Lead Generation

Automated Lead Sales Intelligence Platforms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lead generation priorities of marketers

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

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

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

This report studied eight channels of marketing automation: 

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

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

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

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

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

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Shaped Automated Software

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

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

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

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

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

The Future of Lead Generation and Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation Valuable Features

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key Takeaways

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harnessing the Power of Video Marketing for B2B Lead Generation

Harnessing the Power of Video Marketing for B2B Lead Generation

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

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

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

What is Video Marketing?

Video marketing statistics

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

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

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

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

Increasing Sales Conversions Through Videos

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Create a Successful Video Strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Practices for Video Marketing

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

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

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

Video Marketing & Social Media

Time spent watching online videos

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

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

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

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

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

Get started with lead generation by trying out Leadboxer today!

Top B2B Lead Magnet Examples

Top B2B Lead Magnet Examples

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

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

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

What is a Lead Magnet?

Number of lead magnets on websites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Importance of Customizing Lead Magnets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lead Magnet Examples

Lead Magnet with Highest Conversion Rate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

White Paper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Webinars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Risk-Free Trials

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

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

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

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

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

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

eBooks

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

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

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

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

Quizzes

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

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

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

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

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

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

Templates

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

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

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

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

Email Courses

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

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

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

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

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

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

Using Lead Magnets to Demonstrate Product Solutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lead Generation Strategies that Boost Sales

Lead Generation Strategies that Boost Sales

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

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

Update Your Website

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

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

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

Don’t Overwhelm Visitors With Options 

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

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

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

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

Put in the Effort to Tell People Who You Are

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

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

Information to put on the website homepage

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

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

Get Information on Who Visits Your Website

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

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

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

Utilize Effective Landing Pages

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

Keep Your Landing Pages Simple 

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

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

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

Include Testimonials on Your Landing Pages 

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

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

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

Have a Mobile-Friendly Landing Page 

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

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

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

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

Remove Menus From Your  Landing Pages

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

Upgrade Your Content

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

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

Start Blogging and do it Consistently

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

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

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

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

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

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

Email Marketing is Your Friend

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

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

Lead generation difficulty and effectiveness by channel.

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

Get Active Online

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

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

Get Active on Twitter

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

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

Lead generation on twitter

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

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

How 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!

16 Best WordPress Plugins for Business

16 Best WordPress Plugins for Business

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

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

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

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

1. WPForms

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

2. MonsterInsights

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

3. All in One SEO

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

4. OptinMonster

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

OptinMonster WordPress Plugin

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5. PushEngage

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

6. Shared Counts

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

7. WPML

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

8. WooCommerce

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

WooCommerce WordPress Plugin

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9. Nextiva

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

10. Ahrefs

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

11. Smash Balloon

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

12. BuzzSumo

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

BuzzSumo WordPress Plugin

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13. WP Super Cache

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

14. Pure Chat

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

15. MailChimp for WordPress

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

16. LeadBoxer

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

LeadBoxer WordPress Plugin

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

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

How to Develop and Implement Your First Successful SEO Campaign

How to Develop and Implement Your First Successful SEO Campaign

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

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

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

Read on or jump ahead to these topics:

What is an SEO Campaign?

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

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

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

Timeframe for Seeing SEO Campaign Results

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

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

Identifying Your Target Audience

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

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

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

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

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

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

Organic Keywords & Data Analytics

Share of commerce traffic generation from organic searches

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

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

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

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

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

Developing and Implementing a Successful SEO Campaign

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

1. Evaluate Your Current Site and Its Content

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

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

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

2. Topic & Keyword Research

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

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

3. Create Quality Content

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

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

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

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

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

4. Implement On-Site Optimization

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

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

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

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

5. Combine Your Campaign With Other Marketing Resources

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

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

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

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

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

Integrations and SEO Campaigns

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

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

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

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

how to recapture and nurture inbound leads 2

How to Recapture and Nurture Inbound Leads

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

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

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

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

What Are Inbound Leads

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

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

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

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

Stats on Recapturing Old Leads

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

Nurture Inbound Leads - Stats on Old Leads

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Inbound Leads Stats

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

Nurtured vs non-nurtured inbound leads

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Ways to Re-Engage Old Inbound Leads

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

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

Continuously Offer Fresh Content

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

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

Invest in Email Marketing

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

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

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

Nurturing Inbound Leads Statistics

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Use Paid Retargeting Ads on Social Media and Google

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

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

Send Personalized Notes Through the Mail

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

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

Ask For Customer Feedback Via Surveys

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

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

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

LeadBoxer Integrations Can Boost Your Inbound Strategy

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

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

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

Some of the benefits of using LeadBoxer include:

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

Email Marketing Integration

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

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

Nurture Inbound Leads - LeadBoxer Email Marketing Integration

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MailChimp Integration

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

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

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

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

Data Analytics 

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

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

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

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

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Nurturing Leads-Leadboxer platform

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

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

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

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Ranking the Top 5 Lead Generation Platforms

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

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

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

What is Lead Identification and Lead Qualification?

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 Platforms and Data Analysis

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

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

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

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

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

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

Understanding Lead Generation Software

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

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

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

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

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

The Top 5 Lead Generation Platforms

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

1. LeadBoxer

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

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

Features:

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

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

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

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

Cons: No ROI tracking, no free lite version

2. LeadForensics

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

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

Features:

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

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

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

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

Cons: Lacking pipeline management feature, no upfront pricing

4. Leadfeeder

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

Features:

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

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

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

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

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

5. KickFire

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

Features:

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

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

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

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

Cons: Short 7-day trial window before purchasing

Getting Started with a Lead Generation Platform

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

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

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

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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.

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

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An ideal client profile shows your model sales prospects, while a customer persona is the representation of that ideal buyer based on research and data.

The two terms sound similar but serve different functions in the process. A customer persona is a detailed analysis of the employees who make sales decisions, not the company itself. This encompasses the different buying patterns seen in the profile of your ideal client.

Companies may have multiple personas. While there are specific roles you will interact with to land a sale, each employee will have a different personality. This varies depending on who your sales team interacts with and the challenges each of these employees face in their day-to-day work.

These personas help your business interact more effectively with leads. Your marketing tactics can be tailored to fit the different roles each of these personas encompass.

For example, you may interact with a “by the book” salesperson, rather than someone who is open to nontraditional pitches.  Doing this allows you to shift messaging across departments as needed to show how your product can be beneficial for a range of account types.

The Links Between Ideal Client Profile and Customer Persona

A solid client profile and a well-defined customer persona can work together to inform your decisions on which leads and prospects you should pursue. Your ideal client profile focuses on identifying prime targets, and your customer persona helps find the best points for communication.

Think of it as your ideal client profile doing the front-end of the cycle by identifying qualified leads and generating prospects. Then, the customer persona continues the process by targeting messaging and communication efforts to the right audience.

Ideal Client Profiles and Account Based Marketing

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Account based marketing is a strategy that allows sales and marketing teams to collaborate to target potential accounts for high conversion rates. This allows companies to spend resources on the leads that are most likely to generate revenue.

Your ideal client profile plays a major role in account-based marketing strategies. If you understand your target audience, you’ll be able to successfully communicate the ways in which your product can specifically help each prospect.

Account based marketing strays away from the one-size-fits-all messaging. Instead, it allows businesses to emphasize the parts of their services that will benefit individual companies.

Using the description detailed in your profile, your sales team gains a deep understanding of which leads will most likely be interested in your product. From there, your marketing team will be able to research and target the correct audience.

With a firm understanding of the role, your company plays in your ideal client profile’s business model, account based marketing strategies allow for personalized messaging. Potential customers will be shown the benefits of your product through multiple channels.

Using Your Ideal Client Profile

There is a large amount of work that goes into creating a completed profile. To maximize the return on your efforts, proper implementation of the profile goes a long way.

Target leads with high conversion potential. This profile gives an outline of the ideal client that will be most interested in becoming a buyer. Your sales team should use this data for lead generation and prospect cultivation.

Use the information from your profile to guide the content coming from your marketing team. Develop keywords that highlight the main aspects of the ideal client profile. Use consistent themes that speak to a company’s needs.

Make adjustments to your outlines as the market changes or your business grows. The best part about this strategy is the opportunity for growth as your company discovers new leads.

Continuously research current and potential clients, keep up with industry trends, and tailor your ideal client profile as needed. Also you can learn about creating sales urgency to help.

By devoting time to reach out to potential customers who fit this profile, your conversion rates will improve.

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

What ultimately determines whether a customer buys from you or a competitor? Is it the price of your product or service, its features, or your return policy? While all those things factor into a person’s decision, studies show that your brand’s thought leadership is just as important.

In this guide, we’ll discuss what thought leadership is and why it drives sales. We’ll also dig into actionable, data-backed strategies for how you can cultivate thought leadership. As a result, you’ll be able to attract and qualify a constant stream of leads for your sales team.

Read on or jump ahead to these topics:

What is Thought Leadership?

A person or brand is said to possess thought leadership when they are seen as an expert in their field. However, a thought leader isn’t just knowledgeable about their industry—they are also the figures who blaze new trails. Research that determines more effective industry techniques and solutions often comes from such experts.

Consider these thought leadership examples:

  • If you are looking for the latest search engine optimization tactics, your first impulse might be to check the blog of Neil Patel, an online marketing guru.
  • Top-tier copywriters looking to brush up their skills would likely read the Copyhackers blog or buy a course from them.
  • Hikers and campers looking to purchase a new mattress pad might consult a comparison guide on REI’s blog before hitting the “add to cart” button.

By disseminating high-quality advice free of charge, these thought leaders engender a feeling of trust in their audience. That confidence increases the likelihood that a potential customer will purchase a product or service from them instead of a competitor.

There’s plenty of data to back this up. The 2019 Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study found that 55% of decision-makers use thought leadership as a way to vet potential vendors before agreeing to work with them.

The same study found that interest in thought leadership is growing. Between 2018 and 2019, the percent of decision-makers who spend an hour or more a week reading thought leadership content grew by eight points.

It is clear that thought leadership is a crucial element of any marketing and sales strategy. Fortunately, cultivating it is relatively low-tech and relies on knowledge and skills you likely already have.

6 Ways to Increase Sales with Thought Leadership

For best results, employ all of these strategies to become a thought leader and leverage your status.

  • Create Educational Content for Ideal Customers

Thought leadership is often synonymous with content creation. For example, the three experts highlighted in the previous section—Neil Patel, Copyhackers, and REI—all have a robust blog where much of their advice lives.

However, these leaders don’t just publish what they think is most important to talk about in their field. They anticipate potential customers’ questions and answer them. This shows that you are in tune with prospects’ needs and are capable of supplying the solution on demand.

Creating content not only fosters thought leadership but also doubles as a way to qualify leads for your sales team. Once you have a repository of content, you can then track the behavior of people visiting your site. This data will help you zero in on the most promising prospects.

LeadBoxer is a tool that identifies visitors to your site and analyzes the actions they take while there. You can see what content they’re engaging with, the duration of their engagement, and the frequency of actions.

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In addition to showing your sales team who they should get in touch with, this information reveals what problems a potential customer needs to solve. This allows sales reps to prepare answers to possible questions that might arise during outreach.

Creating thought leadership content that anticipates and answers questions for ideal customers both drives sales and makes your sales reps’ jobs easier. Prospects will be more informed about your industry and product or service, while reps will know who to reach out to and what talking points to use.

  • Conduct Research or Publish Case Studies

When it comes to creating content, thought leaders don’t just rehash what others have already said. They put out studies and research that create new viewpoints for their industry.

You don’t need to have a huge budget or poll thousands of people to accomplish this. In fact, case studies about your existing clients are a solid way to build thought leadership.

Consider Copyhackers, a brand that provides education about copywriting. The company’s blog features case studies that use data to back up claims about the effectiveness of certain techniques. For instance, take a look at the opening of this article:

case studies from Copyhackers

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By claiming a 108% lift in revenue, Copyhackers-founder Joanna Wiebe instills confidence in the three featured copywriting principles. Results like that sell your brand without you having to make a more obvious pitch.

  • Contribute Content to Media Outlets

In addition to putting out your own blog posts, try to create content for other sites. This helps build awareness for your brand and shows potential customers that other industry leaders value your insight.

There are two different types of media outlets you can write for. The first is a mainstream outlet, such as Forbes, Business Insider, or Fast Company. Prospects will immediately know and trust these high-profile sites and magazines.

The second type you can contribute to is a niche outlet. Research which brands are the leading publishers of content in your field. For example, companies looking to increase their clout in the field of digital marketing might try to write for the HubSpot Marketing Blog or the Moz Blog.

  • Give Talks About Your Field

Like writing for media outlets, being involved in digital or in-person events can raise your brand’s profile. This could be something as simple as leading a free webinar or participating in a conference.

  • Turn Your Sales Reps Into Experts

Thought leadership content is often written or delivered by your company’s C-level executives. This helps potential customers connect to the human side of your brand. However, it’s vital that all of your employees are just as knowledgeable about your product and industry as your C-level executives. After all, customers will spend most if not all of their time working with your sales and customer service teams.

Picture these two different scenarios:

  • A prospective customer asks a sales rep a question about your product, and the rep refers them to a piece of content in your knowledge base.
  • A prospect asks a question, and the rep is able to easily answer it in real-time (though perhaps sending them content for future reference).

Which would you rather experience as a potential customer? Chances are, you would be more likely to buy from a company where the reps can answer your questions right off the bat. This knowledgeability demonstrates a company-wide passion for quality.

  • Be Strategic in Your Self-Plugs

While thought leadership content is a sales tool, it should be able to stand on its own as a free service. Cluttering articles with plugs for your brand is a quick way to turn off potential customers. People instinctively know when they are being sold to, and might tune out anything that comes after.

However, that doesn’t mean you should never pitch your product or service. The key is to be intentional about how you do it.

For example, readers of a long-form piece of content likely won’t mind one or two natural segues into a description of how you can help. Those who are actively searching for a product to solve a problem will be even more appreciative of the information.

Case studies are great because they organically tout your brand without you ever having to make a pitch. Readers should reach the end of the piece impressed with your results, so much so that reaching out to you with their problems is a no-brainer.

Get More Sales with Thought Leadership

Thought leadership is simply the process of putting your expertise on display. This is critical for building trust with your prospective customers and ensuring they choose you over your competitors. The majority of decision-makers consult thought leadership content when determining who to give their business to.

Publishing guides or case studies and participating in public conversations are all ways of demonstrating your knowledge. Combining this content with a tool like LeadBoxer lets you qualify leads on autopilot.

Perhaps most important to remember is that the best thought leaders are passionate about education. They find joy and value in creating informative content that, on its own, can make peoples’ lives better. Potential customers can sense that dedication and will feel endeared by it.

Already have plenty of thought leadership content and looking for a way to make it work harder for you? Take LeadBoxer for a spin and see how it can transform your blog into a lead generation tool. Get a free two-week trial and try out LeadBoxer today.

how to use intent data to drive sales

How to Use Intent Data to Drive Sales

If your sales team isn’t leveraging intent data when researching prospects, then you can assume there’s a huge leak in your pipeline. When it comes to identifying accounts with the highest likelihood of doing business with your company, intent data is the most important tool at your disposal. It also gives you a head start on your competitors.

This guide covers what intent data is, why it’s more valuable than other types of business-to-business (B2B) data, and step-by-step instructions for how to use it in your business. In no time, you can shore up your sales pipeline and maximize your output while minimizing your effort.

Read on or jump ahead to these topics:

What is Intent Data?

Intent data tells you whether or not an individual or account is actively seeking the kind of solution your company provides. It’s derived from things like:

  • Recently searched topics or keywords
  • Ads clicked on
  • How prospects are using social media
  • News about the company such as job changes, new investors, or new owners

Vendors gather intent data by tracking cookies and IP addresses. With intent data at your fingertips, you can figure out who might benefit from your product before they come across your brand. This can give you a head start over competitors when identifying accounts worth reaching out to.

We previously published a detailed guide on the different types of intent data and the best software for finding it. Check it out here.

Why Intent Data is More Valuable Than Other Types of Data

In addition to intent data, sales teams often rely on a few other types of B2B data during the sales process:

  • Firmographic Data: Firmographics are for companies as demographics are for people. This data describes a business’s name, how many employees it has, its location, revenue, etc.
  • Contact Data: These are the details that help you reach a particular individual within a company, like their name, phone number, email address, social media profiles, and job title.
  • Technographic Data: This tells you what software a business is already using, but it can’t necessarily tell you how often employees use it or how long the company has had a particular tool.
  • Engagement Data: Engagement describes things like how often an account is visiting your website, what links they’re clicking in your email marketing, and how long they stay on a particular page.
  • Prioritization Data: This is when you analyze all the data described above—usually with the help of artificial intelligence—and rank prospects according to how likely they are to buy. A lead score is a common example of prioritization data.

All of this data is useful. But without intent data, you’re not getting an accurate picture of which accounts are most worth your time. It’s like finishing a puzzle but missing the most important piece.

For example, your lead intelligence software might highlight an account that fits your ideal customer profile and has high engagement with your brand. What it’s not seeing is that the individual visiting your site is researching market trends or thinking about making a career change in your industry.

What Intent Data Shows

Intent data shows whether that account is actually interested in buying your product or if they’re just passing through. This prevents sales reps from wasting their time on uninterested contacts.

Intent data is also more valuable because it brings your brand to someone’s attention earlier in their buyer journey.

Your sales team might not start collecting other types of data—especially engagement data—until after someone visits your website for the first time. However, that prospect may have been researching your competitors long before ever coming across your brand. Intent data finds your ideal customers even if they don’t know who you are yet so your reps can contact them first.

How to Leverage Intent Data to Drive Sales

  • Use a Third-Party Intent Data Vendor

A third-party intent data vendor lets you see what topics and keywords accounts are searching for across thousands of sites. This gives your sales reps insight into who is potentially looking for a product or service you provide before they ever land on your page.

Popular third-party intent data vendors include Bombora and Aberdeen. With Aberdeen, you can integrate the software with Salesforce so companies expressing intent appear on the dashboard.

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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.

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B2B Lead Generation: Customer Journey Map

Business to business lead generation is one of the most essential parts of the sales cycle. Utilizing all resources at your disposal will help generate and convert your leads into sales. A crucial part of successful lead generation is the customer journey map.

Not only will customer journey mapping help contribute to successful lead management, but it will also help to improve your overall customer experience. B2B companies rely on customer experience for conversion rates. These strategies will help increase these rates, as well as contribute to customer satisfaction.

Overall, the successful implementation of these strategies and maps will create strong relationships with customers. This will also improve your marketing focus and accomplish your business goals. This article will cover the best practices for B2B lead generation.

Read on or jump ahead to these topics:

Distinguishing Between B2B and B2C Customers

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There are two major types of business models, Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C). While both of these are centered around sales, each includes different customer journey stages.

In short, B2C companies sell directly to consumers, while B2B companies sell to other businesses. While it seems like B2C would involve more direct interaction with people, B2B sales often involve multiple people throughout the sales cycle. It is important to remember you are not selling to the company, but rather the people who work there.

Because of these differences, the customer journey maps for B2B and B2C businesses follow separate outlines. For B2B companies, the buying cycle can take 1-3 months and 80% of these cycles include up to six people.

The Basics of a Customer Journey Map

A customer journey map is a visual representation of the customer cycle from start to finish. This strategy takes into account the entirety of a customer, including pains, emotional needs, and actions. By mapping out all of these factors, B2B companies are able to better understand their target demographic and create meaningful relationships with their leads.

The ideal customer journey map looks at the complete lifecycle from the introduction to any post-sale support services, including the engagement that occurs in between. While each one will look different for unique leads, there are a few customer journey mapping tools all will include based on universal experiences.

Common Elements for Customer Journey Maps

  • Persona: A profile of the brand and its client groups.
  • Touchpoints: All possible client interactions with your brand. These may include advertising, social media, direct communication, and purchases.
  • Moments of truth: Information regarding which touchpoints impact a customer.
  • Performance Indicators: Anything that evaluates how customers are responding to touchpoints.
  • Visuals: Typically, this is either a linear or cyclical illustration of the customer cycle.

Creating The Customer Journey Map

Once you understand the concept of the map, you can begin creating for each of your customers. Begin with the prep work and go through the process one step at a time. These maps won’t seem like a huge undertaking if you have a plan of attack.

Set your objective. Determine what you want to get out of the map to make sure you are including the correct information. Clear objectives will guarantee that the map is beneficial to your sales process.

Next, define the persona and determine the touchpoints. These parts will be crucial in generating your B2B leads. Finish mapping by identifying the performance indicators. Choose ways to best identify how the customer is interacting with your brand and learn about creating sales urgency.

What is Lead Management?

Before you can start successfully using your customer journey maps, understanding lead management will ensure the conversion of leads to sales. Simply put, lead management is the process of managing throughout the buying journey.

The Lead Management Cycle

Lead management goes through five major steps to help create conversions.

  • The Lead capture: determining leads and preparing them for the cycle
  • Lead qualification: scoring the lead to find out how sales-ready it is
  • The Lead nurturing: helping push leads from expressing interest to purchasing
  • Lead routing: handing off the leads that are sales-ready
  • Lead reporting: closing the gap between marketing and sales

Important Elements of B2B Lead Management

B2B sales involve a lot of moving parts. It is important to keep track of everything in the beginning stages to have a high conversion rate later on in the cycle.

Lead management involves identifying the people in the process, including your internal team and the contacts of your leads. Determine your internal processes as well. Make sure to decide upon a centralized lead qualification process, as well as have passive marketing content ready for the early stages.

Avoid the common mistakes where lead management can fall short. For example, don’t pass off qualified leads unless they meet all of the agreed-upon criteria. Use cross-marketing for all of your lead nurturing. Make sure to view your lead management through the customer lens.

Using Your Customer Journey Maps

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Creating the map is the first step to making the most out of this sales strategy. Ideally, you will have a customer journey map for each lead. The main objective of this strategy is to properly nurture your leads to convert into sales, as well as improve the overall customer experience.

These should help with introductions, creating brand awareness, and successful education of your product to leads.

Introduction to Your Lead and Starting a Conversation

Using your gathered information, plan the introduction of your brand to the lead. This is the first part of your customer’s journey with your brand, and first impressions really matter. Determine the best first touch and be sure to document all of the following interactions.

From this point, the goal will be to build your relationship while allowing passive content (social media and paid advertising) to further educate the lead about your product.

This tactic successfully combines your customer journey map with your brand’s marketing strategy. It’s been found that laying out this plan can increase marketing to sales conversions by 25%.

Getting to Know Your Lead

Once the conversation has begun, the customer journey map plays a role in better understanding the target customer. The data collected by your map provides crucial insights into how your customer behaves and the motivations behind their actions.

To move from a lead to a qualified lead, multiple touches must happen. By being able to place these touchpoints into a specific section on the map, you can begin to see underlying needs and patterns within the customer.

This data is important for providing an excellent customer service experience. Imagine, you’re able to have an in-depth understanding of your lead’s actions. This allows you to predict their movements, choose the best times to reach out, and provide solutions to problems for them.

Customer satisfaction is key to having repeat purchases. Being able to identify the needs of a lead and provide solutions with your product will help create a meaningful relationship that benefits both sides.

Collecting Data and Measuring Conversions

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Customer journey maps do more than just provide the framework for your actions. These plans allow you to collect data and analyze it to continually improve your sales process.

These maps allow you to track the channels incoming leads originate in. By having this information, your company is able to see which tactics are worth focusing on and which areas need improvement to create engagement.

Data also allows you to trace the path each lead took before converting to a qualified lead. You will be able to see if they responded to a LinkedIn message, interacted with an Instagram post, or visited your website through a search.

By including these paths as they occur in your map, you can begin to understand the customer and utilize this information to best generate new leads. Keeping track of this data allows you to keep an eye on changing trends, so you can shift your focus to channels that provide the most engagement.

Generating New Leads and Discovering Generation Channels

A completed customer journey map provides a clear view of all the possible generation channels. Usually, undiscovered generation channels may get passed over or lumped together with existing ones. By having this map, you won’t miss any opportunities to generate leads.

Along with discovering new channels, these maps may help you generate new leads by providing new touches. All of this can be measured through your data, so you can fully understand what is the best way to create conversions and grow your customer base.

The Importance of the Customer Journey Map

Overall, this strategy should play a prominent role in B2B sales, account based selling, and marketing strategy. From the initial prep work and research of a lead to closing the deal, this map will be there to guide and collect data.

Start as soon as you capture a lead, and continue using the map throughout the customer journey stages. This will ensure that your leads are following the path to conversion.

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

This article will discuss how the buying cycle and content mapping can guide your lead nurturing strategies to ensure that the customer journey is effortless. This article also includes a few examples of email nurturing content that can help boost the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, convert leads into sales, and help your company understand the impact of content on the buying journey.

Read on or “jump” ahead to these sections to learn more:

Content Mapping and the Buyer’s Journey Guide Lead Nurturing Strategy

Creating lead nurturing campaigns has become one of the most successful ways to transform leads into sales. Both B2B and B2C companies are familiar with the strategy. And 35% of marketers have some sort of strategy currently in place. More than that 50% of companies who have one or more successful lead nurturing campaigns have created more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost than those without lead nurturing strategies.

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Over 55% of marketers have said that email campaigns drive the highest ROI of any of their other lead nurturing platforms. As such, email marketing remains one of the most powerful tools for converting leads to sales, advertising, and leveraging insights to boost the customer journey experience. Using lead nurturing email content can help your brand convert leads into sales, ensuring that customers have the most personalized and helpful customer journey content.

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  • The Buyer’s Journey

The Buying Cycle makes up the broad stages of a customer journey. Personalizing your lead nurturing content to a given customer means ensuring that they are targeted with the most useful product or service options. The Buyer’s Journey represents each step in the process of a potential customer becoming a repeat buyer. The buyer’s journey, also known as the customer journey, is comprised of three core steps that a potential buyer may follow:

  1.  Awareness
  2.  Evaluation or Consideration
  3.  Purchase

As the buyer moves through these three steps, your brand must also supplement the buyer’s journey with email nurturing content. This kind of content is crucial for the success and follow-through of a sale from a particular buyer. And therefore, requires careful consideration and planning. Leadboxer’s platform offers a variety of tools that can aid in lead generation, and gather insights so that your company can create the most effective content for each lead.

  • Content Mapping

Content Mapping is one strategy that ensures that your brand is creating the most relevant, effective content for your target audience. The kind of content that is created for a particular content map relies on the sales cycle of your own company, as well as that of your industry. It is also crucial to create buyer personas so that your strategy is well-informed of what your clients needs.

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Defining and redefining your target audience, and aligning this audience with the correct buyer persona is crucial to ensure a successful email nurturing campaign. Creating a variety of content assets that differs from competitive brands is one sure-fire way to stand out among current and potential customers. Fostering a customer-driven mentality throughout the brand exhibits consistency and trust with customers who feel they have derived value from your brand’s content and relationship.

Aligning an Email Nurturing Campaign with the Buyer’s Journey

Targeted, customizable, and valuable email campaigns provide a high return on investment (ROI) for inbound marketing tactics. The ultimate goal of email nurturing or lead nurturing through email campaigns is to build trust with customers.

The benefits of email lead nurturing campaigns from a logistical standpoint are that while they do require planning and prepared execution, these kinds of campaigns are ultra-targeted, automated, and timely. Creating unique content for each stage of the buyer’s journey is an email campaign strategy to carry out lead nurturing that converts prospective buyers into customers.

  • Stage One: Customer Awareness of Your Brand

During the awareness stage, the focus of your lead nurturing content should be on providing information about the customer’s problems, not on your brand’s solution to those problems. Providing information that educates a potential buyer about their problem begins to foster trust in the customer and sends the message that your brand is not just simply looking for another source of business.

Certain kinds of informational content are most appropriate for this stage in the buyer’s journey, and once a client has expressed awareness and interest in learning more, your brand can begin its lead nurturing email campaign. Below is a list of some potential types of content that are appropriate for the awareness stage:

  • Informational emails: These emails serve to give customers more information about the brand. They should provide information about certain potential problems that a customer might have, based on buyer personas, and other demographics.
  • Demo Videos, social media, and tip sheets or checklists: Visual cues are crucial for any kind of marketing campaign, and can be especially useful for giving information to customers who are previewing many different products or services. Quick informational facts and product information can be compiled into a comprehensive video, infographic, or social media post.
  • Stage Two: Evaluation, Deeper Exploration, and Consideration

At this stage, a customer has identified their interest in your brand. And has possibly reached out to the sales team, marketing team, or has otherwise expressed a deeper interest in exploring your product offerings. This is the time to begin advertising your brand’s products and services. But most importantly, specifying how your products can address that customer’s pain points.

Creating lead nurturing content at this stage of the buying cycle is crucial. Because it can determine whether a customer will follow through and convert into a sale, or take their business elsewhere. The goal of this kind of content is to highlight the usefulness of your brand’s products and offerings. The more that a customer values their relationship with their brand, the better the customer journey, encouraging sales conversions from prospective leads.

Having compiled various types of content now is the time to offer more in-depth content that provides a comprehensive look at how your products or services would solve the customer’s pain points. Some appropriate content might include:

  • Educational Webinars, e-Books, and blog posts: In-depth and long-form content are effective for providing information about how your brand’s products or services can solve the customer’s pain points. Webinars provide space for customers to take in your products and services at their own pace and reach out with questions. While e-books and blog articles can offer more tailored information about specific topics, customer testimonials, and your brand’s insight into various industry problems.
  • Case studies and Whitepapers: Case studies and whitepapers are effective forms of content for customers who are looking for more data-driven and technical information about your brand’s services and products. Case studies can act as in-depth testimonials and consistently rank as one of the most effective marketing strategies. Using case studies as a unique pillar page to tie in other kinds of content builds customer trust and education.
  • Stage Three: Purchase and Sale Conversion

During the final stage in the buyer’s journey, customers are ready to take the next step and commit to a brand’s offerings and products to aid in solving their pain points. The content that is most effective at this stage requires the lead to take action and your brand should have already provided information about the lead’s problem. And how your company can best solve that issue.

That being said, there is still a variety of content that can solidify a sale in this final stage. Effective content at this stage can include:

  • A free Trial or Live Demo: Providing these kinds of interactive content is crucial to showing the customer that your product or service is going to solve their problem. Showing the lead that your brand is the best fit for them is important. A customer is more likely to invest long term when they know a product works well for them.
  • Consultation or Estimate: Gives the lead an idea of how your services would fit into their budget and company overall and should be used to educate the customer to the fullest about their situation. And help them come to a decision.
  • Coupon or Product Reviews: Past product reviews can act as “recommendations” from past customers who have experienced similar issues and may provide the lead with the needed proof that your company is the solution to their problems. Coupons or a discount on a certain product or service are another way to demonstrate to the customer that your brand cares about helping them with their problem, rather than just treating them as another sale.

All of these different types of content can and should be used in your lead nurturing email campaigns. By providing potential clients with a variety of content at each stage of the buying cycle, a qualified lead is nurtured from beginning to end and is more likely to lead to a sale.

Making sure that the right kind of content is reaching customers at the right time is important to ensure that customers don’t feel overwhelmed or spammed with content that is not useful. LeadBoxer’s platform can help you create the most effective content for boosting the buyer’s journey. For additional information, contact LeadBoxer for a free demo.

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B2B Lead Strategy and Marketing Alignment

Business-to-business (B2B) sales involve companies selling products and services to other businesses. B2B companies either sell items to another company so they can make their own products or meet a specific need.

The Purpose of a Good B2B Lead Strategy

In B2B sales, you’re likely to deal with several decision-makers within one company. In fact, salespeople engaged in B2B sales will need to work with an average of seven decision-makers. These people include CEOs, sales representatives, board members, and those in the financial and legal departments.

Selling to a group of people is different than pitching to an individual as in business-to-consumer (B2C) sales. The need to successfully make a pitch to individuals with varying perspectives differentiates B2B lead strategy from that required for B2C sales.

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Elements of an Effective B2B Lead Strategy

Relationship building is essential to both B2B and B2C lead strategies but takes on increased importance in the B2B arena. Here are some elements of a successful business-to-business lead sales and marketing strategy:

  • Know Your Prospects

Researching those you’re selling your product or service to will improve your chance of a successful transaction. Keep in mind, not every business prospect is a good fit. If you know this beforehand, you’ll avoid wasting time and energy that could be spent on quality leads.

  • Focus on Building Relationships

Typically, the B2B sales and relationship-building processes take more time in comparison to B2C. In B2B, businesses lose 45-50% of their clients over five years, which is significant and must be addressed.

To avoid losing B2B prospects, building and maintaining long-term relationships through a strong lead nurturing strategy is encouraged. B2B sales bring in more revenue than B2C sales as you’re dealing with companies, not individual consumers. When a B2B client is lost, thousands, not hundreds of dollars can disappear.

  • Build an Effective Website

Most B2B leads will do thorough research before making a purchasing decision. They will examine your website and social media profiles. Make sure these look professional, and that your website is easy to navigate and clearly states your company mission, background, and includes testimonials from satisfied clients.

  • Establish a Social Media Presence

Having a powerful social media presence is beneficial in many ways. It can offer your sales and marketing departments the following advantages:

  • Insight into your competitors and prospects
  • An avenue to establish credibility
  • A means for building trust with leads and buyers
  • Opportunities to reach out to prospects and buyers
  •  Allows social selling
  • Helps share content
  • Use Email Marketing

According to Marketing Sherpa, 64% of respondents believe email marketing delivers the best return on investment. Email marketing is effective in cultivating relationships with business prospects and in nurturing them through the sales funnel.

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The Importance of Sales and Marketing Alignment

As mentioned previously, relationships are a crucial element in B2B sales. Everything in your B2B strategy should revolve around building long-term relationships with business prospects. A strong business-to-business leads strategy will involve both the sales and marketing teams.

Your organization will appear more credible and trustworthy when the marketing and sales teams work together. Companies with a B2B strategy that features sales and marketing alignment are more successful in nurturing prospects into buyers.

Throughout the marketing and sales processes, both departments work together to provide a cohesive, smooth experience for prospects. Marketing produces valuable content at each stage of the funnel while sales provides personal and prompt lead follow-up. Both sales and marketing must do all they can to serve, nurture, and build relationships with each lead.

Market Alignment Goals

Your marketing message plays a big role in the success of your company’s B2B sales. Market alignment is defined as “the process of creating a marketing message that is appropriately aligned, or in sync, with the target audience the message is intended to persuade.” The goal of your market alignment is to deliver the right message at the right time to the right prospects.

This is achieved when you focus on the buyer’s needs rather than on emphasizing how good your company,  products, and services are. Knowing your prospects, their pain points, and how your services and products can help, builds trust and a rapport. The early relationship-building formed by market alignment messaging improves the chances of a sale.

To fully understand which prospects your marketing department should be targeting, regular collaboration with the sales team is required. When marketing and sales are properly aligned, customer-centric messaging is incorporated into each sales funnel stage. Marketing can introduce market alignment messaging into content and sales can include it in lead follow-up and nurturing initiatives.

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Sales and Marketing Misalignment Issues

When sales and marketing aren’t on the same page problems ensue. Beyond the miscommunication and contradictory messaging issues that are bound to occur, misalignment can negatively affect the buyer’s journey. This lack of cohesiveness makes it more difficult to convert B2B leads into paying customers.

  • Issue #1: Poor Marketing Qualified Leads

A common marketing and sales misalignment issue is the failure to produce marketing qualified leads (MQLs) to sales. As a result, the sales team is stuck with poor prospects that do not respond to lead nurturing efforts. In turn, these leads fail to convert into paying customers.

  • Issue #2: Lack of Lead Follow-Up and Nurturing

Whether prospects are qualified or not, marketers can get frustrated at sales for not following up and nurturing the leads they are given. Once the marketing department hands off prospects to sales,  its nurturing endeavors may end.

  • Issue #3: Poor Marketing to Sales Handoff

When the sales and marketing teams use different lead qualification requirements, the prospect handoff can cause problems. When prospective buyers are handed off from marketing to sales, mixed messaging can occur. Leads are quick to notice the inconsistency and may be hesitant to move forward along the sales funnel.

  • Issue #4: Lack of ROI Attributed to Marketing

In some cases, marketers don’t know how their lead generation impacts the company’s return on investment (ROI). This can alienate the marketing team and lower the incentive and motivation for your marketers to aggressively seek the new leads your company needs.

Strategies for Meeting Your Marketing Goals

Common B2B marketing goals include producing qualified leads for your sales team, creating valuable, targeted content, and building relationships with buyers. Successfully completing these tasks plays an essential role in bringing awareness to your brand, products, and services. These goals are more attainable when they are S.M.A.R.T goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely).

Here are some B2B marketing goal strategies to try:

  • Establish MQLs Criteria: Work with your sales team to create uniform marketing qualified leads criteria. Only prospects that meet all of these established conditions should be referred to sales for nurturing.
  • Track Marketing ROI Contribution: Inform your marketers of how their lead generation efforts have directly contributed to the company’s ROI.
  • Involve Marketers in the Sales Process: Create opportunities for your marketers to sit in on sales calls and learn the overall selling process.
  • Utilize Marketing Automation Tools: Synchronize your company’s email and scheduling software between sales and marketing. Using the same program, a singular marketing message can be carried through in follow-ups by the sales team.
  • Create Unique Content for Each Step of the Buyer’s Journey: Marketers can create targeted content using buyer data, marketing goals, buyer personas, and lead generation strategies. The diversity of content is geared toward prospects in each stage of the sales funnel.

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  • Marketing Content

The foundation of your content marketing strategy should be centered around your buyers’ pain points and your company’s unique selling proposition. B2B leads will be more trusting of a company that demonstrates how it is focused on them and the ways it can help them to succeed. Referencing your company’s unique value proposition will make you stand out from your competitors.

Successful marketers build long-term relationships with B2B prospects, generate qualified leads, and help convert those leads into paying buyers. Throughout the buyer’s journey, there are opportunities to meet these marketing goals through content. Your content needs to build prospect trust, establish and reinforce brand authority, and resolve lead queries and concerns.

Your marketing content should provide valuable information to the right prospects, at the right time. The alignment of your marketing message should be adopted by your sales team when they interact with leads. Knowledge of the sales process will help form marketing content for each stage of the sales funnel.

Here are things to keep in mind when building relationships with B2B leads through content marketing:

  • Create a content library to guide prospects through the buyer journey
  • Share the content library with your sales department
  • Use gated content
  • Your content is for informing and educating, not selling
  • Keep the buyer at the center of your messaging
  • Use a variety of content pieces

To attract buyers, there must be sales and marketing alignment. Your market alignment messaging needs to be buyer-centered. There are many opportunities throughout the sales funnel to effectively use content marketing to reach prospects along the buyer’s journey.

Without a cohesive B2B lead strategy and sales and marketing alignment, you risk losing prospects. When your messaging is off, you may get unqualified leads.

LeadBoxer’s sales lead scoring platform enables you to correctly identify the best business-to-business buyers.

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.

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.

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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.

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A good CRM can even tell you how often a customer would like to be engaged and when they would like to be engaged, helping you do better with contextual engagement.

The second must-have in your marketing strategy is a strong mobile-first strategy. Almost half of all online shopping is done using a mobile device. You can’t get away with having a site that looks great on the desktop but does not work on mobile devices. It is imperative for you to have a well-functioning, mobile-friendly website.

The third customer engagement strategy you need to implement is becoming extremely personalized in your marketing messages. Use the potential customer’s name in the subject line or intro in your email campaigns. 82% of marketers have seen an increase in open rates when they use personalization in their campaigns.

It’s simple to set up personalization, especially with email campaigns, and there’s no reason not to include it. You can even extend personalization into any type of advertisement, such as tracking which products people look at on your site, and then serving ads to them later featuring those products.

The last customer engagement strategy you must include is SMS/text messaging. Text messaging open rates are at a whopping 98% compared to just 20% of email marketing. If you are not including an SMS strategy in your plan, you are missing out.

Now that you understand what the emerging trends for 2021 and beyond are, let’s get into how to use these to build an effective customer engagement strategy.

How to Develop & Implement a Customer Engagement Strategy

With up to two-thirds of a company’s profits relying on customer engagement, it’s imperative to create a customer engagement strategy and implement it early. Follow these steps to create your customer engagement strategy:

  1. Define your customer journey map. You have to understand who your ideal customer is and where they are likely to shop.
  2. Identify interaction points—where and how are your customers are engaging with you.
  3. Setup engagement where people want to be engaged. If you post on social media all the time but no one ever comments, you are wasting your efforts. You need to find new channels for customer engagement.
  4. View behavior in real-time. See what your customers are doing as they’re interacting with you, and give them the content that’s most important to them.
  5. Offer personal service. Give each customer a unique and personalized experience.
  6. Watch conversions and non-conversions to see where people are converting and where they drop off to improve the experience.
  7. Take feedback. Ask people how they felt while interacting with your brand and make changes when needed.

Implement Your Customer Engagement Strategy Today

Now that you understand the current customer engagement marketing trends and the steps you need to take to get started, it is time to create and implement your customer engagement strategy. Be sure to check out this helpful guide to help you build a top lead generation strategy.

Are you serious about getting your strategy launched today? Check out LeadBoxer’s website to schedule a free demo.

lead generation versus prospecting

Lead Generation Versus Prospecting: Similarities and Differences

You may believe that closing a sale is the most essential part of the sales journey. However, how that journey begins is equally important. It begins with identifying potential customers—the people who are most likely to convert into a sale. Leads are another very important element in the sales process. Although leads and prospects have some similarities, there are many differences to consider. Understanding these variances can help you achieve more success in your sales efforts – lead generation versus prospecting is what we’re going to cover.

Keep reading or use the following links to navigate to different sections:

Sales Prospecting Definition

Sales prospecting is the process of finding, initiating, and developing new business. It involves a wide variety of tactics for targeting potential customers. At a critical stage of the sales funnel, the goal of sales prospecting is to convert prospects into revenue-generating clients.

One of the fundamental elements of prospecting involves finding potential customers who are best suited for your offerings. This process involves understanding the challenges this audience is facing, then finding solutions to those needs.

Essential Sales Prospecting Elements

Sales prospecting techniques and tactics can vary from one organization to the next, but there are some key components to consider.

  • Ideal Client Profile with Elasticity

Developing an ideal client profile is essential in your sales prospecting efforts. This step involves conducting research into defining your ideal customer. Then, you develop a profile that lists out each of those characteristics.

While it’s vital to build a profile of your ideal client, it’s best to build one with some elasticity. In the podcast Sales Reinvented, The Key to Successful Lead Generation and Prospecting, Bill McCormick asserts, “You’ll want to build an ideal client profile with some elasticity. Don’t be so rigid in your profile that you don’t look outside of it.”

Of course, you want to target prospects who fit your ideal profile, but giving it some flexibility is the smartest tactic. This can lead to developing more prospects, which could eventually result in more sales.

ideal customer profile

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The visual above is an example of an ideal client profile. As you can see, the customer is described using the following characteristics:

  • Values, goals, wants
  • Fears
  • Success
  • Pain
  • Objections
  • Failure

By asking these questions regarding this specific person, organizations and sales professionals can gain insights into whom to target. Knowing this information can lead to making better, more informed decisions in the sales process.

Social Selling

Social selling has become an important component of sales prospecting. It involves leveraging your social network to find highly qualified prospects. This is achieved by building relationships and making social connections.

To have a better understanding of social selling, there are four key pillars to consider:

  • Build a professional brand
  • Focus on the right prospects
  • Use insights for engagement
  • Develop trusted relationships

A professional brand shows trust. As buyers are selective with the brands they choose, you must position your organization in a professional light.

When it comes to engaging with prospects, you want to be seen as an expert in the industry. Be sure to share relevant industry content with your followers, comment on news alerts, and stay engaged with users.

As 62% of B2B buyers respond to salespeople that connect with relevant insights and opportunities, relevancy and engagement are essential.

  • The Power of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the leading channels for your social selling efforts. As it’s essentially known as “the social media for business professionals,” it’s a great place for sales prospecting.

Currently, there are nearly 700 million active users on LinkedIn. This platform is used by business professionals and organizations across the globe that provide many potential prospects.

LinkedIn is a leading destination for social selling for the following reasons:

  • User-friendly platform
  • Very popular
  • Many useful features
  • Paid media available
  • Simple messaging

Social selling is also an effective tool for authentically nurturing a prospect. It is a way to show value to the potential customer and position you as a reputable force in your industry.

nurturing a prospect in linkedin

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According to the information on the graphic above, LinkedIn has a huge impact on sales prospecting and buyer decisions. If you’re looking to boost your social selling efforts, LinkedIn is a great place to start.

“Ditch the Pitch”

A sales pitch has always been a key aspect of any sales process. However, Ben McCormick from the Sales Reinvented podcast urges sales professionals to “ditch the pitch.”

“We have to develop ways we are providing value and insight at every turn so we can nurture someone along,” Ben adds.

Instead of leading with the pitch, you want to focus on nurturing and adding value through every phase of the cycle.

  • Selling from the Heart

Authenticity is a big factor when trying to close a deal. After all, customers want to trust you and believe your product or service is what they need. That said, you want to focus on how to authentically nurture relationships with prospects.

As you want to move prospects along in the sales funnel, show them you genuinely care. Give them valuable information and insights wherever they are in the sales journey. Remember to never be pushy, don’t pitch right away, and focus more on the conversation.

“Don’t think in terms of closing a sale. You don’t want commission breath. Think in terms of having a conversation,” Bill McCormick adds.

Lead Generation Definition

Lead generation is the process of attracting potential customers to obtain their contact information. The goal is to find effective ways to make someone interested in your products or services. If they do become interested and provide contact information, that’s when they become a lead.

While sales prospecting and lead generation do have some similarities, Ben McCormick from the Sales Reinvented podcast points out some clear differences.

“I see a lead like they’re at the top of the funnel. They aren’t yet qualified, and they may even not be a part of the sales process. But a prospect is someone who is already qualified,” Ben notes.

“All prospects are leads, but not all leads are prospects,” he adds.

As 60% of marketing professionals say lead generation is a key pain point for their business, understanding its key elements is essential.

Key Components of Lead Generation

Finding highly qualified leads is a vital part of the sales process. Using various techniques and tactics, organizations have developed very specific steps for their lead generation efforts. While this process can vary from one organization to another, there are some key components to understand about generating leads.

  • It Happens Early in the Process

Bill McCormick points out that lead generation happens in the beginning stages of the sales journey. However, rather than prospecting, lead generation is all about lead qualification.

The process involves quickly assessing an ideal client profile to decide if that person will move to the prospecting stage. Once a prospect, further research is needed to nurture these potential customers through the sales funnel.

  • Profile of High-Value Lead

Similar to sales prospecting, successful lead generation efforts begin with developing an ideal client profile. However, as you want to convert leads with the most value, it’s best to build a profile of a high-value, ideal customer.

Once you design this client profile, it can help you determine which leads to moving forward and which leads to discarding. Once these leads are generated, the next essential component involves deciding if these leads can become prospects.

Lead Qualification

Lead qualification is an important element of lead generation. Although many organizations have different tactics, lead qualification involves the characteristics that qualify someone to become a lead.

This process is completed by capturing client information using the following resources:

  • Site views
  • Website behavior
  • Email subscriptions
  • Email tracking
  • Social media

lead qualification map

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As seen in the graphic above, the lead qualification phase is a vital part of the sales funnel. This step is when a business decides to move on with a lead, or discard them altogether. If a lead isn’t interested at the time, they can swing back to the marketing phase where further nurturing occurs.

Targeting and Nurturing Leads Authentically

Just like in sales prospecting, authenticity goes a long way in lead generation. After all, no one likes a pushy, insincere salesperson.

As persuasion is a fundamental element of a sales job, there is a way to persuade in an authentic manner. This is done by providing value and useful insights through natural conversation with the customer.

  • Don’t Rush the Process

Ben McCormick from the podcast also mentions how sales prospecting and lead generation should never be rushed. “Timing is everything,” he notes.

“If we focus on valuable and insightful conversations, the sales will come when the time is right,” Ben adds.

While sales prospecting and lead generation involve many elements, data and analytics are what powers these efforts. LeadBoxer is a platform that assists in collecting and mining data to properly identify high-quality sales leads.

social selling best practices

Social Selling Index Best Practices

Does your business do social selling? And no, we’re not talking about social media marketing. Are your salespeople developing meaningful online relationships with prospects?

If you rely on cold-calling and sending spam emails then you’re at a disadvantage. Your customers want to interact with and buy from a person, not a company. Such kind of selling creates beneficial relationships between businesses and customers.

In this article, we explore social selling and how it has revolutionized the B2B market. We also explore the social selling index and what a positive score can mean for lead generation and meeting sales quotas. Read on or jump ahead to the sections listed below:

What is Social Selling?

Social selling is the use of social media to find, engage, and nurture leads. It is different from social media marketing which seeks to increase brand awareness. It sets your business up as a trustworthy industry leader.

Salespeople who do this kind of selling become the source of information and solutions to their prospects’ problems. They rise to the top of their prospects’ minds and are most likely to get the lead’s business.

social selling sales model

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How to Start a Selling Business Through Social Selling

The first step in setting up successful social selling is creating social media profiles. A professional LinkedIn profile, Twitter account, and Facebook business page are all essential foundations. Ideally, each salesperson will have a social media account tied to your business.

The next step includes finding and socially listening to your prospects. Once you find qualified prospects, identify their unique problems to make it easier for you to offer customized solutions. Below are some ways you can use Facebook and Twitter to identify and begin having interactions with prospects:

  • Facebook

With a Facebook Business Page, social selling salespeople can flaunt their expertise and professionalism while showing some of their personality. After creating your business page, connect with current followers, and reach out to other businesses for social selling success.

You can engage followers by publishing open-ended questions and responding to customer posts and comments. Rapport also happens when you like and share customer posts. Publishing an ebook, report, infographic, or white paper on Facebook, based on customer feedback, also promotes engagement.

You can set yourself apart from other salespeople by sharing, liking, and commenting on the posts of other businesses. When you engage with other companies on Facebook, they will likely return the favor through reciprocal engagement. When businesses engage with your brand, your name will be shown to their followers. This expands your prospect pool.

LeadBoxer Facebook Page Example

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  • Twitter

Twitter Lists are a great way to find and organize sales prospects. These lists help you keep track of which leads get what content. Sharing targeted information with prospects will move them along the sales funnel quicker.

Here are some examples of lists salespeople should create and update regularly:

  • Existing customers
  • Leads
  • Competitors
  • Twitter lists

Social Selling Best Practices

Social selling relationships that are cultivated correctly will be more successful. Due to your sales team’s diligent and consistent efforts, your business will be positioned as the best solution in the minds of current and potential customers. As a perceived industry leader, these best practices will increase your sales conversion rates:

  • Be Human

Robots are impersonal and don’t engage prospects. While there are automated liking and commenting tools to save you time, they don’t build rapport with leads. Automation robots can actually damage your brand’s reputation and customer relationships.

Show up instead! Prospects will more likely trust, interact with, and make purchasing decisions when feeling they have made an authentic connection with a real person. Do this through friendly professionalism.

You can share your personable approach to sales through your professional social media profiles. Optimizing your profiles through titles, job functions, and industry keywords can enhance your visibility to prospects. Posting helpful articles, partnering with other industry leaders, and participating in industry online groups illustrate your friendliness and value.

LeadBoxer LinkedIn Profile Example

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  • Do Social Listening

A glance at your prospects’ social media profiles alerts you to what they like, need, and want. With this information, you’ll be poised to deliver targeted, relevant content to them. When you offer a solution to their specific problem, a relationship forms.

Social listening also provides salespeople valuable information concerning mutual contacts. And what people are saying about the company. Request a brief introduction from established customers to these shared connections so you can network. Observe problem areas people are commenting on about your company or industry and respond with solutions.

  • Provide Valuable, Helpful Content

The goal of social selling is to build relationships with leads. This isn’t done through sales pitches and presentations. Instead of praising your product or service, produce valuable, helpful content.

Prospects are more willing to interact and do business with a salesperson who is seen as an industry expert. Write informative posts and add knowledgeable insight to others’ posts via comments. Sharing posts from other industry leaders illustrate to your sales leads that you have a genuine interest in enabling them to resolve their own issues.

Relationships take time. So, salespeople engaged in social selling should not seek to make a sale from their first interaction. Your product or service should only be referenced if it adds value to your conversation with a lead.

  • Build Lasting Relationships

Building relationships with prospects to nurture them into customers is a common goal. However, the relationship after conversion needs to continue to produce repeat customers. Customer retention is more cost-effective and profitable than constantly acquiring new ones.

Lasting relationships involve give and take. Salespeople should do more than provide valuable content and contributions. They also need to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions and comments of the prospects they’re cultivating a relationship with.

Social Selling on LinkedIn and the Social Selling Index

LinkedIn is a social networking site built around forming professional connections. It is where professionals can showcase their expertise. Sales reps in the social selling business have a LinkedIn profile and are actively engaged in LinkedIn groups.

LinkedIn helps establish brand credibility and connects salespeople to valuable leads. For those in B2B sales, LinkedIn is the place where one can connect with those making purchasing decisions. Here are some ways you can maximize your social selling on LinkedIn:

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

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Tips on Using Social Selling to Optimize Sales

Businesses that employ multiple salespeople to make big-ticket deals, such as in the B2B industry, benefit from social selling. Prospects and customers are more likely to engage when interacting with a human rather than a heavily automated business. Successful social selling salespeople are able to effectively blend their professional and personal lives.

The use of social media and digital marketing channels offers a great way to do that. Salespeople can be professional by stating their employer, skills, connections, certifications, memberships, and so on. They can also show prospects a glimpse of their personal side including their hobbies, interests, and personal goals.

Gone are the days of cold-calling and email spamming. Engaging with leads via social media channels has proven far more successful in building relationships between businesses and customers. Here are some suggestions on how social selling can be used for sales:

  • Require each salesperson to create a personal business profile on social media
  • Educate your salespeople in the basics of social media marketing best practices
  • Establish regular collaboration between sales and marketing
  • Align sales and marketing lead funnels

Salespeople and sales lead generating platforms like LeadBoxer use social selling to build relationships with prospects to get more leads and make more conversions. Social selling salespeople will greatly benefit from LeadBoxer’s seamless lead scoring and data gathering. Begin your social selling success today with a LeadBoxer free trial.

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Using Digital Marketing Channels for Lead Generation

A business must generate leads to be successful. Lead generation consists of content and media that nurture leads into paying customers. Digital marketing solutions and digital marketing channels facilitate the capture of quality leads and enable lead nurturing through digital media.

Meanwhile, continue reading or use the following links to “jump” ahead:

What is Digital Media?

The term digital media refers to the tools and programs that share information online. This content comes in many forms including audio, video, images, website content, web pages, social media, and email.

Digital media is most effective when it includes personalized content. So when your online messaging speaks to individual consumers, it builds credibility for your brand, service, or product. And when you put effort into content personalization, the reader will trust your brand and offerings and make a purchase.

Personalized content is also good for improving the visibility of your business website. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing tool that utilizes unique, high-quality content to rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). According to WebFX, 75% of people do not go past the first page on SERPs.

As mentioned above, your digital media, or personalized content, can take many forms and appear in many places. Most content involves SEO website content and blog posts, social media posts, and videos. Your digital media is most impactful as a part of a digital marketing strategy.

how keyword planner for seo works

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What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is “the use of the Internet, mobile devices, social media, search engines, and other channels to reach consumers.” There are numerous digital marketing channels and techniques available to get your digital media noticed by your target audiences. The most common include:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing

A strong digital marketing strategy incorporates the above digital marketing channels and techniques. Your digital strategy should not replace your sales lead generation and nurturing strategy. Your digital marketing and sales strategies work best when used together.

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The Digital Marketing Sales Process

Now that you understand what the terms “digital media” and a “digital marketing strategy” mean, we will discuss the combination of digital marketing and sales in the digital marketing sales process. This process incorporates sales funnels, lead generation, and lead nurturing. And it is using digital marketing channels to reach prospective buyers online, boosting your brand’s digital presence.

The five-step digital marketing sales process can be seen as the journey your customer takes from lead to paying customer. Researching your qualified leads and developing a content personalization plan for each stage of the buyer’s journey lays the groundwork for your digital marketing sales process. Here is a list detailing the five stages of the digital marketing sales process:

1. Marketing/Prospecting Your Target Audience

The first step in the digital marketing sales process involves coming up with your brand’s unique selling proposition (USP). This sets your company apart from your competitors and shows leads why they should do business with you. Your USP should answer how your business is unique and how your product or service fills a void within your industry.

Your USP and personalized content are ineffective if online visitors aren’t consuming it. This is why you need SEO, PPC, and social media marketing to drive traffic to your website. Once you attract website visitors, you will be able to track and analyze who finds your content useful and converts. Website visitor tracking enables you to further narrow your audience, fine-tune your target customer-base, and assess which types of content resonate most with your target audiences.

2. Building Credibility and Trust

The ease and quickness of digital transactions have made the internet a prime target for cybercrime and scams. Your potential customers will be extremely wary when choosing which businesses get their money. As the online storefront of your business, your website must give a good first impression.

Excessive sales solicitations are also prevalent online. Leads require nurturing to accomplish the goal of having them develop a relationship with your particular brand, product, or service. This connection is crucial to cultivating new customers. Companies that are seen as trustworthy both online and offline will be more successful in bringing their leads through their sales funnel and make a successful account growth.

Here are some things to consider when assessing whether or not your website appears credible:

  • Does it look legitimate and professional?
  • Does it have working links and high-quality images?
  • Is the site easy to navigate?
  • Does your content contain proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation?
  • Does it include clear privacy and security policies?
  • Is the product and support information easily accessible?

3. Escorting the Buyer

Due to busy schedules and the abundance of digital media that is readily available, most first-time visitors to any website are not yet ready to buy. When people land on your website, you will need to guide them to the point where they realize they have a need for what you offer. For this guidance to be successful, the organization, navigation, and checkout process on your website should be fast, secure, and simple.

Having detailed product pages, resources, FAQs, and testimonial pages, visible contact information, chatbots, and internal linking are some ways to make your website user friendly. Your website also needs to be optimized to fit the small screens on smartphones and other handheld devices and should load quickly. Your site should escort the buyer on their journey from a casual website visitor, to the checkout process and through post-purchase follow-up.

4. Presenting the Product or Service

After you guide website visitors to your website, you need to present your products or services in a way that shows buyers your solutions are the best available options for meeting their needs. Every product or service should include relevant, specific descriptions that answer any questions a prospective buyer may have. High-resolution images and videos featuring the products or services in action should also be included.

5. Closing the Sale

The ultimate goal of every business website is to make a sale or a desired conversion. For e-commerce sites, the goal is to get people to make a purchase. For brick-and-mortar stores with an online presence, a website can be used to get leads to sign up for a mailing list or schedule a call with a sales representative.

The use of digital marketing channels makes it easy to analyze the results of your digital marketing sales process. You’ll be able to see the impact of your digital marketing efforts on your sales strategy. And make necessary adjustments and improvements. Both digital marketing and sales are processes that include post-purchase follow-up.

post-purchase follow-up with leadboxer

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Why is Digital Marketing Crucial for Sales?

Businesses can’t thrive without digital marketing. Even with a solid sales team and sales process, a company without an online presence won’t succeed. This is because consumers prefer the speed, ease, and accessibility the internet offers.

Here are four reasons the utilization of digital marketing channels is crucial for sales:

1. Mobile Device Optimization

Today’s smartphones are small, portable computers. This allows consumers to make purchases anywhere, anytime.

According to Forbes Insights, 7 out of 10 senior executives use mobile devices to look up product or service information after they first hear of it. Most of them also use smartphones to conduct research and make buying decisions. The vast majority of consumers have a smartphone and use it for researching, shopping, and entertainment.

2. Easier Follow Up

In sales, follow up is crucial. Most consumers require 7 to 13 contacts with a sales professional before they are ready to buy. Digital marketing makes follow up quicker and cheaper through scheduled emails, retargeting ads, and personalized ads included in social media interactions.

3. Provides Buyers With Personalized Content

As opposed to a “one size fits all” message, digital marketing allows you to prepare more relevant and personalized content for each stage of the buyer’s journey. Digital media comes in many forms including blog posts, whitepapers, ebooks, coupons, and case studies. When you use digital marketing solutions, you can offer prospects a tailored sequence of content that takes them from lead to customer.

4. Measured and Optimized Results

With digital marketing, results are measurable. Whether it’s a social media ad or an SEO campaign, you can gather important data about leads and measure results to identify what’s working and what isn’t.

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In sales and digital marketing, your time and money are better spent on those who see your products and services as the solutions to their needs. This is where lead qualification and social selling comes in handy. A sales lead scoring platform like LeadBoxer’s customer relationship management (CRM) program identifies leads most interested in your product or service.

LeadBoxer’s lead generation and lead qualification platform gives you insight into which prospects are most likely to find your digital media useful. Understanding who your target audiences are and which digital marketing channels are most likely to reach them increases the likelihood of successful sales conversions.

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The Future of Sales Post-Pandemic

While the future of sales is constantly shifting as the pandemic continues to disrupt everyday life, figuring out how to navigate the world of post-pandemic business is the topic on everyone’s mind.

The new “normal” will look a lot different than how business was conducted pre-pandemic. With an emphasis on remote working, finding ways to lean into these changes and social selling will help your company thrive as the effects of the pandemic set in.

In this guide, we dive into post-pandemic sales to provide tangible actions your team can take to make sure your business comes out on top. Once you have an idea of what the post-pandemic world may look like, you can start planning effective methods of introducing these ideas into your content marketing plans. Keep reading, or jump ahead to the following sections:

Navigating Virtual Business

Swapping over to remote business has been a huge undertaking for most companies. Luckily, everyone is finally getting the hang of virtual work. The most important takeaway from the sudden shift to virtual—it’s here to stay.

What does that mean for your business? You have to be flexible and use sales AI tools for example. Continued evaluation will go a long way as you navigate virtual business for your workers and clients. Shift your thinking from short-term solutions to a long-term plan.

The Future of Conferences and Networking

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Before the pandemic, it was common to go to multiple conferences a year and several networking events to generate leads and cultivate relationships with potential clients. Since going virtual, the business world has come to the realization that these events aren’t actually necessary to create relationships.

This may be a huge shift for you if you are a handshake-deal kind of salesperson, but virtual networking events can be just as effective when implemented properly.

Now, you can network from the comfort of your home office, and your company doesn’t have to foot the bill for expensive travel plans. Zoom, and other video platforms, have the option for break-out rooms and screen sharing, so your networking can be focused on direct conversation with prospective clients.

Working Remotely With a Full Staff

The operational change from office work to telecommuting shook things up when the pandemic first began. Now employees are beginning to realize the perks of working from home. Some of your staff may even find themselves being more productive when telecommuting, so it is worth embracing virtual options for the long-term.

Now that everyone is beginning to adjust to virtual sales operations, it is important to set standards for your employees when they are conducting business from their homes. Outline clear goals and keep a constant stream of communication.

Be sure your employees are aware of your expectations, such as the dress code for Zoom meetings or the policy on background noises. Doing this will ensure virtual meetings run as smoothly as possible.

Get Comfortable With Your Technology

Find your favorite virtual platform, and master it. Technology can be unreliable, but knowing how to troubleshoot efficiently can save your meetings when they experience problems. Using your platforms with confidence will show the clients you are prepared.

Use e-signatures and make sure your clients are on board with this practice. This practice isn’t something that developed because of the pandemic, but with fewer in-person meetings, there is a greater reliance on closing deals electronically.

Like your other platforms, find a format that works for you, and be prepared to walk your client through the steps. Address their concerns about signing documents over email. Assurance and understanding will go a long way in making this process as smooth as possible.

Generating Leads and Creating Connections

Sales has always been an industry that requires a lot of communication, especially in-person, for sales conversions. Shifting to virtual sales operations provides more options when generating leads if you supplement in-person cultivation with an online generator.

Relying on technology to help generate leads can make a big difference for your team. With the current lack of chances to meet new leads in-person, supplementing with an online platform will create new opportunities.

Leadboxer’s platform is an example of this technology. It allows you to track every movement, beginning with the first interaction with your website, so you can qualify each prospect and plan your pitch accordingly.

Creating Genuine Connections

Without the ability to hit the golf course or meet for drinks with clients, finding an effective sales process during virtual meetings is crucial. Zoom meetings can seem formal compared to your usual networking activities, so find ways to make these interactions feel natural for all of the participants.

Take a few minutes before starting your meeting to chat about non-work related things. Use your camera and crack a few jokes instead of jumping straight into your pitch. Your clients will appreciate these efforts, and it will ease tensions going into the meeting.

Another obstacle to tackle is navigating older business people who may be unfamiliar with technology. By finding ways to create those connections, like a virtual happy hour, you may strengthen your relationship with hesitant clients.

Utilize Visual Materials

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Virtual meetings give you the ability to screen share with participants. Take advantage of this feature. Come prepared with Powerpoint presentations, do live demos of your products, and use engaging visuals to help the customer understand your services.

These visual tactics will boost engagement and keep your attendees’ attention throughout the meeting. With virtual meetings, vying for your client’s full attention is difficult since you’re competing with web browsers, cell phones, and instant messaging. Delivering a presentation that keeps the client’s focus will make a huge difference.

Don’t Forget the Follow-Up

Virtual business means it is possible for more meetings to be scheduled back to back during the day. So following up in a timely manner is important to stay fresh on your client’s mind.

After your meeting, send a quick email summarizing your discussion. Attach your PowerPoint presentation, or send links to your website. It is important to provide clear next steps with your client while demonstrating that you are committed to helping them through the process.

In addition, make sure your messaging is in keeping with the times. The pandemic is continuously shifting the focus of each business. Stay up-to-date with what’s happening in your client’s industry.

Reach out when your services can be valuable to their efforts. It’ll help strengthen the relationship by showing your client how dedicated you are and it’s important for account expansion too. Try to stay fresh on your client’s mind without bombarding them with constant messaging.

Don’t forget personalization when following up. Virtual doesn’t have to be boring. Send a personal thank you card or take time for a check-in phone call.

Crafting Your Pitch

Appropriate messaging is crucial as we shift into the world of post-pandemic sales. Every business has been affected in some way. Most have been affected in numerous ways. Now is the time to focus on having multiple pitches that can be tailored to each of your prospects’ needs.

Do your research. How has their company been impacted during the pandemic? What practices are they instituting for recovery, and how can you help? By understanding their motivations, you can craft a pitch that speaks directly to how you can meet their current needs.

Content-Driven Sales

Using all of your marketing channels will help as you navigate the post-pandemic virtual sales game. Let your content speak about the company’s mission when it appears in the client’s inboxes and on their social media feed.

Work alongside your marketing team to craft content that illustrates the points you make during your pitches. Use images when giving presentations and when sending information to prospects.

With the switch to virtual business, relying on content and utilizing these channels will help boost your sales. Provide concrete calls-to-action and direct steps for your clients to take when they receive your content. Create a strong lead strategy.

Key Takeaways

Expectations of what the post-pandemic sales world will look like are constantly evolving. Your company will need to be flexible as you continue to adjust your sales and operational planning.

Embrace the virtual world. Get comfortable with Zoom meetings and online networking events. Allow technology like Leadboxer to fill the gaps in areas like generating leads and tracking client action. Leadboxer offers proven ways to generate leads and help your sales team as they navigate the current business climate.

Stay up-to-date on how the pandemic is affecting your clients. Tailor your pitches and content to showcase how your services can meet their needs. Always make sure to avoid tone-deaf messaging and continue to provide ways your company can help these prospects.

Make sure to find strategies for continuing to cultivate genuine client relationships via inbound or outbound marketing. Make time before each meeting to chat and connect. Utilize visuals and online presentations in your virtual meetings.

Remember, the future of sales may be uncertain, but one thing is for sure— virtual business is here to stay.

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Inbound vs Outbound Marketing

You wake up, check your phone, and immediately delete three spam emails without even opening them. Make your coffee, hop in the car, and encounter a handful of billboards on the way to work.

Drive home, tuning out the loud, angry men arguing on a talk show, and the ads that too frequently interrupt them. Get home, realize your sister’s birthday is next week, look up great gifts for cat-lovers, and send her one. Make dinner, using a recipe that was emailed to you by a food blog you follow and go to sleep.

We all encounter an endless barrage of marketing every day. Some of that marketing is effective and made with the help of sales AI, and some of it’s, well, annoying. This division between effective and ineffective marketing strategies can be acutely seen when comparing inbound vs outbound marketing.

This guide will cover the differences between the two, and offer tips on how you can use them to convert leads into sales for your business.

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What is Outbound Marketing?

Outbound marketing is how your grandfather was marketing. It’s often referred to as the “classic” form of marketing.

To outbound market, companies initiate the conversation with consumers by sending messages out to them. These messages come in the form of television commercials, telemarketers, billboards, radio ads, and email spam, in other words—things that make your day a little worse when you see and hear them. If it was bird hunting, the company would be covering their eyes with a blindfold and wildly shooting into the air in the hopes that eventually, with time and enough bullets, they would hit something.

Effectiveness of Outbound Marketing

If that last description didn’t get the point across, let me emphasize here, outbound marketing is not a very efficient way for businesses to market. It’s hard to track the return on investment (ROI);  it has trouble producing lead conversions, and it is becoming less effective with every day that passes. This can be attributed to the increased availability of customer data platform software designed to combat it, like email spam-blockers which continue to become more sophisticated, and the fact that with increased frequency, people are watching and listening to media on commercial-free streaming services.

Outbound marketing costs more than other forms of marketing, too, with a study by Doyen Digital finding that it’s 61% more expensive than inbound marketing strategies, and requires more labor. Yet, most organizations still spend an astonishing 90% of their marketing budgets on outbound marketing.

best outbound marketing ideas

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What is Inbound Marketing?

While outbound marketing requires you to start the conversation with consumers, inbound marketing is how you get consumers to start the conversation with you. Outbound marketing is screaming through a bullhorn a message consumers have no interest in hearing; in contrast, inbound marketing is attracting consumers to your site who are already interested in your product or service. Inbound marketing does this through content marketing. Some examples of content marketing include blogging, SEO, social media, and opt-in email marketing, where Mailchimp integration can help.

Effectiveness of Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing has become more popular recently because it’s effective. It involves attracting and nurturing promising leads, using content to provide valuable information to customers, and in the process build trust with your clients.

A survey by CRM Daily found that half of the companies who started using inbound marketing saw a 25% increase in ROI. Inbound marketing had 30 times the lead conversion rate of outbound marketing. When asked which marketing tactic actually resulted in the most high-quality leads, 59% of marketers said inbound, 16% said outbound, and 26% said self-sourced leads.

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Inbound vs Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is much less effective than inbound marketing. It costs more, requires more work, but doesn’t actually drive more business for companies. Because of this, organizations who find that their marketing is ineffective should consider reallocating their budget and time from outbound marketing techniques to inbound marketing techniques.

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Email Marketing as Inbound Marketing

79% of marketing leads will never convert into sales, which can largely be attributed to companies failing to nurture their leads. An excellent content marketing strategy for paying continual attention to your leads is email marketing. Email marketing is all about providing information to subscribers, increasing customer loyalty and retention, and trying to keep up a constant stream of traffic to your website.

Outbound email marketing involves blindly spamming people with emails that will likely end up in their junk folder, and even if they do see it, they will most likely delete it immediately due to their lack of interest. Inbound email marketing involves emailing interested parties through an opt-in option on your website, or through past interactions, they have had with your company’s online presence. It’s more targeted, more personalized, and much more effective.

Email Marketing Tracking

Tracking emails allows sales reps to identify and continue to stay in contact with their most interested leads. LeadBoxer’s Lead Scoring Feature makes it one of the best email tracking apps on the market.

Lead scoring allows you to identify how likely a lead is to convert into a consumer by analyzing their activity on your company’s website, social media, and emails. Their lead score quantifies their interest, enabling you to target them for segmented campaigns.

lead scoring example from leadboxer

Customer Segmentation

Marketers who use segmented campaigns see their email revenue increase by 760%. It’s no wonder: By using email segmentation, you increase the likelihood of audiences opening your email by nearly 15%.

You can easily use LeadBoxer’s Filter Feature to create successful segmented email campaigns. This feature allows you to focus on targeted customers, filtering profile data such as business information like company name, industry, size, and behavior like page views, URLs, exit links or visits, and marketing data like UTM tags or referrer.

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Email Contact List

The key to successful email marketing campaigns is personalization and finding leads to target. To do both of these things, you need to keep an organized contact list that is always current.

LeadBoxer’s Contact Management Feature helps you manage, identify, and nurture leads while tracking leads’ activities on your emails, website, and social media. It’s the ultimate tool for email lead generation. It helps you find contacts, adding their information to your database when they visit your website, limiting the amount of time you need to spend finding and reaching out to leads.

best contact management feature from leadboxer

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing: Popular/Effective Types of Content Marketing

  • SEO

The first place people go nowadays when they have a question or are considering buying a product is their computer. More specifically, they turn to their search engine and can provide some buying signals.

SEO starts your relationship with consumers when they enter a search into their search engine. Using PPC campaigns, Google AdWords, and SEO keyword research, you can get your website, blog, and other online content to rank high in search engines so that it will draw consumers to your business.

It’s important to rank high because the very top listing on Google’s search engine results pages (SERP) gets 33% of the search traffic, while the second gets 17% of search traffic. In other words, if you don’t snap up the lead search ranking for your product or service, a competitor will.

  • Blogs

Blogs are one of the most effective ways to increase and improve your SEO, driving more organic search engine traffic to your site. Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages and 97% more inbound links than websites that don’t. If you are looking to drive traffic to your business through search engines, you need a blog.

They are an affordable marketing strategy, easy to produce content for. And also build consumer trust through teaching them about their queries with informative, interesting articles.

  • Landing Pages

Landing pages are the face of your business online. 80% of search traffic goes to the top 10% of landing pages, so you have to make sure that yours is focused to keep people reading and increase conversion levels.

A great way to optimize your landing page is by including a video. Landing pages with videos have up to an 80% increase in conversion rates.

This could be due in part to the fact that featuring videos increases the time spent on sites by 105%. Landing page videos not only increase conversion rates within your site, they also improve traffic to your site, increasing organic traffic by 157%.

  • Social Media Marketing

Social media—not just for stupid videos and kids anymore. It’s a powerful business tool. The best way to increase your business’s visibility is by creating social media accounts.

Social media builds your brand, increases customer loyalty, and allows you to directly interact with customers. 71% of customers who had positive social media experiences with a company were likely to recommend that business.

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Upgrade Your Marketing Strategy With Content Marketing

These content marketing strategies are best used together. Promote your blog posts on your social media, link to your landing page in your blog posts, increase your social selling index, and optimize your landing page with SEO. And don’t forget to think about the future of sales.

Through personalization and creating informative and interesting content, you can completely upgrade your business marketing.

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Lead Capture Pages 101: Importance, Strategies, and Software

If you spend more of your time scouring the internet for leads than actually closing deals, consider adding lead capture pages to your marketing strategy. With lead capture pages, you can automatically populate your CRM with fresh, highly qualified prospects, letting you spend more time connecting with people and less time combing through lead databases.

Best of all, lead capture pages can be implemented quickly. With the right software and strategies, you can get a lead capture page up, running, and working for your business in no time. Before you know it, you’ll find new leads for your business without lifting a finger.

What is a Lead Capture Page?

A lead capture page is an essential component of an inbound marketing strategy. Visitors usually land on the page after searching for business solutions or learning about your company through social media, blog posts, or search engines.

nutshell inbound marketing strategy

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A lead capture page attracts potential customers by offering a free resource, such as a white paper, report, or trial of a product. In exchange, the prospect fills out a short form with their contact information. This supplies your sales team with a continual source of leads.

The info collected from a lead capture page is then uploaded to your CRM, becoming the foundation of any contact record in your sales pipeline. Once you’ve identified a lead, lead intelligence software can uncover additional details about a prospect, analyze how engaged they are, and offer insights into how to best communicate with that person.

How Lead Capture Pages Help Sales Teams

Between calling clients and closing deals, your salespeople are busy enough. Lead capture pages give them the freedom to focus on these high-touch tasks and understand their prospects better.

Find qualified leads on autopilot

An efficient lead capture page reduces the time your salespeople would otherwise spend trawling LinkedIn or contact databases for leads. It also automatically begins the qualification process, as leads who express interest in your offerings are likely to be more receptive than cold leads to communications from your sales team.

Gain insight into prospects

Manual lead generation can’t compare to the level of contact enrichment that lead capture pages help provide. Many programs that build and run lead capture pages can take the data submitted and use it as a launchpad to uncover tons of other details about leads. This gives your sales reps a greater understanding of who they’re selling to.

Score and prioritize leads

If members of your sales team often wonder which leads they should prioritize over others, a lead capture page can help. When used in tandem with lead scoring software, you can analyze the online behavior of leads captured from a web form and more accurately predict which ones are likely to buy. That way, sales reps know exactly who to focus their energy on and who they can pass on.

15 Lead Capture Page Software Options

Many tools and sales artificial intelligence tools too with lead capture page functions come packed with additional features that help you get more from your leads. These software options usually fall under one of three categories:

  • Lead capture page software with lead intelligence and nurturing
  • CRMs with lead capture page builders
  • Landing page builders

Lead Capture Page Software with Lead Intelligence and Nurturing

1. LeadBoxer

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Out of the box, LeadBoxer can start identifying leads from forms, as well as IP addresses, email, and other touchpoints.

Pros:

  • Tracks leads’ online activity, including what web pages they visit on your website, how long they spend there, and what emails they click through
  • Creates a lead score to help your sales team prioritize prospects
  • Can identify website visitors who don’t complete a form

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include a CRM

Cost: LeadBoxer starts at $195 per month.

2. Leady

marketing strategies from leady

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Leady identifies and scores new leads based on their level of engagement. It includes features that help flesh out contact records, giving sales reps greater insight into who they’re selling to.

Pros:

  • Creates detailed profiles about people visiting your site so you can better segment leads for your sales team
  • Reveals where leads came from so you can zero in on the marketing strategies that work best
  • Tracks a lead’s activity with your website and email marketing, as well as all communications with your sales team

Cons:

  • Only downloads data once per day, so you can’t start nurturing new leads immediately
  • Basic plan only identifies 300 unique site visitors per month

Cost: Leady starts at $39 per month.

3. Autopilot

marketing automation software autopilot

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Autopilot is marketing automation software that can help you build lead capture pages, then nurture new leads on, well, autopilot.

Pros:

  • The interface allows you to visualize exactly how the customer journey will unfold
  • Can automate repetitive tasks like educating new subscribers, assigning leads to members of your sales team, and following up on new leads
  • Easy to build multiple drip campaigns tailored to lead segments

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come equipped with a CRM, so you’ll need to integrate it with a separate program
  • Integrates with a limited number of tools

Cost: Autopilot starts at $49 per month.

4. Act-On

web form builder act-on

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Act-On integrates with your CRM to help you attract, convert, nurture, and score leads with ease. Its web form builder tracks conversion rates and the source of form visits so you know which of your marketing efforts are working best.

Pros:

  • Automatically starts sending drip campaigns to leads
  • Comes with features that help score leads based on their website activity, so sales reps know their level of engagement
  • Easier to use than direct competitors like Marketo

Cons:

  • Incredibly feature-rich and on the pricier side, so it’s not feasible for many small and medium-sized businesses

Cost: Act-On starts at $900 per month.

5. Karta

marketing and sales solution from karta

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Karta was designed as the most complete marketing and sales solution on the market. It touches almost every aspect of the customer journey, from letting you build lead capture pages to scoring and prioritizing leads for your sales team.

Pros:

  • Includes lead tagging and scoring features
  • Doesn’t require integrations to manage all aspects of your business
  • Can create segmented campaigns that respond to specific behaviors, so you can start nurturing new leads automatically

Cons:

  • With so many features, Karta can sometimes feel clunky or unwieldy
  • Karta is newer to the market, so some kinks are still being ironed out

Cost: Karta starts at $99 per month.

CRMs with Lead Capture Page Builders

6. HubSpot

hubspot marketing platform

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HubSpot offers an all-in-one CRM and marketing platform that can build lead capture pages, organize leads, and prioritize them based on engagement.

Pros:

  • Comes with tools to build lead capture pages or embeddable forms with 1,000 form fields and a dozen different form types
  • Automatically uploads leads into the CRM and begins nurturing them with email campaigns
  • Gauges lead engagement, then prioritizes them in the CRM so salespeople know who to focus on

Cons:

  • While HubSpot CRM is free, you’ll likely need to invest in the sales and marketing bundle to get all the lead capture features you want

Cost: HubSpot Marketing Hub and Sales Hub start at $50 per month, while a bundle starts at $112.50 per month.

7. Pipedrive

marketing automations from pipedrive

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Pipedrive is a popular CRM known for working well right out of the box. With its web form builder, you can start capturing leads within minutes.

Pros:

  • New contacts in your CRM are automatically created from form submissions
  • Tracks all calls, emails, and contact activity for each lead
  • Pipedrive is so easy to use, you can train new users on it in just one day

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come equipped with predictive lead scoring, so you’ll need to integrate an additional tool if you want this feature
  • Limited marketing automation features compared to a CRM like HubSpot

Cost: Pipedrive starts at $12.50 per user per month.

8. Zoho CRM

lead generation from zoho

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Zoho CRM, one of the top-rated CRMs available, comes packed with features like web forms for lead generation. The tool can meet your customers at every stage of their lifecycle, from marketing to customer support.

Pros:

  • Drag and drop web form builder makes it easy to launch lead capture pages in minutes
  • Multiple levels of billing is great for businesses that plan to scale up
  • The interface is so user-friendly, many customers claim not to need training before getting started

Cons:

  • Customers report that importing and exporting leads sometimes leads to corrupted files
  • Emails generated by Zoho CRM can sometimes get sent to leads’ spam or blocked entirely

Cost: Zoho CRM starts at $12 per user per month.

9. Agile CRM

lead capture form tool agile

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Like Zoho CRM, Agile CRM lets you manage marketing, sales, and customer service all in one platform, but with a slightly cheaper price tag.

Pros:

  • Lead capture forms automatically sync data with the CRM, which can then segment leads based on behavior and characteristics
  • Can help you find unknown email addresses for leads using only a lead’s name and their company’s website address
  • Allows you to purchase additional features without upgrading to the next subscription level

Cons:

  • Users find some of the marketing automation features buggy
  • Customer support can be inconsistent

Cost: Agile CRM starts at $8.99 per user per month.

10. Keap

marketing and sales processes from keap

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Keap is the solution for teams who want all of the marketing and sales processes within the same platform. From the moment you capture leads to the time they make a payment, Keap does it all.

Pros:

  • Automatically segments leads based on form answers, then nurtures them with emails and content based on certain behaviors and triggers
  • A great e-commerce business solution
  • Full range of marketing automation capabilities is notably strong

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work well at blocking spam form submissions
  • New users need significant training before they can expect to use the program efficiently

Cost: Keap starts at $79 per month.

Landing Page Builders

11. Instapage

landing page builder from instapage

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Instapage started as a dynamic landing page builder but has since transformed into an advertising conversion cloud. With Instapage, you have all the tools you need to optimize your advertising funnel and turn more leads into customers.

Pros:

  • Create an entire advertising funnel to attract visitors to your web forms, then convert them into leads
  • Automates the process of creating multiple landing pages that match the messaging of your social media or search engine ads
  • Drag and drop landing page builder creates stunning lead capture pages with no coding required

Cons:

  • Doesn’t integrate with email marketing platforms like ConvertKit, so you’ll need to find a workaround if you want to start automatically nurturing new leads from form submissions

Cost: Instapage starts at $149 per month.

12. Unbounce

lead capturing opportunities from unbounce

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Unbounce offers many of the same features as Instapage but at almost half the price. Small businesses that want to build unique lead capture pages to match all their ads will love Unbounce’s functionality and affordability.

Pros:

  • Drag and drop builder lets you collaborate with team members and make edits in real-time
  • Lets you create pop-ups and sticky bars for even more lead capturing opportunities
  • Uses A/B testing to automatically optimize pages for the best conversions

Cons:

  • The builder isn’t as intuitive as some of its competitors, so new users should expect a slight learning curve
  • Certain landing page features require additional coding

Cost: Unbounce starts at $79 per month.

13. Leadpages

lead generation tool leadpage

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Leadpages is a landing page builder and lead generation tool geared toward small business. It’s extremely easy to use and has almost no learning curve.

Pros:

  • Comes packed with templates so you can start capturing leads even faster
  • Has a feature that tells you exactly what you need to tweak on your landing page in order to increase your conversions
  • If you only want to build a few basic lead capture pages, Leadpages is the most affordable option

Cons:

  • Doesn’t integrate smoothly with software like Stripe, so if you want to add fields like coupon codes to your pages, you’ll have to find a workaround
  • The price of the fully functional version can be prohibitive for small businesses

Cost: Leadpages starts at $25 per month.

14. Landingi

landingi landing page creator

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Landingi is an affordable alternative to some of the bigger landing page builders in the industry but is just as easy to use.

Pros:

  • Customer service is receptive to user feedback and often implements suggestions into future upgrades
  • Includes a feature that tells you where site visitors came from, so you know which marketing efforts are leading to the most conversions.

Cons:

  • Not good for making several similar landing pages with tweaks only to certain blocks or modules
  • Less feature-rich than some of its competitors

Cost: Landingi starts at $29 per month.

15. Mailchimp

mailchimp all-in-one marketing platform

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Mailchimp has long since upgraded from an email marketing tool to an all-in-one marketing platform, offering features like a landing page builder, conversion rate tracking, and even free domains.

Pros:

  • Easy to integrate with almost any tool
  • Start building and hosting landing pages for freet
  • Its paid version is the most affordable of its competitors, making it ideal for small or new businesses

Cons:

  • A landing page builder isn’t nearly as dynamic as others on this list
  • Limited segmentation ability
  • No plugin with Spotify

Cost: Mailchimp’s paid plans start at $9.99 per month.

Tips for Creating an Optimized Lead Capture Page

Not all lead capture pages are created equal. To maximize your conversions, there are certain best practices you should keep in mind when designing a form.

Limit the fields in the lead form

Having too many fields, especially ones that feel irrelevant or invasive, can lead many visitors to navigate away before they finish completing the form. The quicker a visitor can enter their info, the more likely they are to convert.

For example, visitors who want to sign up for a free trial of LeadBoxer only have to enter their email address to get started.

lead form from leadboxer

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Even if they need to enter additional info before they can start using the program if feels less forced than a form that demands several lines of data upfront.

Compare that to this form, which requires visitors to fill out seven fields before they can access a report.

how to loose valuable conversions

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Chances are, this company is losing out on valuable conversions because visitors aren’t ready to divulge that level of information.

Match the fields in the lead form to the offer

It doesn’t matter if it’s helpful for you to know a lead’s company or job title. If that info doesn’t relate to the gated resource you’re offering, it might reduce your conversion rate.

Check out this registration for a free webinar from Kinsta, a managed WordPress hosting provider, which only requires that attendees submit their name and email.

registration form from kinsta

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This is presumably so attendees can receive the link and a calendar reminder for the webinar. If Kinsta were to ask for less relevant information, such as company name or job title, visitors might be put off and leave the page before completing their registration.

Choose the right positioning for the lead form

There are three places you can position the lead capture form: above the fold, at the bottom of a page, or in a pop-up. Each has different benefits.

If the form is above the fold, that means you can see the form at the top of the page without having to scroll. This type of form is quick to grab a visitor’s attention and works best when used as a post-click landing page for a search engine or social media ad.

right positioning for the lead form

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Sometimes the form is positioned next to an image of the product. This serves as a visual reminder of what the visitor will receive in exchange for their info.

Another option is to position the form at the bottom of the page.

lead capture form from hubspot

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Visitors who read through all the info about your product or resource before submitting their info demonstrate a high level of engagement, which helps your sales team prioritize them.

Finally, you can put your lead capture form in a pop-up, as Instapage does for visitors who want to download a free guide.

pop-up capture form from instapage

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This method keeps visitors focused on the form, so they’re less likely to be distracted by other links or elements on the page before submitting their info.

Include your privacy policy

The info collected through lead capture pages is sensitive enough to qualify as personal data under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR, which regulates the personal data of all European Union residents, requires that you disclose how and why the data is collected, as well as how you handle the data and dispose of it.

In addition to including this disclosure in your existing privacy policy, you should also link to your privacy policy on the lead capture page. HubSpot, like many B2B companies, positions this link at the bottom of the form so that visitors are sure to see it before they submit their info.

privacy policy on display ob hubspot

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Aside from being a legal necessity, having your privacy policy on display shows your brand’s professionalism and commitment to the customer’s best interests.

Generate Leads on Autopilot for Your Sales Team

Your B2B marketing strategy is incomplete without a lead capture page. A lead capture page is the simplest way to find and qualify prospects for your sales team, who can then redirect their energy on nurturing leads and closing deals. In the long run, this relatively inexpensive strategy can end up generating significant revenue for your company.

However, even if you follow all the tips and best practices for creating an optimized lead capture page, the page only works as well as the software you pair it with. With the right software, you’ll never have another high-quality lead slip through the cracks because of pipeline mismanagement. Your best bet is to use a lead intelligence tool that can take the info you collect from lead capture pages and turn into actionable data that helps you prioritize leads and convert them into customers with ease.

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Comparison: The 10 Best Sales Intelligence Tools

It’s no secret that to make sales, you need to know your individual prospects inside and out, from the size of their company to their most recent source of funding. However, gathering this data is time-consuming. Most sales reps are extremely busy communicating with their leads and working to close deals.

Meanwhile, sales intelligence tools automatically find and interpret this data so your reps don’t have to. With the right sales intelligence tools, your reps can focus more on delivering a better sales experience to prospective customers and less on data entry.

This guide offers an introduction to sales intelligence and a comparison of some of the most popular tools available. That is to say, with the right suite of tools, your team will be able to close more deals faster and with less data entry.

Keep reading or skip ahead to these sections:

What are Sales Intelligence Tools?

Sales intelligence involves gathering and analyzing information about prospective customers. As a result, sales reps can keep their pipelines filled with high-quality leads that are likely to close.

While a sales rep could do this manually by collecting data from social media, news outlets, lead capture pages, and company websites, in reality, the process is too time-consuming for this approach to be feasible.

That’s where sales intelligence tools come in. These tools automate the collection and interpretation of data, helping reps to:

  • Find potential new customers
  • Populate prospect records with details such as contact info, company size, and revenue
  • Track online behavior, including email clicks, website interactions, and search habits around the web
  • Qualify and rank leads according to their likelihood to buy
  • Update lead records so their data is always accurate
  • Gather relevant info from public sources like social media or news outlets

The Importance of Sales Intelligence

The main selling point for sales intelligence is its ability to streamline your workflow, therefore saving your team time and energy.

Moreover, without sales intelligence, reps can end up wasting time:

  • Searching for leads and accurate contact info
  • Pursuing leads with no real interest in buying
  • Passing up on prospects that actually want to hear from them

In short, with sales intelligence and sales AI, not only do reps know who they should contact, in addition, they’re already familiar with that company’s unique financial situation, any recent staffing changes, and other details that influence their pain points. As a result, reps can then refine their pitch to be sure they’re addressing each prospect’s most pressing needs.

The 10 Best Sales Intelligence Tools

1. LeadBoxer

sales intelligence tool leadboxer

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LeadBoxer helps you identify, track, and prioritize leads with ease.

Pros:

  • Identifies anonymous website visitors
  • Finds and fleshes out prospect profiles with contact info, company size, and other important details
  • Tracks website and email marketing behavior
  • Assigns contacts a lead score and helps prioritize prospects

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include intent data
  • Doesn’t gather insights from news outlets regarding recent company changes

Price: LeadBoxer’s basic plan starts at $195 per month.

2. ZoomInfo

zoominfo sales tool

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ZoomInfo keeps your lead database up-to-date with the most relevant and actionable details.

Pros:

  • Includes intent signals, so you know exactly which accounts are actively researching problems for which you provide solutions
  • Enriches contacts within your CRM, as a result, information like company size, funding, and technology use is always accurate

Cons:

  • Doesn’t score or help prioritize leads

Pricing: Contact ZoomInfo to find the right plan at the right price for your needs.

3. LinkedIn Sales Navigator

linkedin sales navigator

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LinkedIn Sales Navigator helps you find new leads and offers a ton of insight, for example, who they are and what makes them tick.

Pros:

  • Advanced search and lead recommendation options make it easier than ever to find prospects that fit your ideal customer profile
  • Integrates with your CRM so the leads you find are automatically saved as new contacts
  • Sends you alerts about job changes and other big shifts happening at target accounts

Cons:

  • Offers no insight into a lead’s behavior on your company’s website or around the web
  • Doesn’t help score or prioritize prospects

Pricing: LinkedIn Sales Navigator starts at $65 per month for a basic plan.

4. EverString

everstring business data tool

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EverString uses a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and human intelligence to monitor companies and give you the most comprehensive view of their current situation.

Pros:

  • Firmographics, news, intent data, and more certainly give you a 360-degree view of prospects
  • Tracks 20,000 intent signals per company, therefore giving you insight into who needs your product most
  • Automatically verifies contacts so you’re reaching out to the right person every time

Cons:

  • Requires significant training before you can use it efficiently
  • The cost can be prohibitive for smaller businesses

Pricing: EverString starts at $820 per month, so it is on the pricier side.

5. HubSpot Sales

hubspot lead searching tool

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HubSpot Sales is a CRM and lightweight sales intelligence tool all in one. As a result, making this a comprehensive solution for businesses on a tight budget.

Pros:

  • Tracks who visits your website in real-time so you can find new, qualified leads without actively searching
  • Prioritizes leads and scores them, showing reps who to reach out to first

Cons:

  • Doesn’t search for news or other insights that may impact your lead’s willingness to buy
  • Doesn’t automatically update or verify contact information

Pricing: HubSpot has a free version of its popular CRM, but Sales Hub starts at $50 per month.

6. Clearbit

sales contact database clearbit tool

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Much like ZoomInfo, Clearbit for sales is a contact database that updates your records with a range of insights.

Pros:

  • Includes a database of 200 million contacts at 20 million companies. So finding leads within your parameters is a breeze
  • Automatically enriches records with up-to-date contact and company information
  • Scores and routes leads to reps, who can strike while the iron is hot

Cons:

  • Doesn’t track website or search behavior
  • Some customers complain that Clearbit’s databases don’t update often enough

Pricing: Clearbit starts at $99 per month.

7. Adapt

lead builder tool adapt

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Adapt is one of the more lightweight and inexpensive tools on this list. However, it also offers limited features.

Pros:

  • The lead builder tool lets you build a list of new prospects in seconds using Adapt’s contact database
  • Chrome extension finds emails for leads on LinkedIn

Cons:

  • Doesn’t offer insights based on news or intent signals
  • Doesn’t score or prioritize leads

Pricing: There’s a free version, or you can choose a basic plan that allows more views and downloads. The basic plan is $39 per month.

8. InsideView

sales acceleration tool insideview

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InsideView integrates with your CRM to provide accurate information about target accounts and employees.

Pros:

  • Includes data like finances, recent news, and competitors, therefore giving you the clearest picture of who your lead is and what their pain points are
  • The “corporate family tree” feature shows you all the key players involved in a decision-making process. As a result, allowing you to build all the necessary connections to make a sale

Cons:

  • Doesn’t score or prioritize leads
  • CRM integrations can sometimes be buggy or clunky

Pricing: InsideView’s Sales Acceleration tool starts at $99 per user per month.

9. Lusha

lusha tool for connections with leads

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Lusha makes it easy to enrich and verify contact profiles. In other words, you can make faster and better connections with leads.

Pros:

  • Can be used as a Chrome extension to verify leads during your browse in LinkedIn
  • Automatically updates leads in Salesforce
  • Comes with a feature that scores and routes leads. As a result, reps always connect with the right prospects

Cons:

  • Customers complain that the phone numbers for leads are often incorrect.

Pricing: Lusha offers a free version of the tool. A basic plan starts at $23 per user per month.

10. UpLead

uplead sales process acceleration

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UpLead is similar to Adapt or ZoomInfo. For instance, you can find verified contact info for leads, therefore enriching the records in your CRM.

Pros:

  • Their database of 46 million contacts in 200+ countries makes it easy to get in touch with key players at target accounts
  • You can search for contacts and companies using over 50 different criteria. For example, location, management level, and revenue
  • Verifies email addresses in real-time, so you’re always getting the most accurate information right when you need it

Cons:

  • Revenue levels are broad. However, you can filter for revenue in a range of $1m-$10m, but not $1m-$5m
  • Smaller database size than its competitors

Pricing: UpLead offers a free version or a basic plan that starts at $99 per month.

Accelerate Your Sales Process With Sales Intelligence Tools

To build a strong relationship with your prospects, most importantly you need the most up-to-date information about their company and its needs. Sales intelligence tools and customer data software automate the collection and interpretation of this data, letting sales reps focus on moments of actual connection.

However, not all sales intelligence tools are created equal. Some excel at finding accurate contact information, while others stand out in their ability to gather intent data and relevant news from media outlets.

None of this data is helpful if you don’t know which leads are most worth focusing your efforts on. In the end, sales intelligence tools with lead scoring or prioritization features and demand generation marketing strategies are perhaps best able to accelerate your pipeline and close more deals.

LeadBoxer does exactly that. With website visitor identification, record enrichment, online behavior tracking, and lead scoring, LeadBoxer can find and prioritize prospects on autopilot, putting sales reps closer than ever to the actual sale. Get started with a free trial today.

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What is Lead Enrichment & How Does it Benefit Sales Teams

What if there was a way to know not only which leads were most likely to convert into customers, but also what you needed to do to guarantee the sale? The answer is lead enrichment. It’s about as close as you can get to know how to turn specific prospects into customers, without having a crystal ball.

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 data that gives your sales team enhanced insight into a prospective customer. With this data, sales reps can better understand how qualified prospects are and how best 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, 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 is closely tied to lead generation and demand generation marketing. When you generate a new lead, 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 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 oft-touted as an excellent source of B2B leads. There are several free and paid strategies for finding leads and enriching your data.

The most basic way to find and enrich leads with LinkedIn is to first create a list of companies that fit the profile of your ideal client. Then, 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.

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 leads’ 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. 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. 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 so sales reps can focus on the most high-quality leads.

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. To enrich lead profiles, Freshsales digs 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. If you want to close more deals faster and increase your revenue with less effort, it surely can help.

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 Cost Per Lead Why You Should Be Using It

What is Cost Per Lead & Why You Should Be Using It

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 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 acquiring new leads, 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. 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.

Don’t forget to calculate separate CPL metrics for different campaign platforms. 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 leads acquired through unique campaigns.

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 CPLs, with the highest average CPL 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 customers 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 2018 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. Clean out the ones that aren’t driving 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 prospects 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.

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 lead 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.

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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.

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 across 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 marketing metric 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 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.

lead intelligence

What is Lead Intelligence & Why Should You Care?

Imagine knowing your leads’ level of engagement with your brand, the likelihood that they’ll buy your product, and even the best strategies for communicating with them. With that kind of information, you could increase the effectiveness of your prospecting and win more deals. Lead intelligence is what makes it possible.

But what is lead intelligence, and how do you start using it in your business? This guide covers the basics, including the most useful types of lead intelligence and the best tools available today. Once you learn how to leverage lead intelligence, you’ll wonder how you ever managed to make sales without it.

What is Lead Intelligence?

Lead intelligence is a form of data that significantly elevates your understanding of your prospects. So you can better address their pain points, communicate effectively with them, and win their business. When it comes to B2B sales, lead intelligence is invaluable.

What is Lead Intelligence

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Given how effective lead intelligence is for prospecting, chances are that if your competitor isn’t already taking advantage of this sales strategy, they will be soon. All the more reason why you should start incorporating this form of data into your company’s sales process today.

There are several different types of lead intelligence. Which ones you should focus on depends on the needs of your business.

Types of Lead Intelligence

Knowing your lead’s name, email address, and phone number is just the beginning of lead intelligence. The following data points tell you just how interested prospects are in your product, what their pain points are, and how you can better connect with them.

Site visitors

Who’s visiting your website that isn’t already on your radar? Some lead intelligence software can unveil a visitor’s name, contact information, and company before they ever fill out a form.

Given that only 2% of website visitors fill out a form, being able to tap into that other 98% is a game-changer.

Contact information

If you know your lead’s name and company but don’t know how to reach them, there are tools available that can dig up and verify their email address or phone number for you.

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A Chrome extension such as this one from Lusha or a contact database like ZoomInfo both make it simple to find up-to-date info for all of your prospects.

Company details

If a company has recently received a big investment or has launched a new project, you should know about it. This information can give you insight into whether or not now is the right time to reach out with your offer. Updates about new hires or job changes also let you know if you’re contacting the right person.

Demographics

Study your company’s ideal customer profile, then make sure your lead intelligence software is gathering any details you need about a prospect’s age, job role, and geographic location. Knowing that a prospect has the essential characteristics of your ideal customer ensures that you spend time reaching out to the best leads.

Social media profiles

There are more ways than ever to connect with prospects. Knowing their LinkedIn profile, Twitter handle, or other social media profiles gives you more opportunities to engage with prospects outside their inbox and earn their trust. It also helps you come up with talking points based on the content they’ve recently posted.

Pages visited

Knowing the number of pages a prospect visited on your site can help you gauge their level of interest in your product. Lead intelligence can take it one step further and show you exactly which pages they’ve visited. And how long they spent on that page, shedding light on what problems they need help solving.

Emails opened

Ideally, you also want lead intelligence software that can integrate with your email marketing platform. To show you which emails a prospect opened, how long they spent reading the email, and if they clicked through on any links.

Site revisits

Does a prospect often return to your site? This can signal a greater level of interest in your product. Some lead intelligence software will alert you at the moment of a site revisit. So that you can reach out while your at the top of a prospect’s mind.

Personality characteristics

Knowing if a prospect prefers to communicate by email or phone is sometimes the difference between making or losing a sale. Some lead intelligence software can also clue you into their negotiation style, mannerisms, and questions that are most likely to prompt a desirable response.

Lead Score

Now that you have all this lead intelligence, how do you make sense of it quickly enough to take action? A lead score takes all the data you’ve gathered on a prospect and turns it into a number. This number indicates the likelihood that they’ll buy. There are formulas out there for calculating this yourself, but it can be a tedious process. Luckily, some lead intelligence software will make this calculation for you.

The Best Lead Intelligence Software

There are several different types of lead intelligence tools available that can find and help you interpret the best data on your prospects.

LeadBoxer

LeadBoxer is a solid all-in-one lead intelligence option that integrates with your CRM and marketing tools of choice. Not only does it help you identify and track website visitors and email behavior, but it also assigns them a leadscore based on their engagement with your brand across multiple channels and mediums. With LeadBoxer, not only do you know what kind of content prospects are most interested in, but you immediately know which prospects are most worth pursuing.

HubSpot Sales

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CRM heavyweight HubSpot offers sales tools that anyone can start using for free. The paid version of the platform comes equipped with features that identify prospective companies and their level of engagement. It can also track page views, pages visited, and the number of visitors from each company. However, HubSpot Sales doesn’t identify individual or anonymous visitors to the degree that LeadBoxer does.

VisitorTrack

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In addition to identifying and tracking anonymous website visitors, VisitorTrack offers intent data about a business. Intent data indicates that a prospect has been actively researching topics relevant to your business at other locations around the web. For instance, if you sell a marketing automation solution and a visitor to your site has been researching similar tools or topics on other websites, VisitorTrack will let you know.

Albacross

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Like HubSpot Sales, Albacross identifies companies that are visiting your website and shows you how engaged they are. It also goes into stats like the company’s revenue, the number of employees, exactly which pages they visited, and how long they spent on the site.

Albacross doesn’t identify individual visitors, but it does offer a list of GDPR compliant email addresses for decision-makers at the companies visiting your site. With this tool, you can have a better idea of whether or not the person you’re contacting has the authority to make a purchase.

LeadSift Buzz

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Buzz from LeadSift tracks what’s going on at a prospective company, such as if they found new sources of funding or launched a new product, eliminating the need to do that research yourself. In addition to curating all this news for you, Buzz offers guidance about what to do with that information, taking the guesswork out of conversation starters or talking points.

Crystal

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Crystal sets itself apart from other tools in this list by focusing on intelligence about a lead’s personality. This is especially useful for when you’re ready to contact a lead, deliver a proposal, or negotiate a contract. Few other tools can offer the same level of insight about a lead’s personality that Crystal can, but it doesn’t track their level of engagement with your brand or tell you how likely they are to buy.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

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LinkedIn Sales Navigator leverages a platform that both you and your prospects are already using. Sales Navigator comes with advanced search functions that make it easier than ever to find leads that match your ideal customer profile and can even recommend leads that you wouldn’t have thought of.

Lusha

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Lusha is one of the highest-ranked lead intelligence tools on G2. Its Chrome extension provides B2B contact enrichment based on profiles from places like LinkedIn or Twitter, making it easy to build up your list of prospects while you browse.

Use Lead Intelligence to Find and Engage With Qualified Prospects

If you’ve ever felt like you’re engaging with too many prospects and have not enough to show for your efforts, it’s time to integrate lead intelligence into your sales process. With lead intelligence, you’ll know exactly which prospects you should focus your attention on, plus which talking points you should use with them and how to engage with them in a way that earns their trust.

When it comes to choosing a lead intelligence tool, you can’t go wrong with an option that gathers data about anonymous visitors from a variety of sites and platforms, then interprets it into an actionable lead score. That way, you’ll spend more time on prospects who intend to buy and win more deals.

cross domain tracking

Cross-Domain Tracking: A Guide to Tracking Visitors Across Multiple Websites

Is your business operates across multiple domains and you aren’t already taking advantage of cross-domain tracking? Then you’re probably missing out on the sort of insights that could turbocharge your marketing and sales. Cross-domain tracking is a tool that’s all but essential for businesses with two or more sites. For example, the main website, a cart checkout site, a knowledge base, or a marketing campaign site.

In this guide, you’ll learn what cross-domain tracking is, why it’s important, and what tools are available to help you access it. By the end, you’ll know if this tracking is right for your business and which tool is best for your needs. With this kind of tracking and sales prospecting tools in your tool belt, you’ll be able to market more effectively to individual users and earn more sales.

What is Cross-Domain Tracking?

This kind of tracking gathers data about two or more sites. In particular, the navigation path from one site to another during a single session.

One Domain Tracking

For businesses with one domain, such as www.example.com, Google Analytics has made it simple and free to install a tag so that you can monitor data like:

  • Pageviews
  • Unique visitors
  • Average session duration
  • Acquisition
  • The flow of traffic between pages

You can even see what specific businesses are viewing a site thanks to Google’s ISP identification.

If your business has a second domain, you can install a separate Analytics tag that will record data for that site. However, the reports for both sites are kept separate.

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Therefore, if a user begins a session on www.example.com and then navigates to www.mysite.com, the data report from www.mysite.com will treat it as a new session. Instead of a continuation of an activity that began on www.example.com.

Cross-Domain Tracking

If you want to treat a session that begins on www.example.com and ends on www.mysite.com as a single entity instead of two unique sessions, then you’ll want to use cross-domain tracking.

The data for both sites will then be presented as a single report, like so:

diagCrossDomainOneProfile

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It’s possible to use Google Analytics or other software to enable cross-domain tracking, as you’ll see in a later section. Depending on which tool you use, you’ll either get a bird’s eye view of how the average user engages with your sites, or you can follow the experiences of unique visitors and then get actionable insights that your sales and marketing teams can use.

Why is Cross-Domain Tracking Important?

This kind of tracking can have different benefits for multiple divisions in business, chiefly marketing and sales.

For Marketing Teams

Marketing teams who are looking to improve the buyer’s journey across multiple sites and create a better customer journey map likely need to use it.

For example, if your business has some form of Lead Generation component or shopping cart checkout housed on a separate domain, cross-domain tracking allows marketing teams to analyze what’s working across multiple domains to help convert visitors to buyers and what needs more refinement.

Here’s an example of how this might look in Google Analytics:

GoogleAnalyticsNavigationPaths

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This User Flow report shows what pages visitors navigate to and from over the course of their sessions. You can see which paths are most common, as well as which pages users are more likely to bounce from. With cross-domain tracking, you can observe this flow across more than one site.

Cross-domain tracking can also make it possible to serve specific content to users across multiple domains based on their previous behavior, especially if you’re using a tool that’s designed to identify website visitors and respond to their behavior. This kind of targeted marketing can increase conversion rates.

For Sales Teams

Sales teams who prioritize a user’s level of interest when qualifying leads will find cross-domain tracking useful. It provides a more detailed picture of visitors’ engagement with one brand across multiple domains, giving sales teams a better frame of reference for how engaged, qualified and possibly interested a lead is.

Data about a user’s engagement or intent data is often used to calculate a lead score or a number value that describes how promising the user is as a lead. The example below shows a site user with a lead score of 83.

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Tracking engagement across multiple domains is essential for qualification and accuracy. Without cross-domain tracking of user engagement, you might be missing out on leads who are more engaged on one site but not the other.

How Do You Install Cross-Domain Tracking?

There are a few different tools that can enable tracking, including Google Analytics and LeadBoxer.

Google Analytics

Setting up a Google Analytics tag for one domain is pretty straightforward. Most people with basic web maintenance skills can figure it out on their own.

Things get more complicated when it comes to cross-domain tracking. If you decide to go with this method, it’s best to bring an experienced engineer into the picture who can install it correctly and maintain it as necessary.

Check out this guide for a complete rundown of how to install it with Google Analytics. As you’ll see, it’s a fair bit trickier than installing single domain tracking.

Even with this method, you won’t be able to track individual users. Google Analytics can give you a sense of what businesses are using your site and how users on average are engaging with the site, but it’s not designed to get any more granular than that.

LeadBoxer

LeadBoxer is platform for identifying and tracking individual users and their actions across one or more sites, where it is enriched, segmented and used  to calculate a lead score. This lead score helps sales teams know who they should invest their time and energy toward to nurture that lead into a customer.

Marketing teams can also benefit from LeadBoxer. They can get under the hood of individual users and see what content they’re engaging with across one or multiple sites, then target them with content that’s reflective of their previous behavior.

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In short, the big difference between Google Analytics and LeadBoxer is the ability to zoom in on a single user and take action based on their behavior. LeadBoxer also makes it possible to identify visitors who would otherwise remain completely anonymous, so you can reach out and make contact with these users in the event of B2B sales.

Cross-domain tracking is a standard feature included in LeadBoxer and can be enabled for you without doing any additional work.

To get started, schedule a call with LeadBoxer and ask for a trial with cross-domain tracking.

Installation is easy, simply install the same pixel in all your domains and we will take care of connecting the users/sessions without the use of 3rd party cookies!

All in all, LeadBoxer is a painless way to get cross-domain tracking at your fingertips. For more information about how to install t tracking with LeadBoxer, click here.

Opentracker

Opentracker offers a blend of Google Analytics and LeadBoxer features. Its primary purpose is to track unique visitors in realtime. Cross-domain tracking comes standard with this tool and is easy and intuitive to access.

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Unlike LeadBoxer, Opentracker doesn’t calculate a lead score or provide actionable insights about prospects to sales teams. It can identify a visitor’s company, but it doesn’t capture name and contact information the way LeadBoxer can.

Turn Visitors Into Buyers With Cross-Domain Tracking

If you have multiple related websites that users are likely navigating between during the same session, then cross-domain tracking is essential for capturing a complete picture of visitors’ online experiences. Cross-domain tracking is possible with Google Analytics but installation can be tedious and prone to mistakes. Analytics also doesn’t allow you to identify unique visitors.

If you want the ability to give visitors a face and a name, gauge their potential as a lead, and notify your sales team about when they should reach out and turn that lead into a customer, then LeadBoxer is a more appropriate tool. Best of all, installing cross-domain tracking with LeadBoxer is so easy that anyone with basic web maintenance experience can install it.

Sign up for a demo call of LeadBoxer today and try out cross-domain tracking in minutes.

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intent data

What is Intent Data & How Can You Use It?

According to research, the average B2B buyer is already 67% of the way through the buying journey before having extended contact with a salesperson. By that time, they’ve likely formulated some ideas about possible solutions to their pain point. And might even be leaning toward buying from your competitor.

Intent data is the key to identifying those leads sooner, nurturing them earlier in their buying journey, and making more sales. This comprehensive guide will outline the fundamentals of intent data, including:

By the end, you should know exactly how intent data fits into your marketing and sales processes. You’ll also learn how to pick the right intent data supplier for your needs. So you don’t end up with the wrong strategy for your business.

What is Intent Data?

Intent data shows the likelihood that a person or company is in the market to purchase a solution for a pain point. It’s derived from information about the online research contact or account is conducting about a particular topic. As well as context clues that might signal their purchasing intention. Topic and context data are the two main types of intent data. Both rely on tracking cookies, cross-domain tracking and IP addresses to form a complete picture.

Topic Data

If a hiker needs to buy new hiking boots, she may scout online reviews of top brands. Before she ever goes to the store and tries on a pair. Anyone looking at her search history might assume she’s interested in the topic of “hiking boots”. The same is true of B2B leads and target accounts. Forrester claims that 68% of B2B buyers research by themselves, a significant increase from 53% in 2015.

In addition, 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before connecting with someone in sales. Even before signing up for a free trial of the software that might solve their problem, your lead is probably researching their pain point and weighing multiple options. Topic data tells you what they’re researching. There are four types of topic data available.

Anonymous First-Party Behavioral

These are unknown visitors to your company’s site and the actions they take while there. They haven’t yet filled out a form or explicitly revealed information about themselves. However, it’s possible to identify their company by tracking their IP address. unknown visitors A lead generation tool like LeadBoxer can help fill in the gaps and show more contact information about these otherwise anonymous visitors. Consequently giving a more complete picture of who they are and what they’re researching on your site.

Known First-Party Behavioral

These visitors to your company’s site have provided their contact information by filling out a form, therefore they are “known” individuals. Lead generation or marketing automation software can track what pages they visit and other ways they engage with the site.

Anonymous Third-Party Behavioral

These are unknown visitors to sites you don’t own but that might still be relevant to your business. You can track different topics over a network of sites and see what’s most popular.

aberdeen intent data

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If you’re a supplier of project management solutions, and someone from a company that fits your ideal customer profile is reading articles about “project management” on Business Insider, you can access that information through intent data suppliers. A few of which we’ll review in a future section.

Known Third-Party Behavioral

These are visitors to sites you don’t own that have shared some of their contact information. Like with anonymous third-party behavioral, you can access their information and the topics they’re researching through the right supplier.

Context Data

Context data tells you whose intent data is valuable and who only has a passing interest in a topic. There are a few details that are especially useful for establishing context.

Job Title

If a sales professional is researching “sales pipeline management”, it’s possible they’re looking for a CRM tool that can help manage leads. If a marketing professional or content creator is researching the same topic, it may be more likely that they’re putting together a blog, video, or another piece of content on the subject.

Job Postings or Leadership Changes

Job postings and leadership changes can tell you whether or not to reach out to a lead. If you sell advertising services but the target account is in the process of looking for a new marketing director, now might not be the best time to approach them. And if the account has announced the recent hire of a marketing director, it’s a better opportunity to pounce and offer a better option than what the predecessor left behind.

New Funding

A new round of funding is another indicator that a company could be open to new solutions, both because they have a bigger budget and because they may be growing their operation and need more sophisticated tools to manage their company.

New Legislation

Did new legislation just pass that requires an account to operate their company in a certain way, or opens them up to new business? If you have the solution they need in response to these changes, this context lets you know if you should act.

Press

Keep a close eye on accounts that make the news. Press about an expansion of operations or increase in earnings might indicate that they need new solutions, while bad press may mean that they need some space to do damage control before focusing on other things. However, not all bad press is a sign to stay away. If an account makes the news for poor customer service, maybe now is the time to reach out and offer information about your CRM software.

What to Use Intent Data For

There are several uses for intent data, but before diving into the specifics, know that if your competitor isn’t already using intent data, they might soon. Polls show that nearly a quarter of B2B companies are already using intent data, while another 35% plan to use it within the next 12 months. Using intent data in some capacity will become increasingly necessary to stay competitive. These are the main ways that it can benefit your business.

Reaching Leads Early

The most obvious use of intent data is to establish contact with leads earlier in the buying journey. Getting in touch with leads before other salespeople do is one of the biggest ways to get a leg up on the competition; research shows that in 70% of cases, the first salesperson to connect with a lead is ultimately who they give their business to.

Lead Prioritization

Context data can help make a distinction between who is actively researching a pain point and who is just reading about a certain topic without any intention of making a purchase. This information illuminates whether or not a lead fits your ideal customer profile. prioritize leads A tool like LeadBoxer quickly shows you the highest priority leads by allowing you to search by filters such as location, industry, and company size.

Automated Outreach

First-party leads that give off certain signals can trigger automatic marketing or sales processes, such as an email series, that can instantly start nurturing them when it matters most.

Account-Based Marketing

Hone in on what content works best at engaging first-party leads, and what needs more refining.

Personalization of Outreach

By knowing what topics and articles leads are researching, sales agents can personalize how they make contact and develop a relationship with them. They can mention specific topics and establish relevance quickly to capture and hold a lead’s attention.

Targeted Advertising

Get even more granular with your advertising strategy by honing in on leads who give off certain signals. That way, you’re not wasting any of your advertising dollars on people who only have a passing interest but have no intention of buying your product.

Targeted Account List

Develop a list of accounts who are engaging with third-party sites about relevant topics but aren’t yet engaging with your company. You’ll be able to connect with leads who your sales team might have otherwise never considered.

Analyze and Retain Customers

Intent data works with existing customers, too. Monitoring what current clients are researching so you know if they’re thinking about switching to a competitor or if there’s something you can upsell them on. With intent data in your toolbox, you can continue to anticipate and solve problems long after the initial purchase has been made.

How to Obtain Intent Data

There are several intent data vendors out there who can help you access intent data on your site or data available on third-party sites.

First-Party Intent Data Vendors

First-party intent data is nothing new. You may already have access to some thanks to free tools such as Google Analytics. Other vendors can provide you more details about who is visiting your site and turn anonymous visitors into known visitors.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free tool that monitors the activity on a site, such as page views and how visitors arrived at the site. While it can’t identify individuals, it can hone in on IP addresses and show you what accounts are active on the site.

google site visitors

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In the example above, several businesses use branded aliases, making it possible to identify which accounts are visiting a site. However, Google Analytics can’t provide any further context than that. It also can’t go into detail about what the visitors’ unique actions were on the site.

LeadBoxer

LeadBoxer catalogs all known visitors to your website. If a visitor fills out a form, the information they provide automatically populates their profile within the software. LeadBoxer can then calculate a lead score for that person using other data points such as what pages they visited, what topics they seem most interested in, and how engaged they are with the site.

leadboxer 360 view

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With this information, you’ll know exactly when to act on a lead. LeadBoxer takes it one step further and can help identify previously unknown visitors. For example, if the visitor didn’t fill out a form but arrived at the site via LinkedIn, LeadBoxer can trace back to that person’s LinkedIn profile and use the information to populate the visitor’s information within the software.

BounceX

Like LeadBoxer, BounceX can identify many website visitors (40-70%) who would otherwise remain anonymous. It then creates personalized marketing experiences – similar to account-based marketing – for these visitors based on their engagement.

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BounceX can automatically engage with visitors who have not yet filled out a form or appear that they’re about to leave the site. In a way, it identifies users who are displaying intent and then begins to nurture them before a sales agent ever steps in.

While sophisticated, BounceX is said to have nearly a $4,000/month price tag, making it a serious investment for most businesses. It also doesn’t prioritize showing you accounts who express high intent but instead tries to let the AI nurture users through website personalization.

Third-Party Intent Data Vendors

If an account is researching topics around the web that are relevant to your product or service, these solutions will help you find them.

Bombora

Bombora can tell you what companies are expressing active intent to purchase your products or services long before someone from that company ever lands on your site. This tool does this by monitoring 6,000 intent topics across 3,800+ publisher websites.

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Bombora only tracks IP addresses, cookie IDs, and company domains provided by the publishers’ registration data. They can tell you what companies are expressing intent, but they can’t tell you exactly which employee is doing the research or who your sales team should engage with. In short, there’s no context data with this vendor.

Aberdeen

Aberdeen bought The Big Willow, and intent data supplier, back in 2018. They offer a lot of the same value that Bombora does but take it a step further by integrating their solutions into Salesforce.

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Companies expressing active intent pop up in the Salesforce dashboard so sales teams know exactly which accounts to jump on. You can also see how those accounts will impact the pipeline. You can also choose to integrate Aberdeen Marketscape, a product that shows all the topic keywords researched by each account showing intent.

This helps establish more context. If you’re not already using Salesforce, getting started with Aberdeen’s intent data (and then Marketscape) might be a little too complicated and cost-prohibitive.

How to Select an Intent Data Vendor

There are several different suppliers of intent data out there. It’s important to work with the one that best fits the needs and size of your company, or else you risk losing time and money. Here are a few considerations to keep at the top of mind when screening vendors.

How many sites are in the vendor’s network?

Ask this question if you’re considering third-party data vendors. The network refers to the websites they monitor, which tend to be publisher sites like Forbes. The larger the network, the better, as this gives them a bigger pool of data to draw from.

How many topics does the vendor monitor?

Third-party data vendors monitor a finite amount of topics. At the time of this writing, Bombora claims to have nearly 6,000 topics in their system, while Aberdeen claims to have hundreds of thousands of keywords at their disposal.

Can the vendor give context?

On its own, a list of names and topics they’re researching isn’t very useful. You need context to know if their company fits your ideal customer profile, as well as what their job title is and if they have any purchasing authority. Third-party data vendors can’t give much context at this time, but some solutions for first-party intent data can.

How to Use Intent Data

Trying to make use of intent data in its raw form is inefficient. Intent data works best when used to calculate a lead score. A lead score is a concise, visual way to describe how promising the lead is and therefore how much it’s worth pursuing them.

Some solutions, like LeadBoxer, will not only capture intent data but will automatically input it into a lead score. You can adjust what data points to use for calculating a lead score based on the needs of your company. set lead score 900

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Here are three of the most important factors to keep in mind when adjusting what data points to use for a lead score.

Fit

This is as simple as asking the question: does this lead fit our ideal customer profile? Are they the right size company, in a certain location, etc.? If an account showing active intent doesn’t fit the mold of your ideal customer, then their lead score will go down.

Intent

Take into consideration not only the topics researched by that account but the frequency and recency of the research.

Engagement

Has this account not only engaged with relevant third-party pages, but with your site or social media profiles? A solid first-party data vendor will be able to track and show you individual actions. Use that information to increase their lead score. track actions The more specific the data points used to calculate a lead score, the more accurate and useful the lead score will be. This will help weed out accounts that aren’t the right fit or are researching topics without having any intent to buy a product or service.

When Intent Data Isn’t Enough

Intent data isn’t a magic bullet for identifying leads earlier. There are limitations to this technology that will hopefully improve as time goes on. Be aware of the following when incorporating intent data into your marketing and sales processes.

When a Visitor is Registered Under the Wrong IP Address

If an unknown visitor to your site or a third-party site is registered under the wrong IP address, you won’t be able to tell what company they work for. This often happens by accident but nevertheless makes it impossible to identify the correct account.

When a Buyer is Conducting Research Out-of-Network

Third-party intent data vendors like Bombora and Aberdeen don’t aggregate data from every corner of the internet. They only draw information from sites within their networks. If a buyer is researching on sites not covered by that network, then you’ll never know.

Decay Rate of Third-Party Data

Given the amount of content people consume regularly, you shouldn’t expect sales agents to always be able to reach out to a lead and reference content they read a week or two earlier.

Third-Party Data Lists Account But No Contacts

Bombora and Aberdeen only list the account, not the contact information of the individual who was searching.

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While it’s certainly useful to know which accounts have an interest, you’re still limited by not knowing who to reach out to.

When Used At the Expense of a Sustainable Sales Pipeline

Relying on intent data is no reason not to have robust marketing strategies that help draw new leads into your sales pipeline. Like most sales tactics, it’s best used in tandem with other processes.

Get an Edge Over the Competition With Intent Data

Intent data is a hot technology that more and more businesses are using to gain an edge over their competitors. By seeing what topics leads are researching, you can reach out to them sooner and have a better chance at closing the deal. While it’s not the end-all, be-all way to keep your sales pipeline full, it is a valuable tool to have at hand.

Third-party intent data still isn’t as precise as some would hope it to be. Vendors can only provide accounts, not individual contacts, and don’t offer much in the way of context data. Third-party data also decays more quickly than first-party data.

Some first-party data is free and already at your fingertips via Google Analytics. A tool like LeadBoxer can keep you apprised of who exactly is visiting your site whether or not they’ve filled out a form. It’s also easy to get context data and use each data point to calculate a lead score, showing you exactly which leads to act upon at that moment.

If you haven’t already started taking advantage of the intent data laying untapped on your site, now is a great time to start. Try a free trial of LeadBoxer today.

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10 Buying Signals You Should Look For

Imagine if some magic words or signs indicated how likely a prospective customer is to buy. Your sales and marketing teams would know exactly who to focus their efforts on. As it happens, there are such signs. They’re called buying signals, and taking note of them 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 the buyer’s journey. Some signals occur 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 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 and keen attention to detail.

The following ten signals occur during both digital and physical encounters between a company and prospective clients.

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.

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Lead generation software can capture this action and use it as part of the data that generates a lead score.

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. 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 the trial. 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.

LeadBoxer captures that data and uses it to populate a prospect’s profile. The software will then log future actions the 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. With that information, sales agents can 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.

Calibrate your lead nurturing software to 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 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.

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 sign that they’re discussing amongst themselves how the product fits with their needs.

In any case, if the main contact is seeking the opinions of people they work with, it’s likely 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.

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

This buying signal 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, they might 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 is 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 that they’ll keep buying from you.

Pay attention to buying signals and close more deals

Knowing when a prospect is ready 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 signals.

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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The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn Lead Generation for B2B companies

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 find leads 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 more leads for less on the platform.

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, email tracking pixel, display networks, 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 target audience is 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.

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, you could save big 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.

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 demonstrate to ideal clients that you’re an expert in your industry. You can use them to anticipate and answer prospects’ 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 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 engaging with.

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.

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

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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LinkedIn 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.

Tools that Help with LinkedIn Lead Generation

From browser extensions to full-on software, there are several 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 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 on LinkedIn until they become clients.

For example, 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:

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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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Lead Generation 101

B2B Lead Generation 101: Strategies, Best Practices, and Software

You know that a full sales pipeline is imperative for business growth. Without an airtight system for B2B lead generation in place, you’re sure to slow down your already hard-working sales team.

At first, B2B lead generation might seem like a complex process, but don’t let that discourage you. In this article, you’ll learn the three essential components you must have for an effective system of B2B lead generation:

  • Strategy – the digital channels you use to attract your clients
  • Best practices – the details you must include to make sure those channels work well
  • Tools – the software that will ensure your system is optimized and automated

With these components in mind, you’ll be able to craft a system that appeals to your ideal buyers and starts generating leads quickly and with less effort.

What is B2B lead generation?

B2B lead generation is the process of identifying new prospects for your sales team to pursue. It includes three main stages:

  1. Gaining prospects’ attention and guiding them to your site, often through content marketing or traditional advertising
  2. Capturing their information with a lead magnet, form, or by identifying anonymous website visitors on your site
  3. Assessing that information to determine which are the highest quality leads

An optimized lead generation strategy can deliver increased ROI for your marketing budget by filling a sales pipeline on autopilot. It saves your sales team the frustration of cold calling or cold emailing, helping keep productivity and morale high.

The Top Strategies for B2B Lead Generation

There are several different strategies for gaining prospects’ attention. Which of the following or combination of the following you should use will depend upon the online behavior of your ideal buyer.

Social Media

Facebook has several different ad formats, but rce

If the user is interested in learning more about the product or service, they click the ad and a form appears. Facebook pre-populates the form with their information so there are only a few taps between you and a newly qualified lead.

Secret Entourage, a mentorship service for entrepreneurs, reportedly restructured and streamlined their ad strategy by focusing on Lead Ads. Compared to their original campaign, the new one led to 40% more purchases with 88% fewer ad sets. They were also able to lower their cost per purchase by 10%.

While this case study shows promise, the average click-through rate (CTR) of Facebook ads for B2B companies is 0.78%. While the average CTR across all industries is 0.9%.

LinkedIn

A more effective platform for social media ads may be LinkedIn. Source

Although similar in form and function to Facebook image ads, LinkedIn ads are proven to generate more leads for B2B companies. According to the company’s content marketing blog, 80% of B2B leads generated through social media come from LinkedIn.

It makes sense why. A sizable chunk of LinkedIn users are in the position to make purchasing decisions for their companies. Of its 500 million members, 61 million are senior-level influencers and 40 million are decision makers.

Several case studies back up the claim that LinkedIn is the king of B2B marketing on social media. Simplus, a Salesforce partner, saw 70% of their website form fills come directly from LinkedIn. As a result, they’re shifting most of their ad spend to the platform.

HubSpot took a look at their customer’s results with LinkedIn Sponsored Content and found similarly promising results:

While LinkedIn has a higher cost per click (CPC) than Google Ads, the conversion rate is twice as high. This leads to a lower cost per lead overall.

PPC Ads

Don’t write off Google Ads or other pay-per-click (PPC) ads just yet. These are some of the most popular channels for lead generation. And there are benefits to having them as a part of your lead generation strategy.

Source

The average conversion rate for B2B industries is 3.04% in the search network and 0.8% in the display network.

While both the CTR and conversion rate for B2B ads is lower than most other industry averages, there are countless case studies out there that demonstrate the effectiveness of PPC ads for B2B businesses.

Digital marketing agency SevenAtoms executed a campaign that included Google Ads for Imperva Incapsula, a cyber security SaaS company. The results speak for themselves:

Mn this case, it definitely paid for Imperva Incapsula to have an experienced agency on their team to get the most out of their PPC ad budget.

If you’re interested in other PPC ad options, consider review directories such as FinancesOnline, G2, or Capterra. These platforms can have lead conversion rates as high as 24%. Making them solid alternatives for companies who are more concerned about their budget.

Capterra is a review directory dedicated to software, making it the perfect choice for SaaS companies. In Capterra, companies can pay to be a sponsored post so they rank at the top of a search:

Source

The “Visit Website” button in this example takes visitors to a landing page tailor-made for that ad. Leads acquired through this channel are clearly searching for a software solution, making them highly qualified.

Blogging

Blogging is a popular method of content marketing for B2B companies, and for good reason. It gives businesses a chance to:

  • Answer prospects’ questions
  • Demonstrate their expertise
  • Show what makes them unique in a sea of competitors
  • Provide excellent service before any money has ever changed hands

To a potential customer, all these qualities can help increase their trust in your business. Provided you give them an opportunity to fill out a form for more information somewhere within the blog post or on the page, blogging can be an effective way of collecting leads.

Oren Smith from Source

They were also able to increase organic traffic by 182%, ensuring that their visibility on search engines would continue to grow.

HubSpot also knows that blogging is a major asset for their business. 90% of their leads each month come from posts on HubSpot that were published months or years ago.

Email

No matter the changing trends in social media or content marketing, email and email tracking pixel continue to be a valuable form of lead generation and nurturing. For every dollar spent on email marketing, businesses can earn $43.

In order to stand out, it pays to be thoughtful about the quality of emails you’re sending. There’s no sense in flooding a subscriber’s already crowded inbox.

Hammock, a B2B content marketing agency, thought creatively about its newsletter. It came up with the !dea Email, or one “bright idea” in a single email. Each email includes a single landscape image accompanied by about 350 words of copy.

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By focusing on a simple, interesting concept sent every two weeks, Hammock was able to boost their open rates by 48%. They cut through the clutter of subscribers’ inboxes by adhering to the principle of more is less.

The 8 Best Practices for B2B Lead Generation

Now that you know the strategies of lead generation, it’s time to hone in on the details. These best practices will make sure your system for lead generation is airtight.

Tailor Marketing to Different Buyer Personas

Your business should have at least one buyer persona so that you know exactly how to structure your marketing and lead generation efforts. Knowing your ideal buyer will help you know where you should direct your ad spend. And also what kind of content you should be creating to attract them.

Not all prospects with decision-making or purchasing power will have the same online behaviors. For example, Pew research found that Twitter usage among U.S. adults drops as age increases. On the other hand, 61% of LinkedIn users are in the 30 to 64-year-old age range. You may be able to reach some mid-level decision makers on Twitter, as well as some senior-level influencers on LinkedIn.

Be Mobile-Friendly

If there’s only one best practice to follow, let it be this one.

In 2018, 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide was generated by mobile users. That means there’s a good possibility that over half of the visitors to your site could be viewing it on their phone.

If your site isn’t built to be mobile-friendly, then chances are you’re losing a devastating amount of leads – and sales.

Optimize Your Website

 

Even if your site has a professional design and is mobile-friendly, you still might be losing visitors before they have a chance to become viable leads. Use Google Analytics to view an overview of behavior flow so you can see exactly where and how much traffic is dropping off.

This will help you hone in on what pages are attracting and retaining visitors, and what pages still need some work. You can then use tools like Hotjar (discussed in a later section) to get even more specific and discover exactly what elements on a page are working well and what needs to be updated.

Use Video Content

There are a few powerful statistics that suggest that video content can drive significant traffic for your website. A white paper from Cisco states that internet video traffic made up 69% of all global consumer internet traffic in 2017.

Meanwhile, a report from HubSpot showed that when given the choice to skim or consume thoroughly, 55% of users will pay close attention to video – more than any other type of content analyzed.

Create Long-Form Blog Content Consistently

Just because video is a powerful content marketing tool doesn’t mean that you should ignore blogging. Long-form content is still king when it comes to generating traffic from search engine results. In fact, posts with at least 2,000 words are more likely to rise to the top of search engines than any other article length.

Keywords alone won’t ensure the top spot on search engines. To increase your ranking, create high-quality articles and guides on a regular basis so that Google knows your site is relevant and engaging. This also increases your brand awareness and credibility with leads.

Capture Leads on Every Site Page

Your blog and video content gives visitors a reason to come to your site, so be sure to give them an opportunity to stay. At least one newsletter sign-up form, comment form, trial sign-up button, or other lead capturing form should be available on each page of your site.

To make capturing leads through forms even more effective, structure your content so that it naturally segues into the sign-up form. Be sure to test and analyze how well each page or post is at capturing leads, then adjust accordingly

Use Lead Magnets

Lead magnets are offers such as white papers, ebooks, or other free resources that are used to entice visitors into giving you their information. These resources also help you qualify leads, as they can help indicate the lead’s needs and pain points.

To create an irresistible lead magnet, follow these examples and come up with a resource that solves a problem, is specific, easy to digest, and has high actual and perceived value.

Score Captured Leads

Not all leads are created equal. Lead scoring is the process of generating a number, typically between one and 100, that shows just how qualified that lead is. The process can be done manually with a formula, although this is time-consuming and has a lot of variables.

Luckily, there are some options for automating the lead scoring process, as you’ll see in the next section.

The 8 Best Tools for Optimizing B2B Lead Generation

All these strategies and best practices might seem overwhelming, but there are several tools to help you automate, execute, and optimize your lead generation strategy. Best of all, many of these tools are free or free to get started.

Best Lead Scorer: LeadBoxer

LeadBoxer doesn’t just score leads captured through forms or lead magnets on your site. It’s able to identify 50% of site visitors who would otherwise remain anonymous. Not only that, it can populate data such as contact information, the prospect’s industry, and their specialty.

LeadBoxer also tracks visitors’ online behavior while they engage with your brand (website visits, social media engagement, email opens, ad clicks, etc.) It uses this information to automatically calculate a lead score, which tells your sales team who is most likely to convert.a

This saves your team time, increases sales, boosts morale, and ultimately saves you money.

Best Landing Page Creator: Instapage

Image source

Price: Professional Plan – $11.25/month, Turbo Plan – $41.25/month

Free trial: Yes + limited free forever plan

What it’s all about: LimeLeads is a great tool for sales prospecting as it doesn’t cooperate with fake data.

The tool was built by a bunch of B2B marketing veterans that were sick of a lack of credible data being available. Its main goal is getting you prospect lists that are accurate.

The tool integrates with CRMs and will enable sales teams to put together a list of prospects in 30 seconds or less.

Salespanel.io

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Thanks to an intuitive interface and a slew of features, Instapage is the perfect tool for building landing pages that integrate seamlessly with your PPC advertising campaign.

You can easily optimize pages for lead generation by using features like heatmaps, A/B testing, mobile-responsive pages, and drop-in pixel tracking for easy remarketing. Best of all, Instapage’s drag-and-drop interface is user-friendly, negating the need for a web designer to get your campaign started.

With Instapage, you can create several landing pages that are individually tailored to target unique buyer personas, all with a few clicks of the mouse.

Best Site Optimizer: Hotjar

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While Instapage has several features that help you create optimized landing pages, you need to make sure the rest of your website is working just as hard for your business. A well-optimized website is an essential part of the user experience and can generate more leads, regardless of whether or not they discovered your brand through a landing page.

Hotjar tracks users’ journeys through your site and shows you exactly where they’re dropping off and why. Powerful tools like heatmaps, visitor recordings, form analysis, and feedback polls eliminate all the guesswork about why certain visitor behavior is happening and what can be done to improve their journey.

Best Social Media Automation: Buffer

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A robust social media presence helps your business establish credibility and trust. Luckily, you don’t need an overly complex strategy or need to devote a lot of time and manpower to sustaining your social presence.

A tool like Buffer keeps all your posts organized and automated. Use it to schedule posts in advance, then review the analytics to see how well posts are performing.

Buffer also collects conversations from your followers in one inbox, making it easy to respond to questions or comments about your business.

Best Content Planner: Google Analytics and Keyword Planner

Creating high-quality blog content that visitors will find extremely useful and interesting is one of the best ways to attract new leads. Free tools like Google Analytics and Keyword Planner can help you pick article topics that are sure to perform well.

Keyword Planner is actually a function of Google Ads, but it can help you pick blog topics, too. Use it to check out average monthly searches and competition for a potential keyword and its variations. You can quickly see if there’s an interested audience, room to rise to the top of the search page, or a keyword variation where your future content might perform better.

With Google Analytics, you can observe user behavior on your site and see what content you’ve previously published is performing the best. With this insight, you can plan follow-up content to build on the success you’ve already had.

Best Email Drip: Mailchimp

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One of the best ways to nurture leads and keep your brand top-of-mind is through email campaigns.

Mailchimp makes it easy to visualize, create, and test welcome email sequences designed with conversions in mind. It also collects and analyzes information about how subscribers are interacting with your emails. Helping you optimize and create more effective campaigns.

Mailchimp integrations with most of the tools in the average B2B marketing stack. For example, data about your subscribers’ email behavior can automatically sync with lead scoring software like LeadBoxer. By this giving you even more insights about leads.

Best CRM: HubSpot

Source

A customer relationship management (CRM) tool is necessary for tracking potential prospects and keeping a record of all their details.

HubSpot’s sales software is an extremely powerful tool that starts at $0/month. It’s able to track lead behavior on your website, then send personalized email sequences based on their actions.

HubSpot also tracks where leads are in their buyer journey, helping you visualize your pipeline at a glance. Integrate HubSpot with some of your other tools, such as LeadBoxer, to get an even better idea of who’s ready to convert and who needs a little more nurturing.

Best Pitch Assistant: Crystal

Source

It’s time to turn your leads into clients. Take all the guesswork out of how to pitch to them by using a tool like Crystal.

Crystal analyzes a prospect’s LinkedIn profile, then provides actionable insights about their personality based on what kinds of posts they’re writing and engaging with. It also collects the feedback of people who have previously interacted with that person, increasing the accuracy of the assessment.

Use Crystal to decide the best ways for communicating with a prospect, that way you’re never flying blind when entering a sales meeting.

Grow Your Sales with Strategic B2B Lead Generation

Automatically generating leads for startups and others is the key to closing more deals and growing your business. There are several different strategies you can take. But the ones you choose will ultimately hinge upon the online behavior of your ideal buyers.

By following the best practices and using some of the tools outlined in this article, you’ll soon have an optimized, automatic system for generating and scoring leads that keeps working even when you’re not. Sales enablement tools can help you make this process even better.

The next time you log back on, there’ll already be several prospects with high lead scores ready for you to reach out to.

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integrations 2

12 Pipedrive Integrations You Need To Be Using

Pipedrive is built to help you close more deals and keep your sales team on track. But one of the perks of Pipedrive is the number of tools you can integrate to save your team time and enable you to ramp up your marketing and sales efforts. In this list, we’ve found 12 of the best Pipedrive integrations and broke them down into four categories:

Let’s dive into how you can save your sales team from data entry and lead gathering using integrations in Pipedrive and top lead strategy. This will provide them more time to do what they want to be doing—closing deals.

Best Pipedrive Integrations for Lead Generation

LeadBoxer

LeadBoxer is a sales tool that grabs information from your leads when they start their buying journey. The tool identifies and collects information like a visitor’s company name, when they visited your website. And even what actions they took when they were there.

In other words, LeadBoxer collects your website and email newsletter data and identifies, segments, and scores your leads automatically based on their behavior and profile data.

Once all this valuable data is collected, it is fed directly back into your Pipedrive database. Which will automatically update deals, persons, and companies.

Looking for more qualified leads?

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Adlots

This integration from Adlots gathers leads using an algorithm. Every time a lead interacts with your website, Facebook page, or submits a form, Adlots will scrape their details for you.

Adlots will store the information from every website visit and also track the lead media source. Leads and deal cards are then automatically created for you based on the data scraped by Adlots.

The tool also gives your lead a quality score. If they’ve visited your site a bunch of times or handed over their contact information, their score will be higher on the tool’s dashboard.

Once your leads have been found, you can then distribute them amongst your sales team. And even put them into different pipelines. Adlots allows you to assign values of specific fields in leads, deals, and organization cards so you can match them with the perfect rep on your team to close a deal.

SnapADDY

With snapADDY, your sales team can automatically transfer newly found contacts and addresses directly into their Pipedrive dashboard.

The big win with snapADDY is that it’s built to shorten the pre-qualification process for your sales team. All your sales reps need to do is highlight the address data in an email or a web page, and snapADDY will transfer it into your CRM. You can also use it to transfer data from Linkedin and automatically send company data straight to Pipedrive.

No matter what the format of the email address, snapADDY recognizes the data reliably.

The tool can stop sales reps from doubling up on lead information, too. It has a duplicate recognition tool, so your rep will know if a contact already has a spot in your Pipedrive account. If a contact already has an email address in your Pipedrive account but you’ve found another address, snapADDY will add to their contact information.

Best Integrations for Boosting Productivity

Zapier

If you don’t already use Zapier, chances are you are missing out on a massive opportunity to implement your current tools using the king of integrations!

Zapier is an app that allows you to automates tasks between other apps by following a recipe you create. Simply put, you tell Zapier what you want to happen when A meets B. For example: “When I get a new lead in Leadboxer, add that contact to a Trello card”

By integrating Zapier into Pipedrive, you’re able to connect Pipedrive with more than 500 business apps and create a workflow with unlimited steps. Some sales teams use Zapier to connect marketing platforms to Pipedrive, while others find it useful for taking care of the boring stuff like inputting business cards.

However you use Zapier, one thing is for sure—you’re going to save time.  

Dealbot for Slack

Team collaboration tool Slack has built a special integration specifically to work with Pipedrive—Dealbot for Slack.

Using this Pipedrive integration, your team can send and receive instant deal updates. This is ideal for coordinating multiple people to help close deals across your sales teams. Or if you just want to keep everybody in the loop about what’s going on with a deal.

You don’t need to do anything. No more meetings or lengthy emails with your sales team. The Dealbot will automatically handle it directly within Slack from the information being passed around in your Pipedrive dashboard.

Fireflies

Fireflies is an AI integration that joins in on your sales meetings and takes notes for you. It works by recording the audio from your meeting and translating it into call notes and a complete transcription in your Pipedrive dashboard.

Not only will this save your team a load of time completing manual data entry. Fireflies will also make sure records of every single meeting are kept automatically on file.

It also works for interactions with prospects, too. Once you turn it on during a phone call, the integration will make a full transcription of your conversation with your prospect. This will help you build a more powerful relationship with them, and you won’t ever have to take notes of your phone calls again.

SigParser

SigParser crawls your emails and looks for new email signatures.

This integration is super handy because a lot of email signatures also have juicy contact details like phone numbers, addresses, and titles in them too. Whenever SigParser finds a new signature, it scrapes all of the details, feeds them into your Pipedrive account, and creates a new contact for you.

If your sales team sends a lot of outbound emails hunting new leads, this can save them a ton of time. Plus, the data will be valuable as it comes straight from the prospect’s own email signature.

Best Pipedrive Integrations for Lead Engagement and Email Marketing

Klenty

This integration from Cliently allows sales teams to manage lead engagement within Pipedrive.

Using Cliently, your sales team can stay on top of their contacts and engage them by sending personalized emails. Not only that, but the integration also gives you the power to send quirky engagement messages through video, physical postcards, handwritten notes, and gifts directly from within Pipedrive.

Sometimes, prospects want something more than just a bulk standard cold email. Cliently can help you bridge that gap with your prospects.

Autopilot

Autopilot is a smart integration for your email marketing campaigns because it gives you a birds-eye view of exactly what your campaign will look like. From start to finish.

By using Autopilot’s visual marketing automation, you can build campaigns using a drag-and-drop builder. This allows you to automate repetitive tasks, improve your sales workflow, and win more business by nurturing leads that aren’t ready to buy.

Autopilot’s big advantage is nurturing your leads automatically based on where they’re at in your pipeline. The tool can also schedule tasks based on activities like someone filling in a lead form.

It will also score your leads based on their buying behavior and feed the information straight to your Pipedrive dashboard.

Best Pipedrive Integrations for Accounting and Invoicing

Paycove

Invoicing tool Paycove can automatically create custom quotes and invoices that sync with your data in Pipedrive.

This Pipedrive integration allows sales teams to move a deal to a selected “trigger” stage in their sales pipeline, and Paycove will automatically generate and email an invoice. Worried that the invoice or quote won’t be 100% accurate? Don’t be. The quotes and invoices in Paycove are always synced with deal, contact, product, and custom fields data in Pipedrive.

Once an invoice is sent, the app will update all your deals automatically, and alert you once a client has paid, too. It’s a perfect way to cut out an element of time-wasting data input from your sales team. So they can spend more time selling.

Socket

Socket was built with one goal in mind—making sure you get paid faster.

The cloud-based Pipedrive integration can eliminate mistakes in your quoting process through a simple template system. The tool automates the process of configuring, pricing, and quoting so your reps can send off quotes in seconds without second-guessing the end figure.

When a quote is created in Socket, the client’s information will be automatically added to your Pipedrive account. And a deal will also be built in the CRM dashboard. The quote will be attached to the deal, so you can follow up with a lead about an opportunity without having to rummage through emails.

Use the Right CRM Integrations to Help You Save Time & Increase Results

If you’re using Pipedrive, there’s a good chance you’re using the tool to keep your sales team on track. But if you aren’t taking advantage of Pipeline’s massive list of integrations, you aren’t using the CRM to its full potential.

Pipedrive has teamed up with some of the biggest names in productivity, lead generation, and engagement to automate tasks that will save your team a huge amount of time, and ensure they stay on track.

Don’t be afraid to automate daily tasks—your sales figures along with your bottom line will thank you in the long run for this Pipedrive integrations.

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Leadfeeder vs Lead Forensics

Leadfeeder vs LeadForensics vs LeadBoxer

Your company has a website up and running, the blog is full of valuable content, and your sign-up forms are ready to go. But without lead identification and generation tools, you don’t actually know who is visiting your site. As a result you have no idea what they are interested in, or how to push them down your sales funnel. Lead identification software enables your team to convert visitors into leads, and leads into customers. And LeadBoxer is a powerful lead identification tool — but it is not the only one. Certainly it can be time-consuming to look through different lead generation tools to know which solution to invest in. So we’re here to make it easier for you. In this article, we’ll cover three popular options for lead identification software: Leadfeeder vs LeadForensics, and LeadBoxer.

In other words, we will break down the features, pricing, and unique qualities of all three. After that you’ll have a clear picture of what these solutions can do for you.

LeadBoxer 101: Meet Your Visitors, Capture Leads, and Boost Sales

LeadBoxer is a lead and customer identification tool that automatically identifies your website visitors and their companies. It can measure visitor traffic engagement with your site and emails — whether they are new visitors or logins. Most importantly, LeadBoxer gives you automatic insight on their companies, their company contact information, details on their industry, their LinkedIn profile. And then calculates a leadscore. All of this before they have filled out a form.

Moreover, all identified leads, including those who have been identified by email or submitted their information on a form, are automatically ranked with a leadscore. And with LeadBoxer, you can track all interactions with your online and email touchpoints.

What Else LeadBoxer Has Got to Offer

You can see leads’ interactions with pages, email opens and clicks, contact forms, sign-ups, PPC click-throughs, and downloads. In addition, when the lead information is ready to be passed on to your other tools, LeadBoxer exports the information to your CRM, sales software, collaboration tools, or task management tools.

Most importantly LeadBoxer can be set up in a matter of minutes. All you have to do is sign-up for the free trial, receive your Lead Pixel, and insert that Lead Pixel into your site. And then you will get immediate, real-time results on your leadboard. So once you are signed-in, you will see your leadboard. This leadboard lists all your leads, their leadscore, and all relevant information:

.And if you want to continue after your free trial, all you have to do is sign up for a subscription plan.

However, LeadBoxer is not the only lead identification software on the market which you can use for sales enablement purposes. Leadfeeder and Lead Forensics are two alternatives that marketers and sales reps consider before making their decision. Here is a comparison of the three solutions broken down by features, pricing, and unique sales propositions.

Key Features of Lead Identification Software

In short, there are some key features of any lead identification software to keep your eyes out for. And before jumping into each software, it will be good to have an understanding of what the key features are and what they do.

  • Automatic visitor identification: identify your site visitors by name, company, and links to social profiles.
  • Lead Scoring: rank visitors and/or leads based on activity and other information.
  • Email Alerts: be notified about dream customers or lead updates.
  • Page Tracking: track how long leads are on certain pages, where they came from, where they go to next, what they click on, etc.
  • Integrations: different software integrate with tools you already use like Google Analytics, CRM solutions, Sales Solutions, Email Management Platforms (Mailchimp Integrations), Collaboration Tools, etc.
  • Compliance: is up to date with the latest regulations, like the GDPR.

Leadfeeder vs LeadForensics vs LeadBoxer Features

LeadBoxer Features

LeadBoxer features work together to bring a holistic picture of leads to both your sales and marketing teams. And this helps you to work on lowering the cost per lead too. These include:

Automatic visitor information and lead scoring. LeadBoxer ranks visitors and automatically updates rankings when visitors fill out forms.

It captures leads and integrates them into the viewing platform.

Leadboxer tracks their customer journey and data. This solution tracks all their web and email behavior.

LeadBoxer sends you notifications for when a lead is ready-to-buy.

So companies can set custom scheduling based on custom segments. To then route this information to relevant team members. Most importantly, team members will be notified when data shows that it is the prime time to talk to the email leads.

Other LeadBoxer Features Include

  • Email & Newsletter tracking.
  • Full Data Search.
  • Auto Form Tracking.
  • Campaign Tracking.
  • Traffic Dashboard.
  • GDPR Compliance.
  • Share and Assign Leads.
  • Lead Tags or Labels.
  • Channel Groupings and Source.

LeadBoxer integrates with 25 business solutions that you probably already use. This includes popular CMS, communication, CRM, marketing automation, and other business solutions:

Source

 Leadfeeder Features

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Leadfeeder is a website visitor tracking software platform. To clarify, it tells you who your visitors are, where they come from, and what they are interested in. Moreover Leadfeeder offers alerts when your target companies visit your site. And then software breaks their features down into four action areas: identify visitors, see what they look at, get email alerts for when they visit, and send leads to your CRM.

Above all this software integrates with Google Analytics to identify the companies that visit your site and how they engage with your pages. Most importantly, Leadfeeder provides company contact information and shows if your users have LinkedIn connections with any of their company representatives. And this solution is also GDPR compliant. Teams have unlimited amount of users on this solution, no matter the plan.

Leadfeeder integrates with twelve other business solutions, including MailChimp, various CRM solutions, Pipedrive, Slack and more.

Lead Forensics Features

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Lead Forensics allows companies to see their visitors in real-time. This solution can identify anonymous visitors and provide the company, contact information, demographics, search behavior, and financial data. To clarify, the goal in using these features is to “convert ready-to-buy prospects, before your competitors even get close.”

This solution features lead scoring, auto-assigning of leads, notifications, labeling dream customers, and a customizable portal. And it helps sites convert visiting traffic into leads, track them from their first click to sale, and measure digital ROI.

Lead Forensics integrates with Salesforce, Zoho, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Workbooks, and Infusionsoft.

Leadfeeder vs LeadForensics vs LeadBoxer: Comparing Pricing

LeadBoxer Pricing

LeadBoxer offers a two-week free trial. After that, pricing is based on monthly or annual subscription plans. The Starter plan starts at $79 per month (billed annually). Business Plan is $199 per month (billed annually). The Corporate Plan is $399 per month (billed annually).

Leadfeeder Pricing

Leadfeeder offers a free “Lite” plan that only shows 7 days worth of leads. Premium pricing is based on the number of leads you have:

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Lead Forensics Pricing

Lead Forensics offers a free week-long trial. Based on this trial, Lead Forensics will understand how much traffic your site receives and will determine pricing for a future contract based on your volume of visitors. To learn more, you must contact Lead Forensics directly.

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What Makes LeadBoxer, Leadfeeder vs LeadForensics Unique?

After delving into the research, it can be hard to determine what features differentiate these solutions. And even though there is significant overlap in use cases, each tool is different in some way.

LeadBoxer: Bringing Sales and Marketing Together with Data

LeadBoxer stands out from competitors because it acts as a bridge between marketing and sales teams. For example, it stores all visitor, lead, and customer information in one platform. Unlike other lead identifying tools. LeadBoxer doesn’t just track online visitors. For instance it also keeps tabs on all email activity of the companies on your newsletter list. And knows when leads are signaling that they are ready to buy or are up for contract renewal.

So your sales team will know exactly when to reach out to them and have the details they need to make the right pitch. Not only that, but LeadBoxer informs your sales reps of when to push up-sell opportunities, which other solutions of its type don’t do.

The LeadBoxer team has more than a decade of analytics and software development experience. And for this reason, this solution uses its own algorithm to boil all the data down to a simple view for clients. Ask the search tool any data question, and you will find the answers you need.

Leadfeeder: Putting GA to Use

Leadfeeder does not have its own algorithm. But uses Google Analytics data. So customers don’t have to install a pixel — they only need access to their Google Analytics account.

Leadfeeder offers a unique tool that filters out leads that aren’t that interesting or valuable for your team. As a result you don’t have to sift through visiting bots or visitors who certainly won’t buy your product.

Lead Forensics: Dedicated to Customer Success

Lead Forensics offers many of the features that LeadBoxer and Leadfeeder do. But it’s unique because their solution comes with a customer success manager for each client.

Most importantly, they offer consultation and proactive support to marketing and sales teams on how to use this tool to generate the most ROI.

LeadBoxer vs Leadfeeder vs LeadForensics Takeaway: Keep Your Goals in Mind

Capturing qualified leads doesn’t happen overnight. To sum up, your website, online content, chat bots, social media campaigns, email newsletters, email tracking pixel and advertising efforts all work together to attract clients.

But once your prospects visit your site, it is up to you to use the most powerful tools. Which can identify visitors, capture leads, and track the success of your content. And lead identification and generation software provide a path for visitors to become customers but you’ll need s lead strategy too. It’s up to you to determine which software will work best with this goal in mind.

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customer journey map

How to Create a Customer Journey Map: Everything You Should Know

The key to giving your customers a great experience is to walk in their shoes. And by empathizing with your clientele and understanding their motivations, your company will be able to drive product design and service based on what customers need most. As Kevin Stirtz says, “Know what your customers want most and what your company does best. Focus on where those two meet.” And a customer journey map is one tool that can help you look into customer behavior, motivations, and needs. Most importantly, this knowledge will help improve your relationship with customers, boost sales, and help you accomplish your business’s goals. So in this article, we’ll cover the following questions you may have about customer journey maps:

What is a Customer Journey Map?

A customer journey map is a visual representation of the stages a customer takes before accomplishing a certain goal a company has for them. To clarify, it takes into consideration a customer’s pain points, emotional needs, and actions. So this type of map illustrates the customer narrative as they engage with a brand.

Most customer journey maps look at the entire customer lifecycle. Starting with the introduction to the brand and continuing to post-sale support services – with all the steps in between.

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Often, these stages are displayed in a linear fashion. However, a customer’s engagement with a business is not always so simple. And graphs can display cyclical customer journeys or journeys through multiple channels.

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Companies can take this opportunity to creatively communicate analogies about how different leads interact with the brand, such as through a tornado analogy:

Common Elements

Though customer journey maps can vary, they have shared essential components. Here are the following elements that the diagrams will have in common:

  • Persona: A profile of the brand’s clients, offering demographic and psychographic information. Companies usually have diverse client groups. So each customer journey map should be catered to each unique persona that the company wants to learn more about.
  • Designated Touchpoints: Important moments when clients interact with the brand. (Paid advertisement, sign up form, social media engagement, a purchase, etc.).
  • Moments of Truth: Touchpoints that can make or break it for a customer.
  • Performance Indicators: Evaluative factors that measure how customers are responding at certain touchpoints. To clarify, these often measure the customer’s emotional state or satisfaction levels along their path.
  • Visuals: The visual element of the journey map displays the path the customer takes on their journey. In many cases, this can be a linear illustration. In other cases, it makes more sense to show the cyclical nature of the customer cycle.

These diagrams are not internal pipelines, sales processes, or any other funnel your business might create from a developer point of view. These are purely focused on the customer experience. And visual demonstration needs to make sense for your company, product, and most importantly, your customers’ perspective.

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Why Should you use a Customer Journey Map?

As Sam Walton wisely said, “There is only one boss. The customer.”

And with that in mind, companies know the importance of understanding their customers. There is no use in designing a product without understanding those who will potentially use the product. In other words, what their needs are, what their communication style is, and how they feel about the product in their life.

Companies that take time to study and analyze real data on those they serve yield better results. And brands that strategically map the customer’s journey showed a 24% increase in return on marketing investments and reduced service costs by 21%.

On the other hand, assumptions about a customer base can be the downfall of a company. Take Shyp for example.

Shyp had a great idea for easy and cheap package delivery services for individuals. But neglected the fact that people don’t actually ship personal products very often. Building a financial model around what could’ve been, rather than the customer’s reality, led to the ruin of a startup with high potential.

What can we gather from this information?

So assumptions lead to failure, or at the very least, large loss of opportunity. Data and real customer insight can lead to significant returns.

Certainly, journey maps are critical in knowing customer realities. And this is the most important information to have when running a business. Other benefits of journey maps include:

  • Improved customer engagement.
  • Improve customer-centric practices.
  • Departments working together better and reduced gaps between silos.
  • Assessing effectiveness of touchpoints and teams responsible for them.
  • Improve your inbound marketing and lead qualification approach.
  • Provide framework for assessing customer experience ROI.

Types of Customer Journey Maps

There are several different types of customer journey maps. Here are four main frameworks to consider when organizing a potential diagram.

Current State

Current state maps are an honest assessment of the present experience users have when interacting with your brand. And this is not a graph showing the ideal way a customer would move through the pipeline. But rather the current reality. In other words, the journey map shows how certain touchpoints are succeeding or failing.

Are clients falling through the cracks on social media? Are they dissatisfied with customer service? How are email campaigns performing? Current state diagrams can give you the answers you need to improve the customer experience.

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Future State

Future State maps are what you would like the customer process to be. This type of mapping is helpful for communicating to different departments the ideal process for achieving customer goals.

Future state maps are not primarily based on current data. Instead, designers use their imagination and customer empathy to anticipate what users will experience after certain decisions are put into practice or marketing material is produced.

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Day in the Life

The goal of this type of map is to show what the daily life is of specific personas. These maps dig into the pain points of customers, their motivations, their emotions, and what they need from a product throughout their normal daily routine.

They are also helpful in understanding specific demographics and their behavior at certain points during the day.

Marketers can learn when personas are distractedly browsing on social media and likely to make a purchase or when they are stressed trying to get kids to school. Knowing the timing of a particular email or message can make all the difference.

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Blueprint

Blueprint graphs are based on another current or future state map. They also include systems, processes, and tools that are used to bring all elements of the customer experience together.

They give a more detailed picture of how the customer is actually engaging with the company, allowing for deeper insights into pain points and the necessary support needed.

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Case Studies of Journey Maps That Work

Businesses have different strategies, different demographics, and different products. Each company will have to determine which touchpoints and associated factors they want to understand. Different factors can include:

  • B2B vs B2C business models
  • Subscription-based vs transactional services
  • Size of scale
  • Types of personas

Because journey maps are tailored to the specific needs of each individual company or department within that company, we are going to take a look at three case studies that provide insight into how these maps can allow business people to walk with their clients.

The YMCA

The large YMCA branch in the Greater Twin Cities undertook the process of customer journey mapping in order to improve member wellbeing and loyalty. This business model is based on subscription services. Customer journey mapping was a valuable tool to grow customer retention rates.

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After leaders met and agreed that putting the customer first was a top priority in their organization, they put their heads together to make hypotheses about their customers and to determine which personas they were going to study and within which parameters.

Research led to the development of different personas and richer understanding of their motivations, pain points, and moments of truth.

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After gathering and organizing customer insights, the Y was able to put their new knowledge into action. This has lead members to greater trust in the Y and a greater user experience.

A Health Insurance Provider

An anonymous health insurance provider needed to conduct customer mapping with the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This company was interested to see how certain personas were choosing health coverage and their behaviors before deciding.

This image is not the exact customer journey map used but is a close hypothetical example:

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The insurance company found that different personas could not be treated equally.

Some groups wanted to do most of their research online, whereas others wanted human interaction with a support specialist before committing to this insurance company.

The company was better able to field questions that each persona asked and understand what channels to use when communicating with potential clients.

Amadeus ePower

Amadeus ePower is an online travel booking engine. When this company prioritized understanding their customers’ journeys, they saw great change in their organization.

When starting the mapping process, Amadeus aimed to learn more about their website usage across the customer journey, unmet customer needs, and to generate ideas based on these findings.

Their customer mapping project took place over five weeks. The process started with determining personas, which included travelers and travel agents, and doing interviews with real customers. They also used previous research they had already collected.

Secondly, they conducted a workshop with stakeholders where they identified key elements of their map and created potential illustrations. After this, consultants and their creative team used these ideas to create the final customer journey maps.

In this case, the company had two specific personas so they made two separate customer journey maps.

This is what their mapping process looked like:

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According to Tran Dzien Nguyen, Head of Amadeus’s Online Solutions, “Customer journey mapping has changed the way we perceive unmet needs and approach the development process…it’s a game changer for us.”

These three businesses serve different customers with varying needs. Going through the process of customer mapping allowed these companies to organize their customer data into an easy-to-understand, big-picture diagram.

These clear illustrations enabled the businesses to know the different types of clients they serve and how to cater to their needs.

Steps to Create a Customer Journey Map

Designing an easy-to-read and informative map can be a daunting process. The key to yielding a successful result is to develop the map one step at a time. Here are seven necessary steps to build your map:

  1. Prepwork
  2. Setting Objectives
  3. Discovering and Defining your Personas
  4. Determining Touchpoints
  5. Identifying Performance Indicators
  6. Do the Research
  7. Put your Map to Use

1. Prepwork

First things first. Executives have to come together and show buy in. Stakeholders need to believe that customer journey mapping is important enough to warrant company time and resources.

Once all key players have agreed that understanding their customers through this process is necessary, they will need to have specific conversations to direct the rest of the project.

Some key topics stakeholders need to discuss include:

  • Why is this project important?
  • How many resources will be allocated to the journey map?
  • Does our company need advice from professional consultants?
  • What time frame will be given to this development?
  • What conflicts or challenges might arise with this project?
  • Which type of map will be most useful for our company?

2. Setting Objectives

Once your team is committed to understanding the customer journey, leaders will need to determine what the goals are for the map.

The objectives chosen will be influenced by where the business is struggling or experiencing change, what research and pre-existing assumptions they have and the vision they have for the future of their company.

3. Discovering and Defining Your Personas

Companies often think they have a good idea of their customer base, but when they take a closer look, they find surprises.

A critical part in the mapping process is doing research on the types of customers a company has. Once they have determined the different segments of their client base, they can determine which personas they want to narrow their journey map on.

Not all personas will experience one company in the same way. To yield the most benefit of a customer journey map, each map needs to be tailored to a specific customer profile.

4. Determining Touchpoints

Working in groups to brainstorm all the different touchpoints a customer experiences can be helpful. In this day and age, customers are being funneled to companies through multiple channels and each channel needs to be noted and later measured.

Sign up forms, social media engagement, emails, call centers, and organic traffic online, all need to be considered and evaluated. During your research, it will be clear which of these touchpoints are often moments of truths.

Understanding how touchpoints are working or where inefficiencies lie is key to understanding why retention rates are down, why customers abandon their carts at the last moment, or any other common experience that is trending within your company.

5. Identifying Performance Indicators

As a team, leaders need to put their heads together and determine what they want to measure when a customer engages with the brand. Usually, these factors include:

  • Customer Actions
  • Thoughts
  • Customer Emotions
  • Motivations
  • Points of Frictions

6. Do the Research

Once you have decided which touchpoints and customer factors you want to chart, it is time for the legwork of the project: research.

For compiling an effective map, there is a place for both quantitative and qualitative research.

Quantitative customer research can be pulled in from customer data platforms.  A platform like LeadBoxer can help you identify your website visitors and track all your website behavior and online activity.

This solution has the ability to capture visitors’ contact information before they make contact. This allows sales teams to track their journey whether or not the visitor has signed a form.

Qualitative research consists of interviews with smaller groups of people (or “Focus Groups”). This research can be useful for getting a deeper look into the emotional state, needs, and thoughts of clients that quantitative data has a hard time capturing.

7. Put Your Map to Use

Journey maps should be actionable and relevant to different stakeholders. Find a simple way to illustrate multiple factors that will compel leaders with different perspectives to action.

This journey map focuses on one persona, has quantitative and qualitative feedback displayed, includes various performance indicators, and has a section with opportunities listed:

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With all the research and data organized in a clear way, it will be easier to convince stakeholders why certain actions need to be taken and what opportunities the organization needs to take advantage of.

Another good idea to convince fellow stakeholders to make change is to take the customer journey yourself when possible.

Teams that go through all of the customer journey themselves will have an enhanced understanding and empathy towards the customer every step of the way. After all, we are all human and have some shared expectations of modern technology, customer service, and other business practices.

Once actions are put into place, your team will need to decide when and how to evaluate the changes. Customer journey maps will need to be updated periodically to show how changes have impacted the customer.

Customer Journey Map Templates

As we saw in the case studies, every company has a different path when building their customer journey maps. There is no one size fits all approach with this process. Though different companies will have to shape their diagrams uniquely, looking at different templates can be helpful when designing your own map.

When deciding on a template, be sure to keep these considerations in the back of your mind:

  • The template must be persona based
  • The type of journey map must make sense for the goals of your organization
  • Design can incorporate the customer phases specific to your brand
  • There is space for the touchpoints and evaluative indicators your team determined
  • Both qualitative and quantitative data is incorporated
  • Actionable items are displayed

With these factors in mind, continue reading to get a sence of the templates that could be modified for your business.

Current State and Future Map Templates

Current and Future Map templates will appear similar. The only difference is that the information your business puts in will represent the present reality or what your business expects to see in the future.

This template can be downloaded for free from Interaction Design Foundation:

Here is another from MightyBytes:

Day in the Life Map Template

A Day in the Life Template will include customer insights from their daily life. Here is a simple template to get started:

Service Blueprint Template

A service blueprint can be a good graph to have alongside a current or future state map. These diagrams show what physical evidence is used to give the customer their experience.

For example, this would include staff, product, physical tools, or any other tangible tool that is along the customer path. Service blueprints usually include front-stage interactions, back-stage interactions, support processes, physical evidence, and customer actions.

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Remember: The Customer Knows What They Want

At the end of the day, it is the customer who determines if your product is worth spending money on or not.

Some products, like B2B services, take an entire team of people and extensive research to agree on a subscription. Other business models rely heavily on impulsive buyers. No matter what type of business you are in, what matters most is happy customers.

Knowing what customers want, need, and feel is the most essential part in ensuring their happiness. A customer journey map will help you get a lot further down that road

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qualify a sales lead social

Lead Qualification 101: How to Identify the Best Sales Leads

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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MQL vs. SQL? What’s the Difference and Why Does it Matter?

Our world is full of acronyms. And while there’s no shame in asking a colleague to define terms, few of us feel comfortable raising a hand in a crowded meeting and asking a speaker to unpack a sentence. Consider MQL vs. SQL. You may know that the “L” in these terms stands for “Leads.” If you’re in sales or marketing, you may even be tasked with increasing MQLs or SQLs.

However, that is a basic understanding. Digging in a little deeper about the similarities, differences, and uses of these two terms can help you to be even more effective. Let’s learn more about both.

Defining Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)

The acronym MQL stands for “Marketing Qualified Lead.”

In the shortest definition we could find, courtesy of Hubspot, an MQL is a person that is more likely to become a customer when compared to a typical person.

Think of it this way: Many people may connect with your company. They may visit your website, attend your webinars, or chat with you at a trade show.

For some of these people, the goods and services you offer are exactly what they’re looking for. But for others, your product or service is not a good fit. They may never be in the position to buy anything from you at all.

The people in that first group — those who are interested and have the potential to buy your product — are your MQLs.

Separating MQLs from unqualified leads typically involves using a lead-scoring program. You’ll assign a certain set of points to actions people might take, such as:

  • Reading an email message you sent.
  • Chatting with you on social media.
  • Downloading an ebook.
  • Filling out an online form.

Once people have amassed enough points, due to all of the actions they’ve taken over time, they can be considered MQLs.

They’ve shown enough interest that it seems likely they are ready to deepen the conversation with someone — typically in sales — within your company.

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Defining Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)

The acronym SQL stands for “Sales Qualified Lead.”

This person has not only shown a deep interest in your products and services, but they have also shown some sort of intent to purchase. They not only like what you offer, but they actually need to buy what you sell. They also may need to make that purchase in the near future.

While defining an MQL can be done through automated software that assigns scores, defining an SQL is a little trickier. Typically, this is something that involves a conversation between someone in sales and the potential lead.

An SQL:

  • May have specific questions about how your product works or how much it costs.
  • And may not understand how your product fits into the other products they’re using.
  • May not be entirely sure the solution is right for them.
  • May not be able to find the answers they need in the marketing materials they’ve seen so far.

People like this need to have a discussion with sales.

At the end of that discussion, if the salesperson senses a real opportunity, this person moves into the SQL category.

Why Does Knowing the Difference Between MQL vs. SQL Matter?

You may be wondering why it’s so crucial to understand whether someone is an MQL or an SQL. After all, a lead is a lead, right?

Not quite.

Understanding where your leads fall into these two categories can help you understand who should be in charge of that next conversation. This could mean the difference between making or losing a sale.

For example, we’ve long been told that people move through a traditional sales funnel in which they become aware of a product, consider options, make a decision, and then become an evangelist for the brand.

While this simplified form of a sale might still make sense in some industries, others consider their sales moving through more of a “tornado”.

In this model, users are consuming a great deal of information throughout the entire journey, and they may bounce back and forth between channels.

They may use social media posts in the awareness phase, for example, and then leap back to social media to evaluate solutions and understand usage. They may swing far away from the product before purchase, rolling out to e-commerce before finally deciding to look at a product catalog.

Consumers are doing a lot of the heavy lifting here, and they’re relying on marketing resources to guide the conversation

Pushing a savvy consumer to sales at the wrong time could cause a sense of pressure, and that could derail the sale. These people are doing their own homework. They’re not ready to talk yet.

Similarly, connecting a consumer with sales too early means sales must inform the consumer about the product’s ins and outs — and that’s a task best left to marketing.

On the flip side, sending a lead to sales too late might lead to missed opportunities. By the time these people get to the sales team, they may have made a decision and chosen a competitor.

When you have a firm understanding of the typical steps a consumer takes in order to become marketing qualified, and when you know what sorts of behaviors seem to suggest that a purchase is right around the corner, you’ll be well positioned to guide and shape these crucial conversations.

The Transition from MQL to SQL

By now, it’s probably clear to you that an SQL begins life in the company as an MQL. But this move from one state to the other isn’t spontaneous and organic. It requires an ongoing nurturing and communication process. It’s here that many opportunities are lost.

A handoff meeting between marketing and sales can be vital.

The marketing team can offer up a list of all of the resources the person has consumed over a period of time, typically pulled from marketing automation software program, which can help to guide the sales process.

For example, if the prospect has been almost exclusively researching one specific type of product, the salesperson knows the product that should open up a conversation.

Similarly, the salesperson can walk in the customer’s footsteps and read back through all of those resources, looking for knowledge gaps that the consumer might have. Those are ideal conversation starters that can pull the sale forward.

What happens if the sales call didn’t go as planned? This could be a sign that the MQL isn’t so “qualified” after all, but all hope isn’t lost.

When marketing teams are aware of this issue, they can add the person back into the content marketing program.

Maybe a series of follow up email messages about key features, or an invitation to a webinar, could help encourage a deeper level of comfort with the product. In a few weeks or months, that person really could be marketing qualified, and the next sales call could be a touch smoother.

MQL vs. SQL: Putting Theory into Action

While defining an MQL vs. SQL is vital — it’s also personal. That means there’s no handy template you can download in order to sort your leads. Instead, you’ll need to have some in-depth conversations within your sales and marketing teams. You’ll need to discuss your:

  • Customer personas.
  • Typical time to close projects.
  • Marketing resources.
  • Customer/prospect lists.
  • Lead scoring method.

You’ll need to think about how each persona interacts with your company during each buying phase. You will define what steps are meaningful and signal a deeper commitment.

You’ll also identify the assets you’re missing that could compel action. Those are the decisions that will help set up your lead scoring method. You’ll use them to understand how an MQL is passed to sales — and what comes next.

When you have a theory in place, sales and marketing will need to keep that conversation going. It’s vital for marketing to know more about