business with. Building relationships and nurturing the right people will make them paying customers. Lead qualification platforms do this.

Lead management platforms like LeadBoxer are becoming increasingly popular because they allow salespeople to focus on the most promising prospects. There are various lead qualification tools to move prospects through your funnel. Maximize your prospect generation efforts by following a lead qualification process. 

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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 B2B 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!

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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!

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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. 

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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.

Lead Generation Strategies that Boost Sales Read More »

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!

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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. 

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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!

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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.

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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

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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determining ideal client profile

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

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.

The Importance of Determining Your Ideal Client Profile Read More »

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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.

mail tracking data

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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.

A Complete Guide to Thought Leadership + 6 Ways to Drive Sales Using It Read More »

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.

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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.

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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.

How to Use Intent Data to Drive Sales Read More »

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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.

B2B Lead Generation: Customer Journey Map Read More »

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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.

Using Lead Nurturing Email Content to Boost the Buyer’s Journey Read More »

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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.

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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.

smart goals template

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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 scaled 1

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:

sign-up form to collect info about prospects

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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.

What is IPv6 and Why Does it Matter? Read More »

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.

How to Implement a Customer Engagement Strategy With Customer Engagement Trends Read More »

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.

Lead Generation Versus Prospecting: Similarities and Differences Read More »

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:

how to maximize 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

reps sell more with social selling

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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.

Social Selling Index Best Practices Read More »

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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