All B2B businesses rely heavily on strong client management for success. In order to keep a steady flow of sales, your company must focus on key accounts and the management strategy that goes into providing quality customer service. While key accounts may vary based on your company’s size and the products offered, it is important to understand the basics before implementing these tactics. High-value clients are crucial to a business’s success. Your team needs to be ready for the commitment that comes along with key account management.
Identifying your key accounts is merely the first step in key account management strategies. Your sales department should be aware of these clients and have a plan to ensure lasting relationships. From there, multiple departments collaborate and implement strategic account management practices.
If you are looking for operations and workflow tools, please be aware that we offer key account management solutions. At LeadBoxer we know how important key accounts are. We’ll help you identify and keep your company’s most valuable clients. Click here to read about lead and key account management and for a visual overview of our solutions.
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Understanding how to plan management strategies for important accounts means you need to identify who these customers are. A key account is simply one of your company’s most valuable clients.
A few factors can help you determine which accounts should be considered your most valuable. To start, any client that generates a large percentage of your revenue will be a huge player in your business’s overall success. Key accounts are also those who continuously refer new prospects or help give credibility to your organization through strong reviews and feedback.
Start by analyzing a list of your current customers. Value is subjective to your organization, so make sure to tailor this to your company’s mission. Examining the number of recurring sales, lifetime value, level of influence, and shared goals can help differentiate between your key customers
Hence, key Account Management (KAM) is the process of creating long-lasting relationships with high-value clients. This means prioritizing the future rather than merely looking at short-term gains. Broader goals like collaboration and strong support efforts are required to successfully nurture these accounts.
To implement this management process, your key accounts managers, customer services, and current sales process needs to be evaluated. While long-term relationships with customers are the goal of most B2B companies, key account management in b2b is not always the best use of resources.
Your product needs to have the potential for upsells or bundling of services. Resources will need to be put toward these efforts, and your team will need to be able to take on these additional expenses.
If short transactional sales that involve little interaction between salespeople and prospects are common, then b2b key account management won’t make a difference for your team.
Formulating a Successful Key Account Management Strategy
Once you have determined that key account management is a good fit for your company, you will need a plan for implementation we can call it as ‘Account Plan’. Starting off, sales staff need to be aware of the different tactics they will use in a sales cycle. Instead of focusing on specific opportunities, like landing a one-time deal, employees will work to strengthen ties and align with the goals of long-term customers.
61% of companies believe “training in strategic account management” can enable them to enjoy greater revenue, profit, and customer satisfaction. By taking the time to understand and teach best practices for account management, your business will be able to enjoy the rewards of these strategies.
Make Personal Connections with High Value Clients
Strategic account management requires in-depth knowledge of your customers and their business operations. Familiarize yourself with their industry, business structure, and financial plans. These insights make it possible for your sales team to customize product pitches and add-ons, providing added value to your priority customers.
Becoming acquainted with each account performance will help your team stay proactive. Instead of waiting to hear from these clients, work hard to anticipate their needs. You will need to stay up-to-date on industry trends and changes within the customer’s company.
As your services and products evolve, make sure to relay this information to your clients. Chances are, your customers are not spending time doing research on your services once they have made a purchase. By announcing any changes that may benefit their business, you can boost trust in the relationship.
Within a few years of implementing a key account management strategy, customer satisfaction can increase by more than 20%, while simultaneously resulting in revenue generation and profit growth of more than 15%. Making personal connections as early as possible with these clients is the core job of strategic account managers which will help companies ensure a successful implementation for maximum return on investment (ROI).
Create Customer-Specific Product Plans and Benefits
Long-term clients want to feel like your services are actively making a difference within their organization and this should be clear in your account plan. Make sure your offers continue to encourage upsells or repeat sales based on the needs of each account. By tailoring your services to meet specific needs, the relationship can be elevated from buyer and seller to business partners.
Acknowledge the “whole” rather than parts of your customer’s vision. Key account team looks at the big picture to help support customers. Having a strong understanding of how your services can fit into the daily workflow of a client’s organization helps promote confidence in both parties business relationships.
Do not be afraid to collaborate directly with these accounts even though you’re dealing with the top management of an organization. You want to be seen as a valuable partner rather than a third-party vendor. Discuss specific actions with clients as you develop strategies for their account growth, and listen closely to any feedback that is offered.
Strengthen the Leadership Skills of Account Managers
Managing high-value accounts in the account management process requires time and resources, as well as strong leaders to drive the operation. Multiple departments will be involved in this process. Managers will need proper organization and communication skills for smooth account experience.
There are continuous moving parts during the implementation of key account management. Coordination and lots of planning will be necessary to execute long-term and short-term goals of your target account.
In addition, constant analysis of outcomes is important. The takeaways from each action in the relationship will help when developing future strategies. The ability to quickly analyze and present business cases will prove invaluable during conversations with key stakeholders of your account.
Developing clear action plans will help keep your team members on track. Take a step-by-step approach with any goals that are created to grow the account.
Follow through on anything offered to your key accounts. That may seem like a no-brainer, but trust is gained each time your organization delivers on a promise.
Not every customer is going to be a key account. Even when using strategic account management practices, there will still be one-off clients or relationships that never develop past a transactional stage.
Since key account management requires the allotment of additional resources to help b2b business grow. It is important to be mindful when assigning this label. Clients always have the potential to grow into a key account, but it is hard to demote an account once it has reached this level.
Make sure you don’t overwork your team by promoting key accounts for nonqualified customers. Practice restraint before assigning account managers to every business that has ever purchased your product.
Other than evaluating the list of current customers and their status, it is important to identify key business leads that may turn into high-value clients. Nurturing lasting relationships from the beginning stages can help gain customer trust and boost your reputation.
This means being able to understand the difference between singular transactions and potential partnerships
While identifying key accounts, revenue can be an important factor, and clients that generate significant sales numbers can easily be short-listed. However, there are other characteristics to take into consideration.
First, analyze the ratio of revenue to cost of each current customer.
Determine if there is any potential to expand.
Evaluate product fit within each existing relationship.
Recognize opportunities to upsell or create unique offers that can push clients toward high value status.
Properly identify which accounts will be able to act as strategic partners to your business. Your company is heavily investing in the relationship, so there needs to be more than just monetary gain at stake.
You will want to be aware of the connections and industry reputation of each key account. These should be clients who will refer you to their networks and offer positive reviews.
Since each account acts as a partnership, their reputation can affect yours. It is important to align with customers who share similar missions and goals in your account program.
Key Account Management and the Demand for Digital Analytics
Digital and artificial intelligence analytics have become a major game-changer within B2B account management practices. As technology continues to advance, businesses have become savvier in their decision-making processes. There is a waning desire for constant human outreach along with a shift toward more digital support.
By integrating your tech stack with these key accounts, your team should be able to provide the best experience to high-stakes accounts. Instead of having sales reps reach out for problem-solving, accounts want to see easy ways to access information through automated systems.
Develop account-based marketing plans and keep track of their implementation through automated software. Target your key account relationships through personalized messaging across social media, web pages, and email campaigns.
Since your team will be familiar with the personality and specific needs of each key account, targeted marketing is even easier to achieve. Using Leadboxer, your team can integrate email platforms for campaigns alongside web tracking and data analytics to successfully reach out to high-value clients.
Personalized emails have five to six times higher open rates. By combining account-based marketing with key account management, your company will start to see higher ROI on outreach.
Using technology to handle marketing outreach and data analysis allows your team to reallocate resources to other efforts within the account
Without having to dedicate manpower to these processes, managers are able to focus on the long-term plan by letting technology drive data collection efforts.
While digital analysis is crucial to successful key account management, your team needs to be trained to use it properly. Technology should be seen as a priority rather than an add-on to departments. If employees voice concerns about the implementation of this software, make sure to remind them of best practices and provide training as necessary.
Large customer accounts can be difficult to manage. There are often several decision-makers involved, with your services being used across multiple departments.
Digital analytics help your account managers uncover opportunities for growth within these large organizations. Up-to-date data sets help keep your teams informed on the latest changes with clients. This allows managers to explore up-selling and cross-selling options and encourages timely outreach.
Key Account Management Vs. Global Account Management
At some point, large clients with international ties surpass key account status and require additional resources to expand the relationship. Global account management is the next step for these customers. Evolving to this stage will involve the negotiation of prices at the country level, offering worldwide support, and understanding the global procurement strategy of these clients.
The duties of a global account manager include developing customer relationships with worldwide branches and tracking revenue potential. Successful implementation of global account management should strengthen the customer relationship and provide a significant competitive advantage to your business.
In contrast to standard key account management, global account management is layered over national sales efforts. This requires strong ties with global customers and their internal stakeholders to ensure quality service.
Global account management is a hefty investment and needs to make sense for your business before it is implemented. Accounts with global potential have a few key characteristics to meet before reaching this level.
Earnings potential is crucial. The cost of management needs to be worth the ROI for global customers. These clients should have high international activity, rather than those with only a few businesses outside of their base country.
There should be a strategic importance to take on this level of management. These should be significant revenue producing clients, and they should be able to create new connections for your business at the worldwide level.
An established close relationship is necessary to take on global account management. These clients should stem from key accounts who are ready for this amount of commitment.
Best Practices for Strategic Key Account Management
To ensure your strategic account management program is functioning at full capacity, there are certain best practices that should be implemented. Your company should be focusing on increasing customer loyalty, uncovering new growth opportunities, and driving innovation within your sales and marketing teams.
Assign Dedicated Managers to Key Accounts
For successful management, leaders need to be separate from the sales department. This individual will serve as the liaison between the client and the company. They will be the ones to delegate tasks among departments and handle all client interactions.
Managers should be well-versed in each key account’s company mission and able to communicate how your organization’s current services and products will directly assist in fulfilling the client’s needs.
The reason for separating account management and sales is to increase overall productivity and strengthen key relationships. Sales focus on short-term deals that push leads through the pipeline, as well as increase immediate revenue.
Your account manager takes on a broader role to ensure customer satisfaction. A dedicated leader will be analytical and personable with the ability to communicate with high-level stakeholders.
By allocating team leads to oversee these accounts, your company encourages lasting relationships to generate higher revenue across several years.
Encourage Smooth Transition Between Departments
Since building trust is the main component in key account management, hand-off from sales is crucial. There should be a formal process between your departments to keep directions clear. These accounts should be strategically organized within your system to avoid any slip-ups.
Transitioning from sales to a key account is a big deal. Clients should be excited about the opportunity, and your team should be ready to set aside extra resources to handle the switch. Your duties as a company will expand as customers are moved to this higher level, and it is crucial to stay on top of the process.
Communication of these contact changes is extremely important for your client. Update them throughout the process to make sure they have accurate information.
Set expectations and create touchpoints. This will help avoid any tension within the relationship as they undergo this transition with your team.
Create Customer Profiles and Conduct Needs Assessments
It is the duty of the account manager to become an expert on each of their clients. This requires an in-depth analysis of the customer’s goals and initiatives. Keep track of important stakeholders and get to know the decision-makers.
Understand industry trends and keep tabs on what is happening with your customers’ competition. As their needs change, your account manager should adjust and anticipate ways your company can help.
Within each customer’s profile, your account managers should conduct a needs assessment. Use date to discover any pain points. Find the areas where your goals align for simultaneous progress.
The ultimate focus should be on long-term goals for this client. As needs are assessed, managers should look toward a one to the three-year timeline for strategy development.
Draft Strategy Proposals
After building out your client profiles, a strategy should be developed for each account. This will act as a roadmap for the next few years, and the finalized version should be shared with the customer.
The proposal should include creative solutions to any problems your account currently faces, potential partnerships with other companies, and resource requirements. Long-term goals should be shown with specific short-term benchmarks to accurately track progress.
Not only does this proposal serve as a guideline for account management, but it demonstrates the team’s dedication to the key account. These relationships will continue to develop as your account managers share continued updates with the customer.
Set Communication Standards
Establishing a routine for regular communication will help keep the account fresh. Outlining a schedule encourages expectations for the customer and helps monitor how the account is progressing.
Plan touchpoints, send out recurring meeting invites, and consistently follow up. This provides ample opportunity for client feedback and helps address any necessary changes in a timely manner. Successful key account management happens when your company and the customer remain on the same page.
Staying on schedule will help keep your team up to date on each account’s needs. Clear communication allows customers to reach out with questions and mention any future needs as they arise.
Regularly Evaluate Performance
Setting key performance indicators (KPIs) will help measure progress on each account. Since there will be multiple departments working on these projects, including sales and marketing, KPIs establish benchmarks for success.
Monitoring performance keeps accounts on track. This also allows managers to evaluate how high-value clients are fulfilling any obligations to your company. Key account management provides mutual long-term benefits to the supplier and buyer.
It is important to evaluate these relationships on their internal and external initiatives. This will help your team act on any opportunities for growth as they arise while continually optimizing strategies for high ROI.
Don’t be afraid to reassess if current actions start to lose value for one side or the other. The goal should be to pivot as needed to keep the relationship beneficial for all involved.
Key Takeaways on Key Account Management
Starting key account management practices is a huge undertaking, but it comes with big rewards when handled correctly. Allocating resources, keeping departments informed on changes, and communicating clearly with these accounts is crucial to properly establish these accounts.
Customer satisfaction and improved services remain a top priority for your business. Key accounts require specialized products and collaboration to make sure the services offered provide the most benefits. As the needs of accounts change, your products should be adapted to best serve the client.
Utilizing automation and data analysis can help free up resources. Digital and artificial intelligence (AI) software is starting to play a huge role in the success of account management. Make sure your team is prepared with an up-to-date tech stack and the proper training for correct usage.
Use Leadboxer to start integrating your tech stack with key account management today, by clicking here for a free trial.
Although account based selling (ABS) has been around for quite some time, this strategy is gaining popularity in recent years. Organizations are starting to see the real impact of this tactic, leading to increased sales and more revenue.
While the typical sales strategy targets a single point of contact within an organization, account based selling works differently. Rather than focusing sales efforts on a single person, this methodology takes a broader approach.
Although this strategy is too extensive for business-to-consumer (B2C) products, it’s more suitable for large-scale, enterprise-level b2b sales. Keep reading to learn more about account based selling, including how to effectively implement this strategy into your sales process. This ABS guide should help you decide if this sales approach is right for your organization.
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Account based selling (ABS) is a hyper-focused, ultra-personalized sales strategy. This approach targets entire accounts rather than concentrating on a specific person within a company. With this strategy, every account is treated as a market of one.
This involves a multi-touch, multi-channel process that targets a variety of touchpoints within an organization. While the typical sales strategy aims to close sales with individuals, account-based selling targets the organization as a whole.
Account based selling and account-based marketing (ABM) go hand-in-hand. The overall goal of the process is to identify target accounts and inch them closer to a sale. Rather than having sales and marketing departments that “hand-off” duties to one another, this strategy blends the two.
As this isn’t the traditional approach, your sales and marketing teams must be more aligned than the average organization. In a company-wide effort, these teams must come together to target the right accounts and form a cohesive, detailed strategy. The process involves first identifying key decision-makers with a pain point, then targeting them with personalized sales outreach.
This strategy can work alongside marketing nurture campaigns to move key contacts closer to a sale.
Who Should Use Account Based Selling?
In a recent survey involving ten corporate leaders, seven of them said they are investing more in account based strategies. However, this approach isn’t suitable for every organization.
As this methodology involves your entire business, you must have enough resources to implement account-based selling framework. Before eliminating your current business model and starting fresh with account-based model, determine if this approach is right for you.
Ask yourself the following five questions before you’re planning to leverage benefits of account-based selling.
1. Who is your average customer?
Understanding your potential customers can help you decide if ABS is the ideal approach. If you usually sell to small businesses, you may want to consider a different strategy. Because ABS involves tons of manpower and resources on your end, dedicating that to these businesses typically isn’t efficient.
Unfortunately, the picture is a little unclear for mid-market customers. Experts claim that any deal size less than $50,000 in lifetime value shouldn’t utilize an account-based selling approach. If you’re a business that offers enterprise solutions, you may already have high-value accounts that are well-suited for account based sales.
2. How long does your sales cycle last?
An effective account-based selling strategy doesn’t happen overnight —the process to come up with a good selling model can take months. That said, this approach is better suited for longer sales cycles. If your average sales journey lasts for at least three months, ABS may be right for you.
3. How much do you know about your ideal customers?
Account based selling involves hyper-focus on your audience. This laser-precision approach requires an in-depth understanding of your ideal customers. If you’re unsure where you fit in the market or don’t have adequate data, you may be advised to consider a different strategy.
4. How many stakeholders are involved in the average deal?
While the average sales approach targets one or two stakeholders, this can cause problems. For instance, this tactic could backfire if that contact quits the job, goes on leave, gets sick, or takes a vacation.
By targeting multiple stakeholders, it’s far less likely for the deal to fall through the cracks. The more eyes on your sales process, the higher the chance of closing the sale. Account-based selling model is a multi-threaded, multi-channel approach, which typically leads to more involvement from a wide variety of stakeholders.
5. What’s the nature of your offerings?
Account-based sales strategy is a detailed, precisely integrated process across multiple facets of your organization. It’s ideal for subscription-based products. As long as your messaging is consistent and clear, these customers probably won’t end their relationship with your product or service.
ABS marketing through subscription-based products also provides the opportunity for upselling and cross-selling. If your business offers multiple services, add-ons, and packages for high-value accounts, account based selling could be the right tactic.
How Content is Used in ABS
Similar to inbound marketing techniques, you can use content in account-based selling gear up a specific audience. Additionally, both inbound marketing and ABM use different content at different stages in the sales cycle.
As previously mentioned, account-based selling requires a company-wide approach. So all teams should collaborate to develop audience-focused content for the various accounts and personas.
Below, you’ll find a variety of content types and tactics that can be used in an ABS strategy. These are categorized by the level of effort needed for execution.
Targeting your customers with engaging content doesn’t stop when you close a sale—ABS-focused content continues long after the deal is made. After all, customer satisfaction is a core element of ABS marketing efforts.
If your customers aren’t satisfied, chances are they won’t renew, upgrade, or buy again in the future. After the sale is complete, you’ll want to continue to provide valuable content to keep loyalty and engagement high.
This can be achieved with:-
Training sessions: These can help your customers understand more about your products.
Executive check-ins: This involves meetings, preferably quarterly, to discuss what’s going on with the account. These discussions should involve both buyer and seller executives.
User events: To boost exposure and excitement for your product and brand, facilitate events to bring your customers together.
Developing Your Target Account List
After narrowing your target accounts, choosing contacts, and deciding the content you’ll implement, it’s time to build an account list. To simplify the process, ABS experts encourage organizations to categorize target lists into different tiers.
Your company should then allocate a certain amount of resources and attentiveness for each level. The smallest tier should receive the highest amount of care, while the largest tier should receive fewer resources.
While it varies from one company to the next, your first tier will typically consist of 20 to 50 accounts. These customers should receive thorough research and one-on-one, personalized communication.
The next tier typically includes about 200 accounts. The amount of personalization and care these groups receive is based on their specific industries and personas. Due to the many facets involved in the process, these campaigns can last for several weeks.
Sales rep and sales development teams must provide assistance in choosing target accounts. This is because these professionals play a key role in converting prospects through their selling approach. Therefore, excluding them from the sales model and decision-making process is an inefficient practice.
How to Implement an ABS Strategy
After reading this guide to account-based selling, you may still be confused about how to implement this selling model into your organization. If that’s true, you’re not alone.
Transitioning to ABS is one of the most common roadblocks for organizations across the country. Although people understand the value of changing processes, they still struggle with execution.
Because organizations have different processes and best practices, implementing ABS looks different for many companies. If you’re currently using a high-volume, high-velocity approach, instantly changing to account based approach can be a slippery slope. Instead make the switch over time in stages to use account-based selling.
Once you’ve developed your ideal customer profile and chosen suitable accounts, allocate 30% of your organization into tiger teams. Members of these specialized teams are skilled professionals tasked with a specific goal within an account.
Before getting started, it’s essential to decide which metrics to track. After starting the process and seeing a positive impact, you can then allocate 50% of your company. If you continue to gain traction, go to 75%, then eventually 100%.
As for how long this transition should take, most companies notice improvements within 12 to 24 months. Those who find early success typically have close-knit marketing and sales departments.
Although account based selling can be a complicated topic to understand, we hope this ABS guide provides some clarity. While the transition may not be an easy one, this change could propel your business to new heights.
If you’re a company operating at the enterprise level, successful account-based selling can increase your revenue and improve customer satisfaction.
In one of our previous articles we discussed why warm leads are better for your business but we realised we got ahead of ourselves. So, we decided to double back and try to understand what are warm leads.
Every company needs to follow up and nurture leads as part of its sales process. Warm leads are nothing more than individuals who have expressed an interest in your company in the past or people with whom you wish to establish a relationship. It could be something as simple as a person filling up an online form and asking for more information on a certain product, or making connections with the staff of a particular organisation. When these people get a visit or a call, it classifies as a warm lead.
Whereas cold leads are taken by surprise and often turn negative, warm leads are formed out of a pre-existing relationship or expression of interest. That’s the difference between cold and warm leads. Hence its lot easier to approach a potential sale, and places warm leads on top of cold leads in the sales cycle. Warm leads result in more effective sales talk.
Why are Warm Leads Beneficial?
Think of it this way: Would you like it if someone tried to sell you something within the first five minutes of knowing you? Of course not! The same applies to your customers as well. They hate it when your company tries to push a product/service on them, and are more likely to walk away. Even worse, they will probably remember your company in a negative light.
This is exactly why warm leads are preferred. Businesses, especially small ones, rely on warm leads to establish a certain level of trust with possible clients until they make a purchase from them. Establishing trust is an integral part of the sales process because the warmer the lead, the higher chance there is of converting it to a sale. Sizeable companies have systems in place for a formal sales process, and these involve introducing the brand to a potential customer, referred to as the lead.
The more the lead becomes exposed to the name and message of the brand, the more it begins to trust the brand over time. Warm leads show interest in your brand in such a way that closing sales becomes easy. In fact, companies boasting of solid, well-thought-out sales processes are adept at monitoring calls, messages, emails, and outreach so that each sales rep understands precisely where every lead is in the process.
The Thing About ‘Warm Leads’
The term “warm leads” is quite flexible. For example, any prospect that has been referred to a business website also qualifies as a warm lead, even though the organisation did not contact that prospect directly. Just the fact that the referrer recommended that particular company to the prospect means that an indirect connection has formed between the company and the lead. It is not necessary that the prospect know the business; simply knowing the person who referred them to the company is enough. In this case, the referrer serves as a sort of middleman, which means that generating warm leads is not a linear process.
There is a flexibility associated with warm leads that is missing in others. This makes them all the more lucrative. When a prospect reaches out to the business looking for information, they usually try to find out the contact number or fill out a form on the website requesting a call back. Such prospects are intrigued to go through all the effort to reach out to the business by themselves, without knowing anything about the company. This shows just how easy it is to work with warm leads rather than cold leads in lead generation.
Warm Leads Mean More Conversion Probability
Though there is still some amount of rapport building to be done on your part, warm leads are simpler to convert into sales than cold leads. The fact that the business had previously established a connection or contact with the prospect is indicative of the fact that they already had some amount of trust between them. This is the reason why the prospect will actually read or listen to whatever you have to say. They are ready to invest their time, and will not be as quick to walk away from the product or service as a result.
Warm leads are actually quite pleasant from the standpoint of the salesperson. They find it easier to distinguish between warm leads and cold leads and interact with the former; all it requires is a little bit of common sense and practice on their part. In the end, what matters the most is the way the prospect views the interaction, instead of how the business classifies it. While interacting with a warm lead, the company should always make it a point to introduce itself and then immediately raise the topic of their pre-existing association with the prospect. The way they respond should be an indication whether the sales team should pursue this lead for conversion or not. The moment you get some sort of acknowledgement about your connection with the prospect, you need to move forward in the sales funnel.
A business is better of investing all their efforts on warm and qualified leads rather than cold leads due to the higher probability of conversion. You might have ten cold leads in your campaign, but compared to them one warm lead in your campaign is always a better use of your time. Firstly, it is difficult to try and monitor ten cold leads. A person who is familiar with your name or the name of your company and who is ready to make an invest in your services or products will be easier to pin down, rather than the phone numbers of people who have never even heard of you.
How to Generate More Warm Leads?
Some companies resort to paying for long email list and phone numbers. But this cold approach is a hit-and-miss, and less effective than building and nurturing existing relationships with customers. Your time and money is better spent elsewhere, namely creating new relationships and conversations with interested parties. Such a process can be time-consuming, but the payoff is always greater. Cold calling isn’t something that their sales people enjoy, but they need to do it as part of their job. The trick is converting the cold leads into warm prospects, thereby increasing the chances of a successful sale by the sales team. Some of the most effective methods are given below.
Forming a Blog
If you have an expert sales team on your payroll, chances are you won’t have to work too hard to reach out to customers who know nothing about your business; instead the sales lead will come to you. It becomes possible through the creation of a website that also hosts a blog offering good content. This, in turn, forms a lead nurturing process that sets your company up with warm and hot sales leads.
All you need to do is research, create a blog with the help of one of platforms for business and share good content on your blog. The blog creates a platform to help attract prospects particular a type of lead interested in your business, products (or) services. This not only improves the SEO but automatically alters the feel of the conversation. The tables are now turned in your direction, it’s warm leads vs you because prospects understand that you have valuable insight to provide them before they even engage you directly.
Using Lead Capture Techniques
Get your prospects to visit your website by setting up a well-aimed blog. However, you should make it a point to know who those site visitors are before they leave. Otherwise, it would all be in vain. Use lead capturing to get the details you require about your visitors. Lead capturing involves creating helpful content that solves the problems of your personas. This could be lead magnet, which can be as simple as e-book, Free webinar, or something of those sorts.
You need to link your blog readers to a specific landing page that requests them to fill up a quick form. As soon as the form is submitted, allow them to access the lead magnet for free. Once you have their email run an effective email campaign for these subscribers to warm them up about business and offerings.
Through email marketing catch their interests frequently to make your way towards building a relationship.
Using a CRM System
It is best if your company uses CRM software. This ensures that none of the information you gleaned from your leads go to waste. You will find lots of different tools on the Internet that not only monitor who visited your website, but what they looked at, when they visited, and what offers they downloaded as well. The purpose of this data is to provide you with a clearer picture of your lead and initiate a sales conversion if needed.
LeadBoxer integrated with your CRM system allows a sales representative from your team to understand the lead readiness to buy from you via assigning a lead score to each individual lead. This score is usually anywhere between 1-100, the higher the score the higher will be the probability to convert warm leads.
Harnessing the Power of Social Media
It is important you know how to use social media for the benefit of your company. Simply opening accounts on social networking sites is not going to help; you must know how to get the most out of them. It helps if you begin by thinking long-term.
You will be able to generate the initial interest via a clever post or a giveaway. New leads are always appreciated, but you should also have a plan on how to plan on building on that foundation. Otherwise, you are going to lose any lead as soon as you get it. Social media metrics are a great way to become familiar with your audience and their needs. Not to mention, a great way to generate warm leads.
However, you should first determine the market you wish to cater to. Also, it is important to link your company’s posts, tweets, and updates with the landing page. This will give visitors the chance to know your company even better.
Cross Promotions and Referrals
Warm leads aren’t always the tricky affair that people make them out to be. For instance, customer referrals are a great way to generate business-to-business leads. Customer referrals are built out of trust.
Another great option is cross promotions with other businesses. This method provides a cost-effective, easy and quick way to get more warm leads; leads who you otherwise would never have been able to gain access to. This is a highly exciting prospect. Planning cross promotions carefully is a great way to tap into an audience base that has high interest in your product.
Webinars and Face-to-Face
Despite the rise of social media techniques, the old-fashioned approach is long from dead. It works wonders, especially in the form of executive events and webinars, where it is possible to interact directly with the lead.
Due to the overwhelming focus on technology in the current digital age, the old ways are easy to overlook. But, these methods were used for a very long time and with good reason – they were effective. Because at the end, leads are people just like you and us, it builds when you listen from someone face-to-face rather than the content online.
So your company should try this out. Even telemarketing could be one of the strategies to generate warm leads who are ready to buy if done right.
Generating a warm lead through email is possible if you email one of the higher-ups in the organisation and ask for a referral down to the correct individual, or email the decision maker directly. Irrespective of your approach, a lot rides on the subject line of your email. It needs to be interesting enough for the lead to actually read it and open the mail.
There is a particular way to develop effective cold email subject lines. Use the names of the leads in the subject line only if it makes sense. Keep the subject as specific as possible. Make the subject line as personal as you can so that it appeals to the lead, and turns it warm. Make sure that the email doesn’t sound too much like a marketing email. Try to keep it casual yet professional. You could try experimenting with a question format for the subject line of the email. Always make sure that you deliver what was promised in the subject line in the actual email.
Customers are no longer the same, and sales and marketing are trying to keep up. The rise of search engines and social media, businesses and individuals do not have to wait for sales people to approach them. They themselves can go looking for the things they want and choose whichever company offers the same. Sales and marketing work together to bring in warm leads. This helps create more business than cold leads ever could.
The most effective lead strategy methods are constantly changing and your company must evolve with them. The nuances of technology mean what worked for lead generation even a year ago may not be applicable now. If you aren’t regularly reassessing your lead strategy tactics, you’re missing opportunities to find new prospects.
We’ve compiled a list of the top lead strategy approaches for 2023. We have included statistics that will make you want to start using them. We will first go over some of the foundations of an excellent lead generation campaign.
When it comes to data collection sources, you have two options: your own data or data from a third party. While there are instances when using data collected from an outside business can be helpful, your own data is better. First-party data analytics are important for many reasons including:
The data is your own, meaning it’s readily available and it’s free to use
The data is obtained from interactions with your customers
The data can be easily tweaked and improved upon
Third-party data gets gathered by a company that likely doesn’t fully know your target audience. They aren’t as familiar with your products or services so they can’t relay the same convincing messaging that you can. This can lead to inaccurate, less thorough data analytics on which to build your lead strategy.
The foundation of a strong lead generation strategy begins with the quality of your data. The source by which you collect data will impact how successful your lead generation campaign will be. Your own first-party data takes time to collect and requires effort, but will better bolster your bottom line.
Once you decide to use your first-party data collection, you need to research your target audience and competitors.
Know Your Audience
It’s important to get your content in front of people who want to read it. Potential leads who are interested in what you offer are more likely to convert into a sale. On the other hand, those who aren’t interested will leave your site and/or delete your emails.
You need to figure out who your target audience is, those who see value in what you offer. Once you identify your audience, you’ll need to find them and learn how to reach them.
You likely already have access to information on your target audience. Analytics tools such as Google Analytics give you insights into your target audience such as demographics and preferred communication channels.
Analytics tools identify your ideal customers and what channel source they will most convert through. Researching your target audience includes taking note of the following:
In addition to learning about your target audience, Google Analytics can also reveal information on your competitors. Competitor research gives you valuable insights into what the competition is doing and alerts you to their strengths and weaknesses.
The next step requires you to dive into competitor research to uncover where your competitors are investing. You can find everything your competitors are doing using tools like Google Analytics Benchmark Reports, SimilarWeb, Semrush, and SpyFu. These tools will show you which networks they’re advertising on and how much they’re spending to do it.
Then, you need to figure out what is in-between where you are and where your competitors are. To help you with this, ask yourself the following questions:
What is your spend, and what is theirs?
What is your cost per acquisition for each channel?
How much can you scale each channel?
What is the saturation point for each channel?
What is the plan to improve each channel so that it converts for less?
After you get first person data and research your audience and competitors, it’s time to look at lead generation strategies.
1. Product Demos
You can extensively market your product, but people need to be convinced that what you offer meets their needs. Product demos show people how the item works and how it can help solve a problem. Demonstrations are an excellent way to sprinkle video into your lead generation strategy.
Product demonstrations are one of many video formats you can use. Some other lead generation video ideas include explainer and straight offers.
2. Email Marketing
People check their email up to 20 times a day, making email marketing an effective lead generation channel. What makes email marketing so effective is that it captures email addresses. An email address is another avenue by which you can interact with a lead.
There are numerous ways to get a lead’s email address off your website including:
Email capture pop-ups.
A strong email marketing campaign centers on testing and analysis. A/B testing of messaging, performance, and delivery will help your emails avoid the spam folder. In addition to testing, map every page on your website to a micro-conversion for improved tracking.
A cold email campaign is a great place to start an email marketing strategy. The content of a cold email is valuable to readers and features links to your website.
Getting Started With an Email Marketing Campaign
The purpose of an email strategy is nurturing leads into customers through continuous touches. Each email should offer content that urges prospects onto the next step of the buyer’s journey.
The first step in developing an email marketing strategy is to implement a tracking pixel into your email campaigns. The tracking pixel will provide better statistics to measure email engagement and give real-time data. Use software that will integrate with website data for the most accurate view of users’ behaviors.
Lead Nurturing Campaigns
With the average conversion rate of 2-5%, lead nurturing campaigns are vital to lead generation.You need to foster relationships with those in your sales funnel. Lead nurturing takes time and effort and must be done correctly to maximize conversions.
Implementing a lead nurturing campaign that uses marketing automation sends relevant information based on what leads view on your website. This increases the possibility of them converting into customers.
If you don’t already send out a newsletter, you need to start. Newsletters help inform your current customers of your service or product offerings to cross-sell them on other services. People are more open to reading an e-newsletter than an email ad, which makes newsletters great for getting contact information.
Around 75% of marketers generate leads through event marketing with 85% of leadership teams saying events are important for business. At events, you meet with people who are more likely to be interested in the services or products you provide. Also, conferences are a great place to show people your company’s brand and let them know what you stand for.
Networking is one of the best ways to get to know other people who may be interested in your services.
When you go to trade shows, you can expect to acquire 5% to 20% of your new customer base. When networking, you need to remember you’re not meeting these people with the intent of selling to them.
You’re simply making new business connections. Even if you’re able to help them or sell them something they need, it shouldn’t be your top priority.
5. Cold Calling The Right Prospects
You might hear people say cold calling is dead, but in fact, cold calling was still relevant. When you combine this tactic with the right tools, it can be extremely effective.
Use a lead intelligence tool that can identify website visitors and provide you with their information. This way, you’re only calling people who are interested in your services.
Though poorly-trained marketers and pushy salespeople tarnished cold calling, it’s still one of the most effective lead-generation tools. In fact, according to marketing research by MarketingSherpa, 92 percent of B2B buyers are open to cold calls.
According to a leading lead generation company, SalesHive, cold calling is still one of the fastest ways to get direct prospect feedback. This, in turn, optimizes your pitch and marketing strategy. The goal is to allow your reps to focus on one thing and one thing only – booking meetings.
To be effective in cold calling, consider outsourcing qualified B2B sales cold-calling specialists. Such reps are dedicated to your account, are more comfortable with your market, and consistently book meetings with prospects.
6. Video Campaigns
More than 90% of people say videos make their buying decisions, and 84% say a video makes them more likely to purchase. Below are some great ways to begin creating videos:
You can start creating video content by hosting live and recorded webinars. Create a content calendar to schedule topics, dates, and times when the webinar will go live. Then, send people emails asking them to sign up for the webinar, and promote it on your social media channels.
Another way to get started with video content is by going live on social media platforms. You can do this from your smartphone. You’ll notice you reach a larger audience compared to the response you receive from a standard image or video post.
Nearly 4.5 billion people use social media, allowing you to easily reach new people who fit your target demographic(s).
Facebook is great if you’re looking for a less formal way to reach your potential customers. Two-thirds of Facebook users regularly visit a local business’ Facebook page.
Posting interesting content and images that grab people’s attention allows you to build a large audience without advertising. If you use Facebook advertising, you can do so without spending much money as the cost ranges from .63 to $3.77.
LinkedIn is one of the best places for B2B companies to generate leads. More than 90% of marketers use LinkedIn because it produces 80% of all B2B leads. The leads from LinkedIn far outpace those from all other social platforms.
One of the best tools LinkedIn offers to aid in your strategy is its lead generation forms. These are specific LinkedIn ads that get people to fill out their information so you can contact them.
These lead generation forms work so well because people are actively engaging with you by volunteering their information. Additionally, they understand that you’re going to reach out to them. Once a cold lead, they have now been converted to a warm lead ready to receive your pitch.
For companies that have products and not a service, Instagram is a great place to showcase it. The platform only allows posts with images or videos, making it the perfect venue for grabbing attention with eye-catching photos. Around 90% of Instagram users follow one or more businesses, so posting on this platform can yield great results.
8. Public Relations Strategy
Most companies only look at public relations (PR) strategies after something bad has happened. With most people having a cell phone to share videos, your company could easily find itself facing a PR disaster.
Consider hiring a PR manager if you don’t already have one. Work with them to start doing community outreach and implement positive campaigns before a crisis occurs. Be sure to fully inform employees about your company’s values and guiding mission.
Any kind of negative publicity is bad, especially if you’re trying to generate leads. With easy access to information and countless competitors, prospective customers will be critical of your brand. Show your leads that your company can be trusted with great PR.
9. Content Marketing
Content marketing is a popular and effective solution when done right. That’s because, like consumers, business firms want to equip themselves with the right information before a big buy.
Approximately 47 percent of buyers read three -five pieces of copy before contacting a salesperson. This means that nearly half of your potential customers have already done research on your company. When a salesperson contacts them, many likely have already decided whether or not to make a purchase.
It is important your content provides targeted, valuable information so it can sell your brand before your salesperson contacts them. You can also make sure you integrate your content with lead magnets. Whitepapers, courses, or e-books are free resources you offer your visitors in exchange for their information.
Create A Content Marketing Plan
Companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those who don’t. Blogging generates 3 times as many potential customers compared to outbound marketing. It also costs 62% less than traditional marketing campaigns, making it a powerful lead strategy.
Blogging is one of many content marketing strategies. Others include social media and video. However, it’s not enough to create content; you need to have a plan that includes the following:
Search Engine Optimization
It would be unproductive to create content, only to find you’re not showing up in search results. This is why you need to create a search engine optimization (SEO) plan. This way you can understand the types of information your customers are searching for and develop your content accordingly.
A foundation of any SEO strategy begins with identifying keywords to use in your content. The keyword tool on Google lets you see the search volume for words and other valuable content information.
You can go on with ongoing SEO campaigns with B2B content marketing support to generate meaningful leads. It aligns with your intentions by offering first-rate content that educates prospects and moves them through your lead generation funnel.
You can do this in a variety of ways. For example, you can start by understanding how keywords attract different users. Keyword use will drive different people to your website, so it is vital to understand each set.
A good content marketing plan can go wrong if you have a bad or outdated website. Google recommends websites aim for a loading time that’s less than 2 seconds. If you create a great article relevant to your target customer, but it loads slowly, people will not read it.
Now you know how to start a lead generation campaign and use the top lead strategies it’s time to get started. Read this post on B2B lead generation strategies for additional information on drumming up more profit for your business.
There are people out there who need and want your products and services. You need to find them, engage with them, and deliver quality content. If you’re ready to get serious about your lead strategy, Start free or get a demo with LeadBoxer today.
You know how important it is to find potential customers most interested in your products or services. These are the consumers who will make a purchase. Quickly finding these prospects with a lead management platform shortens your sales cycle, increasing profits.
To learn more about lead management software and the importance of qualifying leads, keep reading or use the links below to jump ahead:
To make any sale, you need to invest in building relationships with the best prospects.
Relationship-building takes time and energy. A lead management platform helps salespeople qualify good leads and disqualify bad ones.
Why is it important to qualify leads? 67% of lost sales are a result of sales reps not properly qualifying potential customers. Unqualified prospects will not go through the entire sales process, so they won’t become paying customers.
Qualifying leads will not only result in more sales. It shortens your sales cycle and betters the use of your sales team’s time by focusing them on ideal leads. Sales teams can prioritize building relationships with the most promising prospects with lead qualification tools.
There are people out there who want your product or service. Lead qualification software helps your sales team identify and build relationships with them. Engaging the right people will bring more sales at a quicker pace.
Lead qualification is the process of identifying prospects most likely to make a purchase. The process prioritizes the nurturing of the most promising leads.
Below are the three types of qualified leads:
Marketing qualified leads (MQL): These leads gain interest in a brand, product, or service through marketing strategies. These leads come by clicking on a link in an email, downloading an e-book, or subscribing to a newsletter.
Sales qualified leads (SQL): These leads are interested in a brand, product, or service after interacting with a sales representative. They often will ask about pricing and agree to a presentation or demo.
Product/Service qualified leads (PQL): These leads are interested in a company, service, or product. They usually contact a salesperson after a free trial or consultation.
Lead management platforms identify the prospects your sales team needs to prioritize in nurturing. Qualified leads will progress through the sales funnel at a more rapid rate, resulting in revenue.
Qualified leads are crucial in generating revenue for your organization. Lead qualification tools can help you quickly identify your most promising prospects. Here are some lead qualification tools you can use to attract and nurture quality prospects:
PDFs are effective ways of informing people in a way that is easily accessible. They are downloadable, saveable, and shareable. Interactive PDFs add engagement and shorten your sales cycle.
Interactive PDFs are lead qualification tools that allow you to add filtering questions, thereby identifying your most promising prospects. These PDFs can help tailor your follow-up and move them quickly down the funnel.
Other effective lead qualification tools are solution finders. They help identify and provide a custom-tailored solution to a customer’s problem. When leveraged appropriately, solution finders can shorten the sales cycle.
Solution finders, also called product pickers, help leads navigate the various products or services your company offers. Prospects get personalized product or service recommendations with short assessments.
Qualified leads may not always know what they want or the best solution. Through solution finders, you help prospects avoid frustration and headaches. This goes a long way in building relationships between your salespeople and customers.
ROI calculators work similarly to solution finders in that they provide tailored customer service. These tools generate numeric results for each lead based on a formula generated by customer input. These calculators quickly identify and evaluate pain points, speeding up the qualification process.
ROI calculators offer personalized, valuable content tailored to each stage of the buyer’s journey. ROI calculator data can be used for scoring, disqualification, and trigger campaigns.
The second stage of lead qualification is lead generation. Once you have the qualification criteria set up, you’ll need to attract prospects. There are a variety of inbound and outbound strategies you can use for lead generation.
Inbound lead generation involves methods to get leads to come to you. These include referrals, social media ads, and web form submissions.
Outbound lead generation strategies involve seeking potential leads and using sales strategies. Cold calling, introductory emails, and meetings are examples of outbound lead generation activities. Once you’ve generated leads, you can begin the process of qualifying them.
3. Lead Score and Categorization
Once you have your lead qualifying criteria and the prospects pouring in, it’s time to score and categorize them. The leads that show the greatest interest through your inbound or outbound sales activities will earn more points.
It’s important to separate sales and marketing qualified leads. As you’re interested in sales leads, assign fewer points to prospects that interact with your marketing campaigns. They will be nurtured differently.
You can score and categorize leads manually, though lead management platforms and customer relationship management software does this automatically. After you score your sales prospects, it’s time to rank them.
4. Distribute and Rank Leads
Once you generate your leads and score them, it is time to distribute and rank them. MQLs and SQLs require different lead nurturing techniques.
For example, a sales qualified lead will get a sales presentation or demo to understand your product or service better. Each sales prospect should be ranked and prioritized by lead score or BANT analysis.
To nurture MQLs, offer more in-depth content. Start with emails and free trials for top-of-funnel prospects. Offer an e-newsletter and then whitepapers and e-books to bottom-of-funnel leads.
Once you categorize and distribute your leads, it’s time to rank them. Lead qualification tools prioritize sales-qualified leads with the highest score and rank. These will be your most qualified leads.
5. Continue Qualifying Leads Throughout the Pipeline
The last step for lead qualification is to continue down the steps of your sales pipeline. The goal of lead qualification is to move prospects through the funnel.
For SQLs, your salespeople may ask additional probing questions during presentations and demos. They are qualified and nurtured to move on through the sales funnel.
For marketing-qualified leads, you need to get them sales qualified and handed over to your sales team. MQLs will continue receiving lead scoring points as they show additional interest and interact with your campaign.
Lead management platforms that qualify leads make it easier to move prospects through your funnel. The quicker leads become paying customers, the more closed sales you’ll have.
Every company has a sales process or funnel whereby prospects enter as mildly interested leads and leave as paying customers. Along the way, you employ various marketing and sales tactics to move them onto the next stage. If your sales process is long, there are more opportunities for leads to drop off before becoming customers.
When you nurture your ideal prospects, they quickly progress through your sales funnel. As they are already excited and knowledgeable about your service or product, a long sales process is unnecessary.
Lead qualification tools shorten your sales cycle. A shorter sales funnel leads to more conversions and quicker sales.
The Growth of Lead Management Software
Lead management software is by no means going away anytime soon. Lead qualification software use will increase. Technavio predicts that the lead qualification solutions market will increase by 17.5% between 2021-2028.
Some of the driving factors that contribute to the growth of lead management platforms include:
The development of cloud-based and SaaS software and solutions (especially on mobile)
Increased demand for social interaction between companies and consumers
The heightened popularity of crowdsourcing
The increase in CRMs integrating lead qualification into their marketing and sales automation platforms
More companies looking to improve the relationship between their sales and marketing departments
The higher likelihood of sales conversions
The increased need for enterprise-level lead management software
With information at their fingertips, your leads and prospects will be selective about who they do business with. Building relationships and nurturing the right people will make them paying customers. Lead qualification platforms do this.
Lead management platforms like LeadBoxer are becoming increasingly popular because they allow salespeople to focus on the most promising prospects. There are various lead qualification tools to move prospects through your funnel. Maximize your prospect generation efforts by following a lead qualification process.
Successful businesses thrive on strong customer relationships. These connections help increase the number of sales conversions. Most importantly, the resources used to create a strong customer connection will see a strong return on investment (ROI).
Professional relationships go beyond initial contact points as good sales teams work hard to personalize the customer journey based on individual needs. By cultivating a strong relationship with clients, the likelihood of their repeated patronage increases.
As technology continues to evolve, businesses are constantly competing for attention from prospects in the digital realm. Focusing on relationship-based sales can help boost engagement with your social media, as well as direct your messaging to the correct target audience.
Keep reading, or use the following links, to learn more about how these connections drive customer relationships to a sale:
The Link Between Customer Connections and Increased Sales
The goal of every sales team is to increase their numbers. There are many tactics out there to see higher conversions, but it is crucial to start at the beginning of the pipeline. Customer connections can happen during the first introduction to a prospect.
Making the most of interactions, even while a prospect is still in the ‘Lead’ stage, can have a huge impact on finalized sales. Before starting the process of making these connections, it is important to understand the driving idea behind this strategy.
Relationship based sales happen when a salesperson prioritizes the interactions and connections with a client to complete a sale. While price and types of services will always be a factor for customers, relationship based sales primarily focus on building customer loyalty.
Utilizing this strategy to foster relationships will help each customer feel more valued by your business. Clients will lean towards loyalty to brands when they are appreciated by the company.
B2B businesses can see a huge benefit from adopting this mindset. Since purchases of these services typically require a higher-level of commitment due to the size, customer loyalty goes a long way.
Personalized outreach is a great starting point for creating strong customer engagement strategies. Customers start their buying journey when they have a problem, so it’s important to segment your marketing for tailored audiences. Once a lead enters your pipeline, allow your salespeople to take time to nurture the prospect and gather insight into their needs.
These customer relationships have many aspects that will require personalization. The more effort your team puts into creating these lasting bonds, the higher your conversions will rise. Starting off with personal interests, encourage your salespeople to get to know their customer contacts.
By knowing their geographical location, personal hobbies, and basic profiles, it will be easier for your sales staff to find similarities to create connections. For example, an easy connecting point between sales and clients could be a similar interest in sports teams or graduation from the same alma mater.
On the other side of things, ensure that your sales team is working hard to listen to the needs of each customer. Find out if your services or products can be tailored to provide the best solution possible. Take time to listen to customer insight before pitching specific packages.
Another crucial aspect to forming lasting customer connections is having continued contact once a sale is finalized. If your product requires training or onboarding, make sure the correct resources and enough support staff are available during this time. Be proactive in your outreach to gather feedback, and listen to any suggestions these customers may have.
Ensuring Loyalty Through Customer Experience
Once you’ve started focusing on the ways to foster strong connections, it is important to make sure these interactions are increasing customer loyalty. The key to this strategy is good customer experience throughout the buying journey.
Before implementing a customer connection strategy, you need to have an understanding of what your current clients think about your services and their experiences. According to Forbes, 80% of businesses believe they excel in customer service, but a mere 8% of customers agree with that statement.
Conducting research and opening the conversation for genuine client feedback can help your team see where improvements can happen. This information is valuable for sales strategies, and these interactions will help your customers feel valued and appreciated. Be sure to incorporate as much of their feedback as possible into your future relationship.
Looking ahead to future customer experiences, it’s important to understand how much each interaction matters in the cultivation of customer loyalty. Forbes asserts that within a day of a poor customer experience, 47% of consumers are willing to take their business to a competitor. Due to the ease of finding other options through a quick web search, there is little room for mistakes during the buying journey.
Speed and efficiency are key elements of a positive customer experience. While B2B sales cycles tend to be longer than B2C due to the nature of service, clients still value quickness. Instead of looking at ways to shorten the sales cycle itself, focus on the ways your communication can be streamlined.
Many people are conditioned to expect answers within seconds due to the availability of instant online search. While having salespeople within reach as soon as every problem occurs may not be possible, there should be resources in place to help customers. Make sure your web forms work, check emails regularly, and don’t be afraid to hop on a call to quickly offer solutions.
Start by focusing on the entirety of the process rather than singular pieces. Analyzing the customer journey from beginning to end will help your team pinpoint problem areas. From there, begin tracking customer behavior to identify patterns throughout your target audience.
Personalized messaging, optimized payment options, and convenient sales processes are all ways to engage modern consumers. Clients are online more than ever before, so use the data detailing their actions to your advantage.
Make sure your team is setting realistic conversion rates. Despite all of the great customer service your business provides, not every lead will result in a sale. To have an understanding of the genuine ROI from marketing and sales efforts, reasonable conversion goals are necessary.
Focus on communication while making customer connections. At the end of the day, most clients will appreciate when a business goes above and beyond to listen to their needs. Fostering strong relationships and ensuring quality customer journeys requires time, commitment, and consistent communication.
The top platforms, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Youtube, will be enough to help provide your business with the tools for successful social selling. Starting off, social media will generate leads and track data for better understanding of customer behavior.
Leadboxer’s platform integrates with your team’s tech stack to access data, generate leads, and provide tools for higher conversion rates. Throughout your email and social media campaigns, Leadboxer is able to uncover data to provide contact information and behavior patterns for potential buyers.
One of the key benefits of social selling is gaining insight and learning about customers to create meaningful connections. By integrating your workflow with technology like the Leadboxer platform, your team will be able to gain a broad understanding of this data.
Generating leads through social platforms helps your salestaff find new prospects for outreach. From the very first interaction, customer connections can begin to take shape. Social media offers vital personal information to help your salespeople find similarities with their contacts.
Using social media as a way to teach about the industry and your products is another great use of the tool. By reaching your target audience with educational information, your business will be able to establish itself as a reliable leader in the industry. This allows prospects to find your product before your team even has a chance to discover them during a search process.
Engagement through social media helps to continue the professional relationship with clients. According to Hootsuite’s Digital Report 2021, 22.7% of internet users are using social media to network and handle work-related research. Continued social media outreach and marketing is crucial for maintaining strong customer connections, with many consumers using the internet to develop business relationships.
To see how social media integrations can help with customer connections, check out LeadBoxer with a free trial.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Creating lasting relationships and increasing conversion rates are the main goals of your customer sales cycle. The process begins with lead generation and relies heavily on successful lead nurturing to obtain the desired end result – a sale.
Putting increased time and effort into your marketing and sales process means your client relationships will benefit. Ultimately, your company will begin to see a higher return on investment (ROI) on its efforts. Jack Born, the creator of Deadline Funnel, speaks about the many ways lead nurturing plays a role in successful conversion rates.
In 2022, walking leads through the sales process means navigating an increasingly digitized world. Timeless tactics like cold calling are great ways to cultivate leads. Although utilizing newer tools like data automation and content creation can improve your customer lifecycle.
Incorporating AI software alongside tactics like audience segmentation and targeted messaging are the first steps to take for creating competitive marketing campaigns.
To learn more, read on or jump ahead to these sections:
Born also points out that in this current time of endless content streams, maintaining top-of-mind awareness with your leads is crucial to nurturing client relationships. On the flip side, successful digital communication relies on avoiding repetitive and irrelevant content to reduce the clutter in a prospect’s inbox.
Marketing sequences require time and resources. Utilizing automated messaging can help alleviate these burdens. Automation allows your team to accurately target customers with informative content. It can help them make decisions throughout their sales journey.
Segmenting your leads will help improve your focused marketing and lead to high engagement rates. The immediate goal of your campaigns should be prospect interaction with your brand, rather than just a sales conversion. This helps get leads excited about your product. Also gives them the tools to explore the ways you can help them.
Through lead segmentation, specific content should be directed to customer groups based on their needs, buying habits, and customer profiles. Separating your outreach will help potential clients understand the distinct value of your product in relation to their unique business.
This technology tracks important data like email open rates, click through rates, and customer engagement with promotional content. For example, you will be able to see when a customer fills out a form through your campaign. This allows you to move them into the next stage of the sales process.
Timing Your Marketing Campaigns for Lead Nurturing
Born stresses the fact that perfecting the art of segmentation is just one small step in utilizing automated messaging to its fullest potential. Understanding how crucial timing is for your outreach can help improve your conversion rates.
One of the biggest benefits to automated messaging is being able to ensure leads don’t run cold. Your chances of landing a sale are a lot higher if you contact a lead when you can offer a solution to their current problem. By being able to schedule sales follow-up sequences, clients will be reminded of your product when their needs are high.
Data analysis allows AI software to track a lead’s activity and engagement throughout the day to determine the best time to hit send on your campaign. By having a deep understanding of your client’s schedule, automated messaging helps increase engagement rates. It happens by delivering your content at the ideal hour for interaction.
Predictive sending takes the guesswork out of your email lead nurturing campaigns. This means your team can focus on creating informative content while technology handles the rest. Nurturing leads with targeted messaging sent at their peak activity times will help avoid the sales funnel leakage. It commonly occurs with infrequent contact.
Your content quality directly affects your credibility. No matter how big or small a role it plays in the marketing plan. It is crucial for your brand’s success to remain authentic when utilizing automation.
While technology helps maximize your outreach, nothing can replace genuine human connection. This means your marketing strategy needs to be driven toward providing relevant information that starts a conversation with your prospects.
Avoid creating a bad reputation for cluttering inboxes with fluff emails. The goal of automated messaging is to successfully nurture leads by effectively communicating with clients. And not to alienate them with a constant barrage of meaningless spam. When used correctly, automation helps boost your brand by sharing relevant, informative content with your prospects.
Another key component to increasing your credibility is ensuring automation does not remove the ability for conversation. Sequences, like email campaigns and deadline messages, often come in automatic waves across multiple days to spread awareness. Make sure your team is still available for contact if leads want to speak with a representative directly. Rather than relying solely on the scheduled follow-up emails.
Automation is meant to supplement your marketing efforts. Your sales team should still be putting in the effort to cultivate strong client relationships alongside your digital campaigns.
Evaluate Your Pricing Models
In order to make a sale, you need to drive traffic to your website to generate leads for cultivation. So, what does this traffic see when they visit your site? Most companies are going to be looking at your product and what type of solution it offers. But they are also going to focus on pricing.
As Jack Born has sketched out, there is a Tactical Triangle that can help your team evaluate your prices. As well as understand the lifetime value of your client. Simply put, the model explains how it is necessary to work backward to land a sale while understanding the moving economics of your campaigns.
Pricing models are an aspect that should constantly be evaluated. The most effective way to come up with prices for your product includes working off customer personas, using correct metrics, and listening to your customers.
Proper presentation is crucial for relaying your prices to clients. Are you offering one price or are there multiple price points for leads to contemplate?
Ideally, you will want a price point for each level of the customer persona. This ensures web traffic will not be overwhelmed with your options. Plus, automated messaging can target specific groups with product promotions at the correct tier.
Another aspect to keep in mind when evaluating your models is the amount it costs to drive this traffic to your site. You’ll want to see a higher ROI on your marketing efforts. So prices need to be set accordingly, based on the amount spent to generate and nurture leads.
Utilizing Order Bumps to Increase Engagement
Staying competitive means more than just evaluating your pricing and offering deadline deals. Working with an order bump strategy can lead to higher conversion rates and bring in more overall revenue.
This doesn’t have to be something that requires resources to create. But rather an automated offer to help increase sales among well-qualified leads. If a customer is already committed to the purchase, offering an order bump such as an upgrade from the basic to professional plan, can be an easy way to maximize the sale.
Using this tactic helps your lead take more time to think about your product and the benefits it can provide. Since this happens close to the end of the sales cycle, you can feel confident that a lead has already seen the value in the purchase. By offering a bump at checkout, the client may go ahead and make the switch to a higher price without feeling like the process was too pushy.
The CLTV can be found by evaluating the amount of revenue brought in by a client in addition to the predicted length of the relationship. This metric is crucial to creating a customer retention solution, as well as company budgeting. It also allows your team to analyze the ways in which these customer life cycles can be extended.
Lead nurturing is the first step in building a customer life cycle. This process should continue past the initial sale. Client relationships will improve when you actively listen to their onboarding experiences, provide frequent check-ins about your product, and incentivize repeat purchases.
To experience how LeadBoxer can help you nurture leads into successful sales through the website and email tracking, lead segmentation, and marketing campaign tracking, get started with a free Leadboxer trial today!
Marketing campaigns play a huge role in creating higher sales conversions. These tactics are the ways your company and brand are being introduced to potential customers. While effective marketing strategies can be based on multiple factors, focusing your messages on creating sales urgency within customers can help boost sales.
In a world of constant digital interaction and never-ending streams of promotional content, success comes from making a genuine human connection with leads. Tapping into universal human experiences, such as procrastination and the fear of missing out, sales urgency works to motivate prospects into action.
Increasing Sales Conversions Through Marketing Tactics
Digital content has become the new normal for marketing. Customers have the ability to see constant advertisements through social media and email messaging. Because of these trends, successful marketing campaigns rely on calls to action to engage customers.
Email lead generation relies on participation to score and nurture leads. Once a prospective lead is identified through web traffic or other means, focus on introducing your product and providing tangible ways to interact with your brand.
Using persuasion in your messaging is a way to create urgency among potential clients. When your content only pertains to your product but doesn’t give clear steps for engagement, customers are likely to scroll past. Providing a reason to interact with your brand will persuade leads to learn more.
Your marketing team has the ability to convince customers to try your product through their communication. It’s human nature to hit snooze on products that provide future benefit when there isn’t messaging demonstrating ways your company can make a difference now. For example, providing special bonus offers or free trials are clear ways potential clients can engage with your content.
Another way to add sales urgency to your campaigns is to utilize deadlines. When potential leads are on the fence about your product, deadlines help push candidates towards a decision. These types of campaigns play a role in creating a steady sales funnel throughout the year, rather than just during promotional periods.
If you are constantly providing ways leads can interact with your brand now, they most likely will engage rather than putting it off until a later date.
The Importance of Reaching Your Target Audience
Creating content takes time and resources, but it is important to put in the effort to customize your campaigns for different audiences. Although you are promoting your unified brand, each of your clients may be at a different place in the cycle, with unique perspectives about your product.
The goal of your marketing tactics should be to reach as many customers as possible with the tailored messages. This means segmenting your email lists and utilizing different emails for each base. Targeted campaigns increase engagement because customers feel as if the content you’ve provided is valuable and specific to their needs.
It is crucial to understand your sales pipeline, as well as the customer journey, to successfully segment leads. Digging into the data your team has will help map out which customers need to hear certain messages. This will help direct your emails to the right inboxes at the correct time.
Creativity from your marketing team will fuel prospect engagement. Focus on producing dynamic content for each segment of leads. Make sure to create appropriate content based on the different stages for customers, which should provide tangible action items for prospects to engage with.
These emails can be as simple as having different versions of the same promotional incentives. Your marketing team can work to pinpoint the different customer personas of your clients, as well as their engagement patterns. This strategy will help each campaign reach its targeted demographic.
While customization can seem like a hefty undertaking, there are ways to do it without wasting time or resources. Use automation to swap out images and copy text to tailor to specific customer data. Include automated pop-ups or recommendations on your website to provide valuable insight when prospects engage with certain pages.
Utilizing automation helps streamline your marketing communication with prospects. This allows you to focus on promoting your brand while allowing automation to do the heavy lifting. Taking advantage of this technology allows you to send automatic welcome emails, track engagement across platforms, and segment your prospects.
Effectively automating your marketing cycle means you are using platforms to help nurture leads, score leads, and walk clients through the customer journey. For example, automation can send follow-up messages when prospects interact with your website to help nurture the relationship.
Avoiding leakage from your sales pipeline helps increase your conversion rates. Automation ensures that consistent messaging is being sent to leads, so they don’t go cold. This is a huge help for businesses that want to continue establishing strong relationships with their customers.
Automation focuses on passive marketing, which allows prospects to hear about your brand in ways other than live launches. When your company doesn’t have any product updates to share, sales funnels may seem smaller than usual. Avoiding these dry times by implementing automated campaigns will help build out your pipelines.
An evergreen funnel works to gain your business passive profit through automated engagement. This works by enticing the lead to become a buyer through content-driven messaging at the beginning of their journey.
The goal of these tactics is not limited to an immediate conversion. Evergreen funnels may be a long game strategy, as they work hard to push for brand engagement that will eventually convert to sales.
Using the Deadline Tactic in Your Messaging
Furthering this marketing tactic, the deadline, or countdown, funnel is an add-on that leans into the idea of urgency. Prospective customers receive dozens of promotional emails per day. Capitalizing on your digital real estate within a lead’s inbox will allow for the successful implementation of a special offer.
This is where your call-to-action will start. Whether it’s a free download, promotional code, or even a limited-time discount, the key is having a real deadline in place. This allows you to create a timeline of communication that introduces your offer and entices prospects into engagement over a period of a few days.
Authentic deadlines should be created through the personalization of the unique customer journey. By using tracking points, your email campaigns will tailor to each lead and automatically generate content that relates to their place in the sales funnel.
Deadlines work to help your sales team avoid the stress of a lead going cold. Once a prospect is discovered by your team, this tactic will help illustrate the importance of swift action. The quicker a potential customer interacts with your brand, the quicker your sales team will be able to begin the lead nurturing process.
The 5-Day Sequence
One successful series of implementation can be found by trying the 5-day sequence. This campaign will consist of five or more emails spread across five days to nudge potential clients into engagement.
Your first two emails will be the beginning of brand awareness. These first contact points will aim to provide value to the recipient as well as insight into your product. The third email will be a hybrid of value and promotion, as it transitions into a call-to-action. This will serve as the first introduction to the offer and the deadline.
The final two emails work to sell the offer and convince your prospect to take the leap. Sales urgency remains a vital characteristic at this stage of marketing communications. By highlighting the impending deadline, scarcity is also shown to the prospect. This tactic helps motivate the lead to act, as they won’t want to miss out on the valuable deal.
Finding Balance Between Being Pushy & Creating Sales Urgency
Why do these tactics work? Human nature leans towards procrastination. Even the best workers can admit to being guilty of occasionally putting tasks off to a later date. By using incentivization, you are helping clients move along through their customer journey.
These strategies speak to the human need for timelines and the fear of missing an important offer. By giving a deadline, you can motivate prospective customers who may be facing hesitations to engage with your product, as well as rule out ones who aren’t worth your time.
Finding a balance between sales urgency and pushiness is a key component to successfully mastering this marketing strategy. One of the most common mistakes is emphasizing the deadline too soon.
When applied too early, the urgency created can come off as inauthentic or even gimmicky. Avoiding the desperate salesman look and focusing on tactfully introducing the timeline can help boost your credibility with leads.
Born recommends emphasizing the promotion deadline in the last 48 hours of the campaign. This can be done with three final emails to help nudge the prospect into action.
Discover the many ways LeadBoxer can help you increase the effectiveness of your efforts to create urgency in sales today.
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.
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:
Evaluation or Consideration
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 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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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%.
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:
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.
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:
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 is completely customizable. You decide which factors are most relevant to your team and how much weight they carry.
Update Your Privacy Statement
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.
IP masking with LeadBoxer is easy. Simply go to the datasets overview, click the settings icon, then tick the box labeled Enable Ip Masking.
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.
Most organizations strive to engage with their customers at a high level. However, engagement with the right audience at the right time can be difficult to achieve. When assessing who to target in your lead generation efforts, it’s important to find the right demographic best suited for your offerings. While an organization may target a wide variety of people, Millennials are currently a common demographic to approach. In order to effectively develop and cultivate leads, it’s best to understand a few key customer engagement strategies for Millennials.
Keep reading or use the following links to “jump” ahead:
When comparing millennials to other generations like Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z, there are many differences to consider.
Millennials operate very differently when making purchase decisions. For example, a Baby Boomer may call a retailer while a Millennial would rather surf the web before calling. Due to the constant changes in how this demographic operates, it’s vital to stay updated on the following customer engagement strategies to boost engagement and generate leads.
Complete a Marketplace Analysis
To effectively target Millennials, it’s important to understand how this audience behaves. The first step in learning more about this demographic involves completing a marketplace analysis.
What is Marketplace Analysis?
A marketplace analysis dives deeper into the behaviors and patterns of a target audience. Additionally, it involves an assessment of the industry, competitors, and other market variables. The process involves the following three elements:
Customer Analysis: Understanding more about the needs and wants of the customer in order to provide relevant offerings.
Competitors Analysis: Reviewing competitors to see how your organization can improve.
Partner Analysis: Understanding how partners or suppliers help to achieve goals.
As the visual below demonstrates, there are several factors used to complete an effective marketplace analysis. The process involves both internal and external elements.
By completing a marketplace analysis, organizations can better understand the buyer landscape for Millennials. However, effectual customer engagement strategies for Millennials rely on the ability to appeal to this generation by understanding the typical buyer journey of this audience.
Understand the Modern B2B Buyer Journey
It turns out that more and more Millennials are making key B2B buying decisions. In fact, a 2018 survey showed that 13% of Millennials are decision-makers in B2B purchasing. The same survey showed that 28% of them help to influence purchasing decisions within their organizations.
As these numbers are relatively low, we expect those percentages to continue to grow. We learned in 2015 that Millennials are now considered the largest generation in the workforce, passing Boomers.
So, what’s the best forward-thinking approach to increase engagement with Millennials and create more leads? It involves understanding more about the modern B2B buyer journey.
The Millennial buyer journey looks different compared to other generations. According to HIPB2B, 86% of millennials prefer to not engage with sales until the middle of the buying process. Additionally, 67% of the buyer’s journey is now completed in a digital format.
Those statistics show that Millennials will review your website and content before making a purchase decision. Other generations may make a decision much sooner in the process.
As Millennials enjoy browsing through a website until they decide to make a purchase decision, they don’t like to be pressured. If they open your emails or download something on your site, experts suggest not calling them right away.
While calling them may sound like the most practical decision for your lead generation efforts, it can make them feel pressured. Millennials prefer to stay behind a screen. It’s best to be patient and focus on a lead-nurturing approach.
As the graphic demonstrates, Millennials are far more inclined to text rather than call. As you’re looking to increase customer engagement with this demographic, these findings are important to consider.
While GenXers and Boomers may prefer to speak with a sales agent about a product or service, Millennials prefer doing research on their own before making a call.
Know Where Millennials Go for Information
Another customer engagement strategy for millennials involves finding where they get their information. It’s vital to understand how they operate online and what information they use to make purchase decisions.
Millennials use some of the less traditional B2B sources to find their info. According to MarketingSherpa, 38% of Millennials rely on industry analysis when making decisions about what B2B products/services to purchase or recommend to others. 36% rely on in-person meetings with vendors, while 33% of Millennials gather information from a vendor’s website.
Why do you think Millennials rely on an industry analysis when making B2B purchase decisions? For the most part, it involves trust.
Industry-analysis content gives your brand third-party validation that creates trust in the eyes of the buyer. If a Millennial is able to see that you’re a reputable brand in the industry, they are more likely to become a high-quality lead.
Provide a Bargain
As every adult today has lived through some type of great recession or depression, we all understand the value of a dollar. In fact, the majority of generations are still experiencing the impact of the 2008 recession.
That could point to the fact that Millennials are constantly looking for a good deal. According to MediaPost, 48% of Millennials used online coupons in 2016. That was more than both Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.
While Millennials may not be using their own budget when buying something, these B2B buyers are still bargain shoppers.
To cultivate as many leads as possible, it’s encouraged to send out coupons to your entire audience. As everyone enjoys saving money, providing coupons can be a driving force for increasing conversion for your Millennial shoppers.
Properly Segment Content
Another smart tactic is to ensure your content is segmented effectively. Content segmentation involves positioning your website to effectively convert visitors into buyers. Due to how differently Millennials operate online, it’s important to know which content segmentation strategies work best for this demographic.
The process starts by first assessing what you see working for each age group. Through A/B testing and optimization, organizations can determine what types of content these audiences enjoy. Following that step, you’ll then want to target those generational demographics based on your findings.
As the graphic below indicates, four key areas must be understood to properly segment content. Given how different age groups are more responsive to specific types of content, understanding the proper segmentation process can allow you to make smarter, more relevant decisions with your messaging.
While mobile messaging is a driving force for millennials, it also provides these benefits for retailers:
SMS works on any device and any network
Requires no apps to download
Easy to implement
Safe and secure
A simple source of communication
With the abundance of digital services available today, it’s easy for retailers to start mobile engagement strategies to boost lead generation. Areas such as shipping and account alerts are easy places to start. From there, an organization may choose to promote personalized marketing offers or even a loyalty program.
Another part of your personalized mobile engagement strategy could include two-way communications with customer service, personalized shopping assistance, and surveys and polls that operate in real-time.
Intelligent Notification Platforms
Organizations may choose to utilize intelligent notification platforms in their mobile messaging strategy. These are used to improve service quality for the customer. Without it, users may receive the wrong messages on the wrong devices.
These platforms help to ensure the following:
Messages reach the right user on the right device
Messages align with objectives
Interactions are private, safe, and secure
Messaging is reliable
Interactions build customer loyalty
Messaging increases engagement
Utilize Data Resources
Understanding more about Millennials involves understanding more about the data at your disposal. Luckily, there are many avenues to find valuable data insights regarding how the Millennial audience behaves online.
Today, it’s even possible to get near-real-time anonymized mobile data aggregated from millions of mobile users from across the world.
To provide the most relevant and timely messaging, you should leverage internal and external data sources and intelligent notification platforms as well as account based selling if it fits. This can ensure your organization has the most relevant, valuable data to drive your lead cultivation efforts. It can also ensure the right content is delivered to the right audience at the right time.
Boosting customer engagement with Millennials involves utilizing high-quality lead management software. Contact LeadBoxer today to learn more about its sophisticated lead and customer data platform.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Incredibly feature-rich and on the pricier side, so it’s not feasible for many small and medium-sized businesses
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.
Includes lead tagging and scoring features
Doesn’t require integrations to manage all aspects of your business
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Engaging with a sales rep may be the core of a B2B or high-ticket item buyer’s journey, but lead nurturing is what moves the process along. Without a personalized marketing experience filled with carefully timed emails and retargeted ads to keep you top of mind, many of your leads could stall out or fall through the cracks.
Lead nurturing software automates much of this process, letting your sales reps stay focused on high-touch connections. With lead nurturing software, you can deliver tailor-made emails, texts, and other content in response to any number of lead behaviors, all at scale.
Whether you’re a small business with a limited budget or enterprise-level operation, there’s a lead nurturing solution and demand generation marketing strategy that’s the right fit for you. We’ve compared the pros, cons, and costs of the 12 best lead nurturing software options to help get you started:
Lead nurturing software cultivates a relationship with your lead even when your sales reps are off the clock. It usually works closely with customer relationship management (CRM) tool to deliver personalized content to prospects after they exhibit certain behaviors, like downloading an ebook or clicking on a link in an email.
Features you’ll likely find in lead nurturing software include:
Email Automation – Automatically send emails to leads depending on where they are in the sales process, then move them in the pipeline based on how they respond to the email.
Lead Scoring – Assign leads a number value describing how engaged they are with the process so sales reps know who to focus their attention on.
Campaign Management – Create campaigns across different platforms to engage with leads wherever they are.
Personalization – Switch up the messaging, tone, or details of content based on a lead’s characteristics and preferences.
Lead Segmentation – Group leads according to their characteristics or behavior in order to deliver them the right content.
The 12 Best Lead Nurturing Software Options
Whether you want just one feature or all of them, chances are there’s a lead nurturing solution to suit your needs.
LeadBoxer primarily nurtures leads through its lead scoring technology. The software assigns each prospect a number expressing how likely they are to buy based upon their previous behavior and interaction with your brand. With this level of intel, sales reps know exactly who to direct their attention to so they can better engage with top prospects.
Includes lead segmentation for easy grouping and filtering
Website and email tracking gives you insight into who to retarget and what content to serve them with
Can identify and track anonymous leads
Doesn’t include email automation or drip campaigns
Doesn’t include campaign management
Cost: LeadBoxer starts at $195 per month and includes everything you need to track and score leads.
Nutshell is first and foremost a CRM that manages your sales pipeline. However, it comes packed with tons of lead nurturing features like personalized email campaigns and automated messages for each stage of the sales process, making Nutshell a good fit for small businesses that need an all-in-one tool.
Combines pipeline management with basic lead nurturing
Lean and intuitive interface
Includes reporting function that analyzes how well your lead nurturing activities are working
Not as many automated marketing features as HubSpot or SharpSpring
Starter plans don’t include all email automation features
Cost: Nutshell’s plans start at $19 per user per month.
When working together, HubSpot’s Marketing and Sales Hubs are a lead nurturing powerhouse. The marketing automation features allow you to create emails, content, offers, and outreach that are personalized for specific lead behavior. On the sales side of things, reps can schedule a series of tailor-made emails that land in a prospect’s inbox at exactly the right time.
Includes tools to help create blog content, landing pages, and emails so every step of a lead’s journey is optimized
Know exactly how much you’re spending on each lead with ad ROI tracking
Tracks lead email activity to show you who is engaged and who isn’t
If you want the full range of features, prepare to splurge on a bundle
Doesn’t identify anonymous website visitors with the same depth as LeadBoxer
Cost: HubSpot Marketing Hub and Sales Hub start at $50 per month, while a bundle starts at $112.50 per month.
If you’re looking for a tool that can do it all and then some, SharpSpring might be right up your alley. In addition to its many features, SharpSpring nurtures leads by sending carefully timed emails at every step of the sales process to keep your brand on a lead’s radar. However, it’s features like the visual marketing automation builder and VisitorID that really set SharpSpring apart.
A CRM combined with marketing automation
Personalized emails that send in response to lead behavior
The introductory cost is nearly five times more expensive than HubSpot’s comparable product
Cost: The smallest plan for small businesses starts at $550 per month.
Keap starts working for you from the moment a lead fills out an info form. The program instantly segments leads into different groups and sends them carefully timed messages based on triggers like downloading an ebook or viewing a demo. All these features fit snuggly inside Keap’s CRM, so you can keep all your sales and marketing processes in one place.
Combines lead capturing, nurturing, pipeline management, invoicing, and payment all in one platform
Plenty of features while still easy to use
Stellar support team
Some Keap customers complain of emails going to spam
Has a tendency not to save work if the program freezes or logs out unexpectedly
If you struggle to visualize exactly how a customer journey should unfold, Autopilot is the answer. Users rave about how easy it is to build multiple drip campaigns with a series of triggers for different lead segments. The program doesn’t come equipped with its own CRM, but offers several integrations so you can connect it with the tool of your choice.
The visual builder makes creating personalized email journeys a breeze
Comes packed with templates to make your messaging shine
Easy to use and great customer service
Integration with Salesforce and other CRMs can be clunky and not work as expected
Can be slow to load in your browser
Cost:Autopilot’s basic plan starts at $49 per month.
Act-On is a lead nurturing solution that caters to larger enterprises. It integrates with almost any CRM on the market to help companies automate their email marketing, track website visitors and their activity, then score and prioritize leads so sales reps know who to prioritize. Best of all, it offers an easier to use interface than Marketo but with just as many features.
Comes equipped with automated campaign templates that are easily customizable to suit your buyer journeys
Includes lead scoring and list segmentation options to help you target leads at various levels of engagement
Can create different lead scoring rules for different audience segments
Lacks lead attribution functionality, so you can’t be sure how people arrived at your business
Act-On is so feature-rich that the learning curve may be too steep unless your team has someone committed to using the program full-time
Cost is likely prohibitive for many small and medium-sized businesses
Karta is perhaps the closest you can get to an all-in-one marketing and sales solution. From building landing pages to lead tagging and scoring, the software includes so many features that it practically negates the need to integrate it with any other tools. With Karta you can also create automated emails based on certain lead behaviors, so lead nurturing happens even while you sleep.
Create behavior-based automated emails for your leads
No more fumbling with integrations and potential points of failure to get all your business tasks completed
If you want to start a business from scratch, Karta has all the features and tools you need
It takes a long time to learn how to use the program effectively
Documentation and video tutorials are still in their infancy
If you want to reach leads wherever they are – literally wherever – Marketo has you covered. Marketo manages ad experiences as well as email campaigns so that leads are targeted with the right content at the right time across any possible platform. Marketo can even deliver experiences through mobile push messages or after lead behavior on social media platforms.
Create and schedule email campaigns based on lead behavior like web visits, social shares, or checking in for an in-person event
Assigns a lead score based on unlimited dimensions and characteristics so sales reps know who to contact and when
Engage leads through personalized ads and even mobile push messages
Cost of entry can be prohibitively expensive for some
The interface feels dated and lacks the email design functions of many competitors
Pipedrive is the highest-rated lead nurturing software on Capterra, but it’s also one that is lightest on features. Its main function is a standard-issue CRM with some automated email capabilities built in, but this is par for the course with many CRMs in its class. If you want some basic lead nurturing nested directly into a familiar CRM, Pipedrive might be the right fit for you.
Good if you want a CRM with lightweight lead nurturing features, like automated emails at each stage of the sales process
Gives a probability for how likely a lead will be won so reps know which accounts to prioritize
Lack of LinkedIn integration can be a serious downside for B2B companies
No way to design unique campaigns based on lead behavior
Cost: With email automation features, Pipedrive starts at $25 per user per month.
EngageBay’s all-in-one suite offers the best in marketing automation, pipeline management, and customer support. The holistic customer profiles let sales reps know what the appropriate follow-up activities are and whether or not now is the right time to sell or to offer more service.
Create automated messages to nurture leads across SMS, social media, email, and the web
Equipped with lead scoring and prediction
Customer segmentation allows you to deliver personalized journeys
Email templates aren’t as easy to use or dynamic as competitors
Design limitations when creating sign-up forms to attract leads
Cost: Start using EngageBay for free or get a basic contract for $9 per user per month.
SalesExec is Clickpoint Software’s solution to lead nurturing for companies that rely on a high volume of calls to reach their ideal customers. It also comes equipped with the email automation features that are standard in most lead nurturing solutions.
Offers SMS nurturing and call routing to make sure a lead always reaches the right rep
The interface is easy enough for a first-time CRM user to use
Customer support is prompt and highly attentive
Limited reporting functionality
Cost: SalesExec starts at $46 per user per month.
Nurture Your Leads On Autopilot
These days, it’s hard not to find a marketing tool or CRM that comes equipped with at least some lead nurturing features. Whether you want to deliver personalized email campaigns that delight, track your social selling index, or segment leads for easier prioritization, it’s never been easier to find a software solution that delivers it all within your budget.
If you want to keep your sales reps focused on the most promising prospects, take a look at LeadBoxer. LeadBoxer helps you nurture the most engaged leads with its automated lead scoring technology. Set dozens of dimensions to grade leads, from company size to website activity, so sales reps know exactly which prospects are ready to be turned into customers. Try it for free today.
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.
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. 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
Here are three of the most important factors to keep in mind when adjusting what data points to use for a lead score.
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.
Take into consideration not only the topics researched by that account but the frequency and recency of the research.
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. 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.
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.
Are you struggling to find enough time in the day to fill your prospect pipeline? Truth is, every sales rep has the same amount of time in their day. But the difference? Only some of them use sales prospecting tools to help them find prospects faster, and close deals quicker.
Let’s look at the best 30 sales prospecting tools on the market that can fill your prospect pipeline:
Tools to Help You Find Prospects
Price: Starts at $99/month
Free trial: Yes
What it’s all about:
LeadBoxer is a one of the best sales prospecting tools that tracks activity on your website and email behaviour and finds prospects before they even contact you. The tool provides vital information you need to follow up with a prospect such as their interests, their company name and the size of their organization:
By giving you a birds-eye view of the lead or customer, you can then decide if they are worth following up, or if they aren’t a good fit for your company.
Plus, you can set criteria to exactly what you need from a website visitor to flag them as a prospect. LeadBoxer will automatically assign the profile with a leadscore. This gives you a super clear visual of prospects who are a good fit for your product. And don’t forget about lead generation versus prospecting, there sure is a difference between.
If you’re prospecting and would like to focus on identified leads, you can do that easily with LeadBoxer. When you’re setting up your criteria in the LeadBoxer dashboard, all you need to do is adjust the email address slider and visitors with a known email address will be given a higher lead score.
The same criteria can be added to company size, phone numbers and number of times the person has visited your site.
No more dead ends, LeadBoxer only puts verified leads into your pipeline.
Price: Professional Plan – $11.25/month, Turbo Plan – $41.25/month
Free trial: Yes + limited free forever plan
What it’s all about:
If you find the majority of your prospects on LinkedIn, this tool is about to save your life.
Dux-Soup automatically scrapes leads for you and invites them to connect with you over LinkedIn.
What the tool does is looks at your LinkedIn prospect profiles, tracks their movements and then, sends them a personalized message from your account. What’s more, the tool will also follow up on warm leads through 2nd and 3rd LinkedIn connections for you.
Not only does it contact prospects for you, but the tool interacts with your CRM as well and not all sales prospecting tools do that. Once Dux-Soup reaches out to a prospect, it then tracks the progression of the interaction and transfers everything into your CRM. This means your entire team will stay in the loop with the clients you bring into the company’s pipeline.
Price: It’s a mystery! The company offers “custom” price plans.
Free trial: Yes + forever free plan for first 50 accounts
What it’s all about:
How many times have you contacted a prospect and found out that they aren’t actually ready to buy?
It’s not only frustrating, but it takes a big chunk of time out of your working day as well.
That’s where LeadSift comes into play. It tells you when you’re prospecting and only targets people who are on the buying journey.
No more wasted time on those who aren’t ready to buy.
According to LeadSift, only 3% of leads are actually interested in buying a product, which means a lot of people you’re putting an effort into are never going to buy your product. This tool eliminates prospects who are months or years away from purchasing and leaves you with a pool of prospects who are ready to buy. Right now.
But we’ve saved the best until last with this one. LeadSift steals some of these prospects from your competitor’s websites. The tool automatically watches your biggest competitors and, if a prospect begins engaging with one of them, you’ll be the first to know (along with getting their email address, too).
Price: It’s free!
Not exactly a prospect scraping tool, but Capterra is great for finding new companies to target.
Depending on what industry you’re selling your product to, Capterra can filter through millions of companies in a matter of seconds and give you a list of potential targets. And there are few sales prospecting tools that are capable to do this.
From there, your sales team will be able to filter through them and find prospects a lot quicker than they would if they stuck to Google searches.
Price: Starts at $49/month.
Free trial: Yes! You get 14 days.
Mattermark is a sales rep’s best friend because it searches for prospects using super specific filters.
Want to narrow down a prospect search by company size? How about a business model? B2B? Industry? Niche?
You can do all of that on Mattermark – one of the best sales prospecting tools.
It’s also integrated with a lot of the big name CRMs on the market, so the tool can cut back on dreaded admin time.
A neat hack with this tool is it lets your sales reps save a specific list. If one of your reps has searched for B2B companies with 50+ employees in the Seattle area and found promising results, they can use the same search for next time (and change it up when they need to).
Price: Starts at $29/month, then moves up to a custom plan
Free trial: Yes, CrunchBase offers a free plan
What it’s all about:
CrunchBase is THE tool to use if your company is looking for prospects in growing companies and innovative startups.
For sales teams, the tool gives your reps an important insight into a company’s funding rounds, business category, and their date of establishment. A lot of companies on the database also have contact information on their listing, along with a bit of information about the company’s structure.
Once you’ve conducted a search, you can export your findings into a CSV file and add them straight to your CRM to make following up easier. This is very convenient for any sales prospecting tools.
But you won’t get a list full of bogus emails either—SellHack verifies every single email it pulls through LinkedIn.
Price: Starts at $97/month
Free trial: First 25 leads are free
What it’s all about:
Here’s another tool that works well with LinkedIn. It takes a look at your prospect list, with a focus on those on LinkedIn, and switches them from contacts into prospects.
If you feel like you’ve run all your resources dry, LeadFuze has an email finder tool that can fish out emails from a bunch of third-party sources.
According to LeadFuze, they “find the most accurate email possible.”
Price: Starts at $49/month
Free trial: Yes
What it’s all about:
AeroLeads is more than an email finder, it provides a full breakdown of information on a prospect.
With the tool, a sales rep can do a simple web search and find out not only an email of a prospect, but also their business name, key decision maker names, phone number, location, and even social media profiles.
It’s a tech tool. AeroLeads has an algorithm that filters through all the results and only gives you the best ones.
Not only does the tool scrape the entire internet for you, but when you’re finished, you can download your results into a CSV file and add them straight to your CRM.
Price: Starts at $49/month
Free trial: Free for your first 100 emails
What it’s all about:
Skrapp is built with one goal in mind—finding email addresses from LinkedIn accounts.
The tool has a Google Chrome extension which you can use when you are on a prospect’s LinkedIn profile to see what email address they used to sign up to LinkedIn with.
Once you’ve found their email, you can save it to a list to use later while you search for more targets.
Tools to Help Pitch Prospects
Price: It’s all very hush and varies by team size
Free trial: No
What it’s all about:
If you want to set yourself up for a pitch with as much information as possible, Charlie is your guy.
Just provide a prospect’s details, and it’ll return to you a one-page sheet on your prospect. You’ll be given information on prospects like their passions, hobbies, professional history, and any news about their current company.
Who knew prepping for a pitch could be so informative?
Price: It’s free!
What it’s all about:
Owler is a free database that’s filled with information about who a company’s top competitors are.
Plug in the company of a prospect, and you’ll not only find out who they’re up against, but you’ll also be given their social media accounts, number of employees, and annual revenue.
Plus, you can find about their funding history and any acquisitions that have taken place.
Crystal is like having a coach for pitching prospects.
It doesn’t give you links to a prospect’s Twitter account. But what it does do is provide eerily detailed insight into how your prospect talks, how they behave, and what drives the decisions they make in their business.
The tool uses social media and text analysis and runs them through an algorithm to figure out exactly what conversations and tone you should approach a prospect with.
It’s like a mind-reading tool for sales teams.
Price: Starts at $19.95/month
Free trial: Yes
What it’s all about:
Nudge digs into the background of a prospect so you don’t have to spend hours doing it yourself.
Ever prepared for a pitch and thought, have I contacted this person before? Maybe I’ve dealt with their company on another occasion? Is there anyone at the company who has actually worked for your company in the past?
Instead of spending hours of your day trying to find out yourself, Nudge does it for you. Plus, it can rate the relationship you have with a prospect from “very weak” to “very strong”, so you know if you need to put in a bit more work with them.
Price: Starts at $25/month
Free trial: Yes
What it’s all about:
Struggling to get a prospect on board? Try sharing in their successes with the help of Mention.
Mention is a media-monitoring tool that can help you follow a prospect’s success. If a prospect’s company just celebrated a major win, or they were recognized for an award in their industry, congratulate them first.
What better way to shine a good light on yourself and your product by shining the light on them first?
Price: Starts at $160/month
Free trial: Yes
What it’s all about:
Siftery does one thing and it does it well: finds competitors. You can plug in a prospect’s company to find out exactly what products they’re using so you can plan your next move.
Not only that, Siftery can filter what tools your prospect’s company is using down to individual departments. So if your prospect is in the marketing department, you’ll uncover all the sales prospecting tools the marketing team uses.
Price: Custom plans available
Free trial: Yes + forever free plan
What it’s all about:
Apollo finds the perfect things to say to your prospect for your next email or call.
The tool gives you recommendations on what to say by judging a prospect’s online persona. It also integrates with your email, CRM, and professional networking sites like LinkedIn so you’re covered no matter what platform you’re using.
Price: Custom plans depending on your needs
Free trial: No
What it’s all about:
Emissary was built by a product leader at Google, so you know it has to be good.
Using the tool, you can unlock critical information. Information that goes beyond the standard analytics and data you’ll find on other sales prospecting tools.
Is a prospect you’ve been working on really a key decision maker in the company? Or is there a hidden influencer that you’ve failed to spot? Emissary can tell you.
Plus, the tool will chart the best paths on how you should approach your prospect.
Tools to Automate the Boring Stuff
Price: Starts at $49/month
Free trial: Yes
What it’s all about:
Nobody likes doing admin work, especially your sales team. We all know they would rather be out selling than creating quotes.
This is where PandaDoc comes in. The tool can save your team a massive amount of time by automating daily tasks like quote creation and tracking contracts. It also gives your sales team access to a bunch of proposals so they can just fill in the blanks, rather than drawing one up from scratch.
Everything is kept in the PandaDoc dashboard, so your team can track sales activity and check if a contract has been signed. If it hasn’t, the tool will automatically send a reminder.
Price: Starts at $8/month
Free trial: Yes
What it’s all about:
Back and forth emails to organize a meeting with a prospect is high on the list of the worst parts of preparing for a pitch.
If you’re constantly getting caught in a 15-email exchange before settling on a meeting time, you need Calendly.
The tool lets you set up a schedule, and then your prospect can choose what times suit them best.
Once your prospect has picked a date, Calendly automatically removes the time slot from the system so you won’t be double booked, and adds it to your chosen calendar.
Price: Custom pricing depending on needs
Free trial: Yes, a demo is available
What it’s all about:
Outreach sets up touchpoints for your prospects so that when they’re interacting with you, they are replied to straight away.
The earliest stages of a customer’s journey are the most important, and if they aren’t looked after, they’ll leave. Outreach will automatically reply to a prospect, and then if you don’t receive a reply from them, it’ll follow-up with them again.
Don’t think of it as a bot, but more a sophisticated messaging system. It’ll A/B test every message that’s sent, so you know which ones work best and why.
Price: Starts at $4.99/month
Free trial: Boomerang offers a free basic plan
What it’s all about:
Are some of your prospects in a different timezone? Maybe you get distracted by new emails hitting your inbox every 5 minutes?
Boomerang can help your team stay on track with scheduled emails. It has a function that will let you schedule an email to be sent in advance, so it hits your prospect’s inbox at the perfect time.
Plus, you can set it up for automatic follow-ups. If a prospect hasn’t replied to an email in a couple of days, Boomerang will follow up automatically.
29. Yet Another Mail Merge
Price: Starts at $24/year
Free trial: First 50 emails of the day are free
What it’s all about:
Want to see who’s opening your emails?
Yet Another Mail Merge links your Gmail with Google Sheets and tracks your email opens. If you’re casting a wide net to prospects and want to know who is actually biting, this tool is for you.
Price: Starts at $12/month
Free trial: Yes + limited free forever plan
What it’s all about:
Every company uses different tools for meetings, so it can be frustrating when you end up with dozens of tools on your desktop.
GlobalMeet lets you have meetings through their cloud-based software, so no download is required.
To get a prospect to join you in a meeting, all you need to do is send them a link and the meeting is ready to go!
Smarter Prospecting Closes More Deals
If filling your pipeline is taking up too much time, there are ways to automate a lot of the work that goes into landing a new client.
Spending hours trawling through LinkedIn, following up on emails, and preparing for pitches are all tasks that can now be done with a sales prospecting tool.
Picking the right tools will save your team hours of time on admin work and get them back to doing what they do best—closing deals.
A MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) is a lead that matches with one of your customer personas and, most importantly, has engaged with your business and shown interest in your product. Hence, such leads can be termed Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)
A SQL (Sales Qualified Leads) is a lead ready to become your prospective customer and who has been vetted by the marketing team. In short, this is lead who is prepared to make a purchase. Hence, such leads are Sales Qualified Leads (SQL).
Difference between an MQL and an SQL is the lead’s intent to buy. Regardless of your business, both types of leads are essential to your pipeline. Still, it’s important to differentiate between those two to know where to allocate your time and what sort marketing efforts to implement to keep your leads flowing.
In this blog post, we will go through mql and sql definitions, mql vs sql differences, and talk about lead transition of how mql becomes an sql.
What is MQL?
The acronym MQL stands for “Marketing Qualified Lead”
In the shortest definition we could find, courtesy of Hubspot, an MQL is a person who 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 products and services you offer are exactly what they’re looking for. But for others, your product or service may not be 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 considered as MQLs.
Separating MQLs from unqualified leads typically involves using a lead-scoring program. LeadBoxer assigns a score based on lead interactions and behavior with your business, between 1- 100.
This score can be efficient for ranking a lead’s sales readiness in your pipeline.
What is SQL?
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 intent to purchase. They not only like what you offer but also need to buy what you sell. They also may need to make that purchase soon.
While defining an MQL can be done through automated software that assigns scores, defining an SQL is a little trickier. To move leads to sales, this involves a conversation between someone in sales and the potential lead.
An SQL is someone in the marketing funnel:-
Who may has some specific questions about how your product works or how much it costs.
Who may not understand how your product fits into their other products.
Who may not be entirely sure the solution is right for them.
Who may be unable to find the answers they need in the marketing materials they’ve seen.
At the end of that discussion, if the salesperson senses a real opportunity, this he pass leads to sales hence moving mql to an sql.
MQL vs SQL: What’s The Difference
Difference between MQLs and SQLs is essential because it ensures sales team to spend time on right qualified leads for sales, that can lead to more efficient sales processes and better conversion rates.
Also, at the same time, it helps the marketing team to understand which marketing channels and what type of marketing angle can bring in more qualified leads for their business goals. Hence they become more efficient in nurturing every lead.
Therefore understanding the difference between mql and sql helps a business drive both marketing and sales efforts in the right direction.
1) Decision-Making Stage
As you should know, there are various stages of the funnel that leads goes through before a lead becomes an MQL and later an SQL.
MQLs are typically at an earlier stage of the decision-making process. They are aware of their problem and know there are solutions out there in the market to help them.
Hence, you can say MQLs are in a sales funnel’s ‘awareness’ stage. They are more in a ‘consideration’ stage because they are interested in your company’s products or services but not ready for sales yet. Also, they have engaged with your marketing content, such as downloading an e-book, signing up for a webinar, or subscribing to a newsletter.
However, they have not yet clearly intended to purchase or enter a sales conversation. Most of your MQLs are open to options and might not be interested in a purchase right away. Basically they are in a lead nurturing phase.
Whereas SQLs are in the bottom stage of the sales funnel, they are in the ‘Decision Making’ stage. They might not even engaged with marketing content but have also taken actions that indicate a readiness to consider a purchase, such as requesting a product demonstration, filling out a contact form with specific inquiries, or engaging directly with sales material.
Their decision-making is more focused on selecting a vendor or product, comparing different offerings, and making a final purchasing decision.
2) Top of Funnel vs Bottom of Funnel
Another great way to differentiate MQL vs SQL is the type of marketing content they interact with.
MQLs are more about seeking information and educating themselves, they are trying to understand their problem better and are looking for potential solutions. They interact with top of the marketing funnel lead magnets and content like:-
Reading your blog post on ‘Best X Tools for lead generation’
Signing up for your lead magnet, which said ‘Generate Leads on Automation’
Signing up for your newsletter
Following you on social media
On the other side, SQLs are more focused on consuming content that targets the bottom of the bottom-of-the-funnel audience. The content can be relevant to selecting a vendor or product, comparing different offerings, and making a final purchasing decision. For example:-
Reading your blog posts on ‘Your Tool vs Competitor Tool’ or ‘X Alternatives For Competitor 1’
Requesting for a demo call on your website
Enquiring for your product features on social media (or) through contact form
Engaging and interacting with sales materials, which are more precise and designed for a bottom-of-funnel audience, indicates and differentiates the lead as an SQL.
3) BANT Qualified
BANT is a system (or) framework for Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline. It’s a B2B framework used by sales reps to qualify leads and prospects during their journey, and it can be applied while assessing MQLs vs SQLs.
It’s another great way to distinguish between lead as an MQL (or) SQL
If a lead is BANT qualified, it’s an SQL rather than an MQL.
In the following, let’s see how the BANT looks different for MQLs and SQLs.
Budget:- At the MQL stage, the potential customer may not have a defined budget yet. Maybe they are still exploring solutions and may not know how much they should spend on their answer.
Authority:- If a mid-size business’s junior or senior executive employee interacts with your business, they might not have the authority to make a final purchasing decision for their organization.
Need:- The need for leads to purchase your product depends on their pain points and how your product (or) service can help them solve them. Also, it is majorly important for your marketing strategy to define their pain points and educate them. For an MQL, some might not be aware of these pain points; hence, there is a long way to go to educate them.
Timeline:- MQLs typically do not have a set timeline for making a purchase and are not under pressure to make an immediate decision.
Budget:- SQLs are expected to have a clearer picture of their budget or at least have a range in mind. Most importantly, they can afford your product or service. It’s just that sales teams have to negotiate with them on pricing.
Authority:- SQLs are usually the stakeholders of the company or someone from an organization responsible for their final purchasing decision. Hence, they have the authority to buy from you.
Need:- SQL’s know their problems and what are the existing solutions for their issues in the market. Their pain points are clear, and often, it nails down to what specific features and benefits your product offers to help them feel the need to choose you over your competitors.
Timeline:- SQLs have a defined timeline to make the purchase. By offering them discounts and any other benefits with their purchase, they are more likely to buy immediately.
Transitioning a Lead from MQL to SQL
Transitioning an MQL to SQL in your pipeline isn’t something that will happen on your own. Your marketing and sales teams must communicate and coordinate to make this happen.
If you’re using software like LeadBoxer to track leads, it becomes easier to note down the MQLs with a higher probability of becoming a sales lead through lead scoring.
However, lead scoring is a critical process most businesses use while transitioning a lead from MQL to SQL.
Now, this involves:-
Setting Up a Scoring System: As you identify the lead actions and lead behavior, you assign points/scores to each interaction. For example, downloading an e-book might score lower than requesting a product demo.
Demographic Information: As we discussed earlier, not every lead has the authority to purchase even though they match your ideal customer profile. Factors like job title, industry, company size, and location can significantly determine the lead’s potential to buy.
Engagement Scoring: Track how leads interact with your emails, social media, and blog posts. Repetitive and frequent interactions tell you that leads in your system are MQLs, and some might be ready to be SQL.
Lead Score Thresholds: Establishing a threshold score is essential to help sales teams understand when a lead is ready to move to SQL. This threshold should be based on previous data of information with your business and marketing content.
Regular Review: Sometimes, SQLs who get on a call with you are not ready to purchase. Hence, do not fill your pipelines with leads with improper attribution. It’s essential to review and adjust your scoring criteria continuously. The best way to make it happen is to arrange regular meetings with both sales and marketing teams to help them understand better lead qualifications to help your business grow.
How LeadBoxer can help you transition MQL to SQL:-
One-time visitors to your website are most likely not a lead for your product (or) service. Those returning visitors who interact with your content are the ones who can termed as leads. Using LeadBoxer’s lead identification feature, you can specify what is a lead for you, and it identifies such specific visitors.
As these leads interact increasingly with your business, they can later be qualified as an MQL or SQL. Hence, using a leads scoring system and enriching those leads are great ways to qualify and differentiate leads.
For example, you know that leads interacting with Top-of-funnel marketing content (Reading your blogs) can be termed MQL, and leads interacting with Bottom-of-funnel content (Requesting demos) can be termed SQL.
Both MQLs and SQLs need to be in a lead management cycle where, with workflow automation, you retarget MQL leads with your marketing (It can be through emails or retargeted ads), whereas SQLs are given to the sales team to contact. Integrating your lead management tool with your existing CRM makes it more accessible.
As MQLs are being retargeted, potential buyers in your MQL segment will start to interact more with your business, like reading your email and asking questions with your marketing teams.
Once these MQLs are warmed up, Lead scoring suggests they are ready to move to SQL. Then, you move those leads and ask your sales teams to contact them.
Remember, not all SQLs will convert. The ones who didn’t convert should be moved to MQLs again so that the marketing team can nurture them with more marketing material.
We knew from the start that the distinction between Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) is crucial for the efficiency of your sales funnel and the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.
Differentiation MQL vs SQL doesn’t mean you need to neglect one set of leads, both are important for a b2b lead generation. Thus, both marketing and sales teams need to identify these leads and not get stuck up with the thought that ‘I am not gonna handle their lead’
Effective communication and coordination are essential between the sales and marketing teams to identify, nurture, and pitch their leads. Here, tools LeadBoxer are going to help them successfully.
Do you ever feel like your website is underperforming? Do you wish that your online presence could bring more customers and revenue to your business? If so, then this blog post is for you! We’re going to share with you the secrets behind turning any website into a lead-generation machine.
Keep reading, or use the links below to learn about effective strategies on how to optimize your website and make it an unstoppable force in generating leads.
The first thing to turn your website into a lead generation machine is to install a lead pixel. A web designer, developer, or agency can put the pixel on your site within an hour or less. With a pixel, you can collect visitor and website activity data and customer touchpoints.
Data about website visitors and their experience on your website is important. If you notice a high bounce rate or the wrong people coming to your site, something is wrong. You’ll need to find out where the problem lies and make the necessary changes.
For lead generation, your website needs to be customer-centric. It should offer the specific information your ideal customer is looking for. Focusing on meeting the needs of your site visitors builds your credibility and boosts lead generation.
Some companies don’t think about lead generation until after their website is up and running. They don’t see their website as a lead generation tool. Plan to keep the generation of new business front and center.
Getting a new business website up and running is a labor of love, among other things. When lead generation is not a priority, all your hard work may be for naught.
The first step with your website is to measure what is currently happening, even if it isn’t good. When you first put up a new site, track who is and who isn’t visiting.
Plan Ahead – How Will You Reverse Engineer Leads
Planning ahead avoids incorporating a lead capture, or touchpoint, into an existing site. Already having these lead captures on your site will better your lead generation efforts. Ask yourself the following questions to guide the building and designing of your website:
Launching a new site is an exciting project that involves the expertise of many people or teams. It requires significant communication, planning, coordination, and teamwork.
For these reasons, the website launch process usually takes longer than expected. If you launch your site on schedule, it won’t bring a surge in traffic or leads right away.
It takes time before the search engines pick up the new site and index the content and pages. Paid traffic through search engine marketing (SEM) and paid advertising on Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn can help.
Many successful organizations have a healthy mix of organic and paid traffic. A quality ad campaign has dedicated landing pages to optimize the conversion of visitors.
You will need to ask your team to iterate these pages after analysis and more time. After the initial site set up, here are other ways to improve your website to generate more leads:
Invest in a Quality About Us Page and Include Testimonials
Today, every business has a website, including your competitors. To generate quality leads, your website visitors must know who you are and that you are legit and trustworthy. A quality about us page and customer testimonials will tell who you are and establish your credibility.
Make sure the about us page and the testimonial pages are easy to find. It is a good idea to include any awards or certifications your company and employees have received. This will further add to your business’ credibility which will generate more, higher-quality leads.
Customers who are about to make a purchasing decision will have questions and concerns. Make sure it is easy for your website visitors to contact you should they like more information.
Include a ‘contact us’ tab in your homepage’s navigation menu. Also, include your contact information on the bottom of your homepage and in your sitemap. You can also list your contact details throughout your website in your CTAs (call to actions).
Have Simple Contact Forms
Besides making it easy for website visitors to contact you, ensure that your contact form is easy to complete. Contact forms are an effective way to generate leads as they capture valuable lead information.
The effectiveness of your forms for lead generation depends on the form you use. A general rule of thumb is the fewer the fields, the more conversions. Keep your contact form as simple as possible, asking only for necessary information.
Target Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey
You’ve heard the adage of not putting all your eggs into one basket. This is true if you want to generate leads on your website. If your website targets a specific group of customers, the lead quality may be high, but conversion rate may be low.
A big part of lead generation is lead nurturing. When people visit your website, they are all on different stages of the buyer’s journey. To generate leads on your website, it must have content and a strategy for every stage of your buyer’s journey.
Pillar pages are standalone pages of your website that offer visitors specific content and/or digital assets. They often require a visitor to enter their contact information to access the content. Common pillar page assets include downloadable ebooks, guides, and other resources.
As you create your website and its content, you need to know who your ideal audiences are. Once you know the type of content they would find valuable and interesting. One way to do this is to develop buyer personas that represent your ideal customers.
You’ll need to use data you’ve collected about your current customers to generate a buyer’s persona. The pillar page content on your website should address the pain points of your target audience. It should be clear to your website’s visitors that you have the solution to their problems.
Feature Live Chat
To ensure your website generates leads, you’ll need to be available 24/7. This is especially important if your business is international. People tend to do much of their research outside of work hours and you’ll lose business by being unavailable.
Live chat makes you always available to answer questions, give information, and address concerns. Live chat uses chatbots installed on your website. You can pre-program the chatbots with common questions and answers.
Have Compelling (and Specific) CTAs
Many websites use the boring “contact us” as a call to action. Because it’s so common, website visitors can overlook them. If you want to generate quality leads, be creative with your CTAs.
Unique calls to action will get the attention of your website’s visitors. They should also be specific in how you want leads to contact you.
Tell your company’s story and highlight your products and services with videos. Video demonstrations of your offerings in action are effective ways to generate interest in them. People not sure how your products or services work can watch a video of them.
Include testimonial videos from satisfied customers and “behind-the-scenes” videos of your business. You should use a variety of different videos on your website. Make sure the videos are short (no more than 2 minutes), compressed, and don’t need a media player.
Using a mixture of different videos helps your website generate leads by:
Catching peoples’ attention and sparking their interest
Providing valuable, easy-to-consume information
Giving your company credibility
Making your business personable
Conclusion and Take-Homes
Your website will change as your value proposition and message pivots. The goal of your website is to generate leads. A solid lead-generating website begins with planning.
You won’t see instant growth in conversions with a new website. It will take time for your SEO and SEM campaigns to start bringing people to your site. Targeting leads on every buyer’s journey stage and an easy contact form are two ways to improve your website.
As the adage goes, fail to plan – plan to fail. Put careful thought into your website. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments if something isn’t working.
A guest article by Yvan de Canson, content marketer at Salesbox
Being able to identify the natural behavior of your leads and adapt to it is one of the most useful skills you can develop when selling. Because selling in the end is all about building trust and truly connecting with someone.
In this article we will talk about the DiSC method, a method that will help you to identify the natural behavior of your leads and adapt to it. This method fits particularly well with Sales because of its simplicity in allowing you to take quick decisions; an important factor in the difficult Art of Selling. If you know the DiSC method, your closing, your lead generation, and your lead qualification will be more efficient.
The basics of the DiSC profiling method
First, let’s talk a little bit about the DiSC profiling method so you can have a clear understanding of what are its benefits.
The DiSC profiling method is used to analyze people’s natural behavior. It is based on the research studies of William Marston, an american psychologist at Harvard during the 1930’s. It’s a non-judgmental method which seeks only to describe the different types of behavior you can observe among people.
The conclusion of William Marston’s model is that there are four different types of behavior (D, I, S, C) and that everyone’s attitude exhibits a mix of them.
The DiSC method’s ultimate goal is to describe the natural behavior a person will adopt when confronted with a situation. Therefore, it’s based on two questions that everyone asks themselves subconsciously when any situation appears:
Are the surroundings naturally friendly or unfriendly ?
Do I feel stronger or weaker than the environment ?
Some people will always see the environment as hostile and others will naturally think that the surroundings are friendly. The same applies to the degree of control and influence on the surroundings.
Some people will naturally feel they have a tight control on the situation and others will instinctively feel the opposite. This natural feeling is not directly related with reality. It is more like an instinct and neither one is good or bad.
Based on the answers of these two questions the DiSC model separates behaviors into four different groups (D,I,S,C). Going further, each type is enriched with a color as well (Red, Yellow, Green, Blue).
Everyone is a combination of these different behaviors but what distinguishes us is our dominant type and the percentage of each one in our unique mix.
Dominant Style (RED) : This is the style that describes people’s behavior when they feel stronger than a hostile environment. They want to overcome obstacles in order to achieve their goals. They are challenge-driven and do not fear taking some risks and changing if they think it can help them because of their strong self-confidence.
Influential Style (YELLOW): This the behavior people adopt when they feel being in a friendly environment they can control at wish. Therefore I-Style behaviorists are looking to influence their surroundings through friendly persuasion; they want to be involved and accepted by others.
Steady Style (GREEN) : This behavioral style is adopted by someone who feels being in a friendly environment he or she can’t really control. That is why the primary goal of a GREEN person is to maintain good relationships with others and don’t do anything that can lead to the transformation of the friendly surroundings in a hostile environment.
Consciousness Style (BLUE) : People will adopt this behavioral style when they feel weaker than a naturally hostile environment. People with C-style behavior will try to protect themselve by using pre-existing rules and structures. They will try to do the “correct” thing and minimize the risks of making mistakes so that nobody can point an accusing finger at them.
How can the DiSC profiling method help you with your leads?
The DiSC profiling method will help you closing deals.
The first and direct benefit of the DiSC method on your Sales is your better ability to identify the natural behavior of your potential customers and adapt to it (communication, body language, writings etc.). That will help you to close deals more easily because your one-to-one communication will be more close to your lead’s preferred communication style (mirror your customer).
First, what is at stake is your ability to identify the DiSC color of your lead. To do that you can use the O.A.R method (Observe, Asses Recognize) that we will describe in one of our next articles.
Then knowing the behavior style of your lead you will be able to pick the right argument that will resonate in your prospects’ minds.
For example a BLUE person will pay more attention to facts and data in order to make the “correct” decision. You should be able to prove any points of your speech. On the other hand, YELLOW type will be more focused on what other people will think about them if they buy your products. Therefore, you should insist on previous successful clients that you know your I-Style prospect will value.
Finally, you will be able to say your argument with the appropriate tone, rhythm and through the relevant canals. For example, a D-Style will appreciate short, straight to the point emails that won’t waste their time. On the contrary, a S-Style will appreciate a warm phone call because they want to see if they can trust you before making any deals.
The take-away is that the DiSC profiling method will make it easier to connect and build trust with a prospect because you will know his natural behavior and adapt to it. Eventually, it will be easier to close deals.
The DiSC model will make your lead generation and lead qualification more efficient. The more you can identify people’s natural behavior, the more you become efficient when selling. The first reason is that you can identify your own natural behavior. You can tell what are your strengths, your weaknesses, which type of behavior your feel comfortable with and which not.
It’s always easier to deal with people of your own dominant behavior since the interaction is natural.
Your lead qualification is easier because you are able to say quite quickly if a prospect will be a good fit for you or not. If you identify a lead with a behavior which suits you, that you can adopt naturally, then you can proceed but if not you won’t loose time and energy and maybe pass it to one of your colleagues. If you don’t have a suitable colleague then you can adopt your communication to suit the behaviour of your lead. It is crucial to mirror your customer and make them feel “at home” and trust you.
After a while selling your product or service you will most likely be able to detect certain patterns among your best customers. Maybe you will see that 50% of them have a D-Style and therefore you can use the DiSC model in a more proactive way for your lead generation.
You can even use a CRM, such as Salesbox, to send custom email marketing campaigns in function of each DiSC colors and increase your open rate. Salesbox also comes packaged with the possibility to add the correct DiSC-color to each lead or existing business contact, to make it easier for colleagues (managers, other sales reps, pre-sales, support, delivery, finance) to know how to communicate correctly with the lead/customer.
All of this will make your lead generation more efficient. The DiSC model, as we just saw, is a brilliant behavioral model that will make you more efficient as a sales representative. But on the top of that, the DiSC model can be used in various domains where behavior matters. For example it can help you to be a better manager : it’s easier to motivate someone if you know what triggers him/her. It can also help you in your recruitment process in order to determine if the behavior of a candidate will probably fit or not with his/her potential manager’s.
So, you see there is plenty application for the DiSC model within Sales and Business and if you want to dig more you can visit our blog: Salesbox Blog.
In a previous article we talked about how to stay ahead of the game with Lead Generation strategies in 2017. Although Best Practice recommends to focus on Content Marketing, SEO, and Social Media, the bottom line is that effective lead generation requires planning to ensure the desired results, unless you are selling water in the desert. In this article we focus on another important aspect of lead intelligence – tracking lead engagement.
Having a well-thought-out plan of action is only half the battle. You also need to follow potential customers through prospecting and sales cycles, nurturing them until they become paying customers. In this day and age, when information reaches people immediately, companies need to be flexible and adapt almost as fast. Your customers’ attention is not guaranteed – interests change, trends come and go, and people are always looking for the next big thing. So, why is tracking lead engagement so important?
Tracking lead engagement is important for multiple reasons:
Help the sales and marketing teams to focus their time and energy on the leads that matter.
Ensures you analyse current data to better predict future trends (and better prepare for future trends!).
Maps the users’ path so that you know exactly where they lose engagement in the product; which in turn will allow you to improve those “hurdles” and increase your customer retention rate.
Reduce your churn rate by better understanding what drives people away.
Improves your social proofing and SEO efforts because of the “positive feedback loop” that you have initiated.
The Turning Point
With those thoughts in mind we were researching the topic and stumbled upon a very insightful report by GetApp, which you can find here, about top Lead Generation channels that drive quality and quantity leads.
They surveyed 300 companies in North America to find their lead generation strategies and challenges. What grabbed our attention was the fact that close to 18.4% of salespeople stated that their model to measure ROI is inaccurate and that 69% are likely to invest in predictive analytics to better score leads. Those numbers are quite significant as it shows that companies realise the fact they have to focus on lead generation but they don’t understand their leads and they don’t know exactly when they are losing people’s engagement in the sales cycle.
After reading the report we just had to know more so we contacted GetApp. They were very kind to provide us with a commentary from Karen McCandless, the researcher that wrote the report. Here is what she had to say:
Generating high quality leads was cited by 28% of our respondents’ biggest challenge, followed by generating a high volume of leads at 22%. Reasons behind this include lack of budget assigned to lead generation, as well as not knowing or understanding the audience you are targeting. This means that any lead generation efforts will be more generic and less targeted to your target buyers.
The survey also revealed that many sales and marketers are still not tracking their lead generation campaigns. This can be attributed to the complexity of tracking different metrics across different channels, as well as a confusion over whose responsibility it is to do this. The lead generation experts who contributed to this report suggested that the marketing department should be tracking campaigns, rather than salespeople. However, businesses are often held back by the manual processes they have in place, or the wrong piece of technology for the job.“
The take-home is that businesses need the right information in the right time in order to improve the ROI of their lead generation efforts. Following the engagement levels of leads from prospects to including them in your sales cycle to converting them into paying customers is not an easy task for every company.
What the GetApp report and the commentary show is that the most common reasons for not tracking a lead’s engagement successfully boils down to the complexity of tracking different metrics across multitude of channels, confusion over who is responsible for that, and using the wrong technology.
The Road Ahead
Given all the information that we have, it becomes obvious that the only way going forward is investing into a CRM that tracks a lead’s engagement over time. This will not only allow you to guide potential buyers across all of your lead generation channels but it will also pinpoint the weakest touchpoints along the way. The latter is probably even more vital as it can ultimately lead to improving customer retention and churn rates of your product/service. If you are still not convinced, here are some of the most eye-opening, CRM statistics for 2017:
The ROI on CRM is approximately $5 to every $1 invested (Baseline)
CRM gives businesses a 65% boost in sales quotas (Innopple Technologies)
A 41% revenue increase is realized with CRM (Trackvia)
CRM is used for email marketing 60% of the time for small businesses (MarketingCharts.com)
Leads that are nurtured in the CRM system convert 47% of the time (Annuitas Group)
This article is part of our three step guide on lead generation basics. For this step, which is the third and final step of lead generation, we discuss how to contact leads. This is arguably the most important step, which can be anything from marketing automation to personal contact, because it’s where the beginning of a sale truly begins to take shape. A quick recap of what we previously talked about: In the first step, we talked about what a lead and lead hacking is, in the second step we outlined the process of lead qualification, and now we will share the best practices of lead contacting.
What Do You Do Once You’ve Identified a Lead?
This article is about what to do once you’ve identified a lead. While there is no absolute answer to this, there are few things you should be considering to make the strongest introduction possible. The items you should be considering include:
Lead name (a person or company)
You will need 1 and 2 (pre-conditions) in order to make contact and talk (step 3).
Customer example question:
“I have a question regarding on how to follow up on possible leads. What if I notice a company is coming back regularly to check out our services, how can I best contact this company? Mail, phone? I don’t want to look like a stalker. Is there any proven strategy or best practices on this subject?”
Much depends on your company’s sales workflow. Is your product high-end – with service contracts, or are you targeting SME (small and medium enterprise) clients. How long is your sales cycle, do you provide a demo, do you have a dedicated sales team to contact leads, etc. These parameters will define the structure of the dialogue. In some cases the lead will get in touch with you, and in some cases you will be initiating contact. Lead generation software (keeping track of potential clients) helps in both scenarios because you can see what your lead is doing (what they are interested in) and their level of interest. “Strike while the iron is hot”. Once you have contact points and subject matter, you should make contact. Try a combination of both telephone and email. Telephone takes more energy, and is more effective when you actually get to speak to the right person. We’ve learned that a combination of both telephone and email works best. We’ve also learned that, in terms of best practices, you want to make an initial call (or email) that is short and sweet. Narrow the conversation down to a single deliverable, if possible. Important: once you make a promise, any promise, no matter how small – make sure you absolutely 100% follow-up. This is trust-building.
How Can LeadBoxer Help You to Contact Leads
LeadBoxer, or any other lead generation software, automates the process of determining who to call and/or email. Many established B2B sites receive hundreds or even thousands of visitors (potential leads) on a weekly basis. Time is often of the essence here. It is not humanly possible to screen all traffic, although it may be a good idea to have different people sort traffic, and do the actual contacting. This is where the software comes is. By “qualification” we mean an automated system for sorting potential leads and ranking them based on qualifying metrics. Allowing you to contact leads which you might have otherwise missed.
LinkedIn is the world’s 4th most popular social network. As a professional social network, LinkedIn is the most popular among salespeople. LinkedIn is our favourite social platform to use, so it was just a matter of time before we wrote a piece about it. This is definitely not the only time we will talk about its usefulness but today, we wanted to talk a little bit about how to contact leads with LinkedIn.
What can you do with leads identified by LeadBoxer?
Scenario: you have installed the LeadBoxer lead pixel into your website. A few days later, you have a list of companies who are interested in your products and services. You are not 100% convinced that you want to call them up and say “Hey, I saw you clicking around on our website, what’s up?”
People are looking for specific information. Therefore, if you can help them get the information that they need, you are helping them, not bugging them.
In this case, we recommend an indirect approach as you can see below.
1. When you see that a company has visited your website, target them through LinkedIn(obviously, you can use any alternative to LinkedIn – which is just the example given here).
2. The strategy is to know that a company is interested – and give them information that makes them aware of your services. Keep in mind that if a lead is actively looking for a solution to their problem, they will appreciate good information.
Note: surfing behaviour is Goal-Oriented. People do not visit (B2B) websites because they are curious as to what they look like. People are looking for specific information. Therefore, if you can help them get the information that they need, you are helping them.
3. Use lead/visitor activity (click streams) to know what your leads are actually interested in and speak to the content/ subject-matter of the pages they visited.
In other words, use a prominent bit of the text on the pages visited in the subject heading of your communication. This will immediately capture the person’s interest much more effectively than sending a generic sales pitch.
4. Locating decision-makers – if your product/ service is related to staffing, find the person(s) responsible for Human Resources.Meaning: locate the company on LinkedIn and then you research who is responsible for Human Resources, etc.
5. You can then advertise via LinkedIn in order to post content on that person/ company’s LinkedIn personal feed.Click here for a blog post we wrote on LinkedIn advertising.
a) locate the company identified by LeadBoxer on LinkedIn b) find the person or persons responsible for the problem you solve c) send a LinkedIn invite request d) OR use Chrome extension called (email) Hunter – to locate their email address and email them e) OR send relevant materials via LinkedIn advertising (see above)
When sitting down to write a new post, I ran through a plethora of ideas. We’ve been focusing a lot on CES 2017 recently, so I needed to get us back into the swing of our typical marketing and startup sales related posts. I ended up thinking about user on-boarding and the mistakes that a lot of startups make when creating their on-boarding flow. I then thought about what mistake is most commonly seen during user on-boarding experiences: giving product tours. …
After installing the LeadBoxer Lead Pixel onto your website, you’ll instantaneously see your web traffic turn into quality sales leads. Your lead generation efforts have magically taken a positive and noticeable turn. With all of these new leads coming your way, it’s only natural to ask, “how can I best turn these leads into sales?” …
According to Ascend2, 82% of companies now use email marketing. That is quite an impressive number, and probably a lot higher than you would have guessed if you were asked, “What percentage of companies do you think use email marketing?” …
The phrase “cold calling is dead” has been getting said more frequently recently. People have been saying this more frequently because, often, people just assume that cold calling comes off as overly salesy, unprofessional, and likely a waste of time. …
After you’ve collected a lead, your next task is to convert that lead into an actual sale. But what can you do so all of your sales calls are successful? The process of converting a lead to a sale can often be somewhat tricky however, there are plenty of scientifically proven techniques that you can use to close even more deals. …
A lot of our blog revolves around marketing and lead generation tactics. While tactics and techniques to collect leads are important, it is also vital to reflect on the basics and be reminded of what exactly it means to contact, nurture, and collect a sales lead. …