Lead Nurturing

How Customer Connections Drive Relationship Based Sales

How Making a Customer Connection Drives Relationship Based Sales

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Actions Needed to Move Towards Relationship-Based Selling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ensuring Loyalty Through Customer Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To Avoid a Bad Customer Journey

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

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

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

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

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

Social Media & Customer Connections

The Social Consumer Analytics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How to Recapture and Nurture Inbound Leads

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

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

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

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

What Are Inbound Leads

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

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

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

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

Stats on Recapturing Old Leads

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

Nurture Inbound Leads - Stats on Old Leads

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Inbound Leads Stats

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

Nurtured vs non-nurtured inbound leads

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Ways to Re-Engage Old Inbound Leads

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

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

Continuously Offer Fresh Content

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

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

Invest in Email Marketing

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

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

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

Nurturing Inbound Leads Statistics

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Use Paid Retargeting Ads on Social Media and Google

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

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

Send Personalized Notes Through the Mail

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

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

Ask For Customer Feedback Via Surveys

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

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

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

LeadBoxer Integrations Can Boost Your Inbound Strategy

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

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

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

Some of the benefits of using LeadBoxer include:

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

Email Marketing Integration

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

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

Nurture Inbound Leads - LeadBoxer Email Marketing Integration

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MailChimp Integration

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

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

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

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

Data Analytics 

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

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

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

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

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Nurturing Leads-Leadboxer platform

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

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

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

lead nurturing in 2022

Lead Nurturing in 2022

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

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

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

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

Using Automated Messaging

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

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

Timing Your Marketing Campaigns for Lead Nurturing

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

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

Authenticity in a Digital World

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

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

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

Evaluate Your Pricing Models

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

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

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

Utilizing Order Bumps to Increase Engagement

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

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

Extending Customer Life Cycles for Lead Nurturing

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

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

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

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Creating Sales Urgency

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

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

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

Increasing Sales Conversions Through Marketing Tactics

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Importance of Reaching Your Target Audience

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

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

It is crucial to understand your sales pipeline, as well as the customer journey, to successfully segment leads. Digging into the data your team has will help map out which customers need to hear certain messages. This will help direct your emails to the right inboxes at the correct time.

Creativity from your marketing team will fuel prospect engagement. Focus on producing dynamic content for each segment of leads. Make sure to create appropriate content based on the different stages for customers, which should provide tangible action items for prospects to engage with.

These emails can be as simple as having different versions of the same promotional incentives. Your marketing team can work to pinpoint the different customer personas of your clients, as well as their engagement patterns. This strategy will help each campaign reach its targeted demographic.

While customization can seem like a hefty undertaking, there are ways to do it without wasting time or resources.  Use automation to swap out images and copy text to tailor to specific customer data. Include automated pop-ups or recommendations on your website to provide valuable insight when prospects engage with certain pages.

Using Automation Effectively in Marketing Efforts

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Utilizing automation helps streamline your marketing communication with prospects. This allows you to focus on promoting your brand while allowing automation to do the heavy lifting. Taking advantage of this technology allows you to send automatic welcome emails, track engagement across platforms, and segment your prospects.

Effectively automating your marketing cycle means you are using platforms to help nurture leads, score leads, and walk clients through the customer journey. For example, automation can send follow-up messages when prospects interact with your website to help nurture the relationship.

Avoiding leakage from your sales pipeline helps increase your conversion rates. Automation ensures that consistent messaging is being sent to leads, so they don’t go cold. This is a huge help for businesses that want to continue establishing strong relationships with their customers.

Automation focuses on passive marketing, which allows prospects to hear about your brand in ways other than live launches. When your company doesn’t have any product updates to share, sales funnels may seem smaller than usual. Avoiding these dry times by implementing automated campaigns will help build out your pipelines.

An evergreen funnel works to gain your business passive profit through automated engagement. This works by enticing the lead to become a buyer through content-driven messaging at the beginning of their journey.

The goal of these tactics is not limited to an immediate conversion. Evergreen funnels may be a long game strategy, as they work hard to push for brand engagement that will eventually convert to sales.

Using the Deadline Tactic in Your Messaging

Furthering this marketing tactic, the deadline, or countdown, funnel is an add-on that leans into the idea of urgency. Prospective customers receive dozens of promotional emails per day. Capitalizing on your digital real estate within a lead’s inbox will allow for the successful implementation of a special offer.

This is where your call-to-action will start. Whether it’s a free download, promotional code, or even a limited-time discount, the key is having a real deadline in place. This allows you to create a timeline of communication that introduces your offer and entices prospects into engagement over a period of a few days.

Authentic deadlines should be created through the personalization of the unique customer journey. By using tracking points, your email campaigns will tailor to each lead and automatically generate content that relates to their place in the sales funnel.

Deadlines work to help your sales team avoid the stress of a lead going cold. Once a prospect is discovered by your team, this tactic will help illustrate the importance of swift action. The quicker a potential customer interacts with your brand, the quicker your sales team will be able to begin the lead nurturing process.

The 5-Day Sequence

One successful series of implementation can be found by trying the 5-day sequence. This campaign will consist of five or more emails spread across five days to nudge potential clients into engagement.

Your first two emails will be the beginning of brand awareness. These first contact points will aim to provide value to the recipient as well as insight into your product. The third email will be a hybrid of value and promotion, as it transitions into a call-to-action. This will serve as the first introduction to the offer and the deadline.

The final two emails work to sell the offer and convince your prospect to take the leap. Sales urgency remains a vital characteristic at this stage of marketing communications. By highlighting the impending deadline, scarcity is also shown to the prospect. This tactic helps motivate the lead to act, as they won’t want to miss out on the valuable deal.

Finding Balance Between Being Pushy & Creating Sales Urgency

Why do these tactics work? Human nature leans towards procrastination. Even the best workers can admit to being guilty of occasionally putting tasks off to a later date. By using incentivization, you are helping clients move along through their customer journey.

These strategies speak to the human need for timelines and the fear of missing an important offer. By giving a deadline, you can motivate prospective customers who may be facing hesitations to engage with your product, as well as rule out ones who aren’t worth your time.

Finding a balance between sales urgency and pushiness is a key component to successfully mastering this marketing strategy. One of the most common mistakes is emphasizing the deadline too soon.

When applied too early, the urgency created can come off as inauthentic or even gimmicky. Avoiding the desperate salesman look and focusing on tactfully introducing the timeline can help boost your credibility with leads.

Born recommends emphasizing the promotion deadline in the last 48 hours of the campaign. This can be done with three final emails to help nudge the prospect into action.

Discover the many ways LeadBoxer can help you increase the effectiveness of your efforts to create urgency in sales today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • The Buyer’s Journey

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

  1.  Awareness
  2.  Evaluation or Consideration
  3.  Purchase

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

  • Content Mapping

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

creating buyer personas

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

Aligning an Email Nurturing Campaign with the Buyer’s Journey

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

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

  • Stage One: Customer Awareness of Your Brand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What is IPv6 and Why Does it Matter?

Don’t be scared of the technical jargon surrounding Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). If lead generation is a major component of your company’s marketing plan, then learning about the latest version of the Internet is a must.

Once you understand what IPv6 is, why it’s important to your business, and how to leverage it, you’ll be able to identify and nurture prospects more effectively and responsibly than you currently do. To learn more, read on or jump ahead to these sections:

What is IPv6?

Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is the latest version of the Internet Protocol (IP), which is the system for identifying and connecting devices across the Internet. In essence, your device’s IP address is a series of numbers that tell the Internet where to send emails, articles or other content you want to access.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) started developing IPv6 in 1998 in preparation for the inevitable exhaustion of IP addresses provided by Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4). Under IPv4, IP addresses are only 32 bits. A typical IPv4 address looks like this:

typical IPv4 address

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There are only about 4 billion possible 32-bit IP addresses available, a limit the world has long since hit. To accommodate the growing number of devices connecting to the Internet, IP addresses created by IPv6 are 128 bits. A typical IPv6 address looks like this:

typical IPv6 address

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With IPv6, there are approximately 3.4×1038 addresses available, or 340 undecillion addresses. Simply put, the world will never run out of IP addresses under IPv6.

Pros and Cons of IPv6 for Your Business

Hypothetically, IPv6 addresses can make it easier for marketing and sales teams to track and nurture leads. In reality, there are a few technical factors that complicate matters.

  • Pro: Better At Identifying Individual Devices

IPv6 addresses are potentially capable of acting as an identifier for each connected device on the planet, which would allow marketers to refine their targeting.

With IPv4, addresses typically describe a group of devices that share a network. For example, a laptop, tablet, mobile phone, and connected TV that belong to a family might be assigned a single IPv4 address. If there are multiple people within that household, marketers are limited in how well they can target a particular individual across devices.

With IPv6, the nearly infinite number of addresses theoretically makes it possible to assign a unique address to each device. Marketers could then associate an address with an individual as opposed to a household, thus making it easier to target that person whether they’re on their phone or laptop. Not only could this help increase conversion rates and customer experiences, but it could also make analytics more accurate.

While this sounds great in theory, there are a few considerations.

  • Con: Less Stable Tracking Technique

Not every device currently uses IPv6. In fact, IPv4 and IPv6 will likely be in use simultaneously for many years.

As of January 2021, only about 33% of people around the world who access Google have an IPv6 address. In the U.S., IPv6 adoption is just above 44%.

IPv6 adoption stats in USA

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This can create confusion for marketers. For example, a tablet within a household might have an IPv6 address while other devices connected to the same network might share an IPv4 address. To marketers, this would make it appear as though those devices came from two different households.

  • Con: Privacy Issues

Since IPv6 addresses can describe a unique device, you could make the argument that they can identify an individual better than IPv4 addresses. This would classify IPv6 addresses as personal information under privacy laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

IP addresses were never meant to be a tool for marketers or advertisers, which is why the GDPR regulates how companies can use them. However, as you’ll later see, there are ways to leverage IPv6’s benefits while respecting your customers’ privacy.

How to Take Advantage of IPv6 in Your Business

Don’t let IPv6’s shortcomings prevent you from leveraging this new technology. With the right software and strategies, you can identify individual leads and determine how likely they are to buy from your business.

  • Use an IPv6 Tracker

There are countless tools out there that help you gather data about leads so you can better target and nurture them. For example, you could collect info about prospects through a sign-up form like this one:

sign-up form to collect info about prospects

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The data would then be sent to your lead intelligence software or customer relationship management (CRM) tool for your marketing and sales teams to review. With this knowledge in hand, employees have a better idea of who might be interested in your company’s product or service.

But what if a visitor to your site doesn’t fill out a form? This doesn’t mean they aren’t a good lead for your business. It also doesn’t prevent you from figuring out who are they or how to contact them.

Lead intelligence software like LeadBoxer can track and do reverse lookups on IPv6 addresses. You can see who is visiting your site, what company they work for, and even what their contact info is, all based on their IP address.

track IPv6 addresses with Leadboxer

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Best of all, this capability works right out of the box, so you can start capturing lead data on autopilot.

  • Create Personalized Customer Experiences

Want to make a stellar first impression? Tailor your website so that it’s even more relevant to prospective customers. You can do this by optimizing pages with content that automatically adjusts based on a visitor’s IP address.

This doesn’t require a ton of leg work or crafting personalized pages from scratch. Consider this example from Quicksprout:

Quicksprout personalized pages

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A single element within the copy changes depending upon the visitor’s geographic location. In this case, it’s Corpus Christi. This small detail instantly catches the user’s eye and increases the likelihood that they’ll answer the call to action.

  • Assess “Hot” Prospects

Leadscoring is the process of assigning a prospect a number between one and 100. The number reflects how likely the lead is to buy from your company. The higher the number, the better the prospect. This saves your sales team time by showing them who they should focus their attention on.

Tracking leads via IP addresses can increase the accuracy of a lead score. When you track a particular address, it’s easy to know which pages a prospect has visited or how much time they’ve spent on your site, which is essential for calculating a lead score.

LeadBoxer’s leadscoring tool

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LeadBoxer’s leadscoring tool is completely customizable. You decide which factors are most relevant to your team and how much weight they carry.

  • Update Your Privacy Statement

If you intend to use IP addresses in your lead generation efforts, there are a few legal considerations to keep in mind. In order to be GDPR compliant, companies must include a privacy policy on their website that states:

  • What type of information the site collects
  • Why this data is collected
  • How it’s processed, like where it’s stored and for how long
  • What steps you take to keep the info secure

There should also be clear, easy-to-follow instructions for visitors who want their personal information removed or not collected in the first place.

If you use lead intelligence software like LeadBoxer, you’ll need to add a disclosure about the product. Click here for paragraphs that you can copy and paste into your privacy policy.

For a more in-depth look at how to be GDPR compliant, check out this guide.

  • Mask IP Addresses

If you don’t want to disclose the use of LeadBoxer in your privacy policy, you can always enable IP address masking within the software. This feature keeps IPv4 and IPv6 addresses anonymous in the sense that the software won’t record the addresses onto a disk and store them. However, LeadBoxer can continue to identify companies, geographic locations, and other generic data points and be GDPR compliant.

IP masking with LeadBoxer is easy. Simply go to the datasets overview, click the settings icon, then tick the box labeled Enable Ip Masking.

IP address masking with Leadboxer

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IP masking with LeadBoxer

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Final Thoughts: Start Leveraging IPv6 Now

Of all the technological advancements that affect marketing and sales teams, IPv6 is perhaps the most important one to understand and prepare for. Adoption is ongoing and IPv6 will likely never be surpassed in our lifetime. In other words, resistance is futile.

Fortunately, there are several advantages to using IP addresses in your business. Tracking IPv6 addresses can give you a detailed picture of who is visiting your site and how engaged they are as a prospect. There are also several lead intelligence tools, such as LeadBoxer, that are already equipped with IPv6 address-monitoring capabilities.

There are some downsides to IPv6, such as privacy infringement. LeadBoxer has an answer for that, too. The IP masking feature makes it easy to stay GDPR-compliant, all without sacrificing any of the benefits of address-tracking, like identifying companies or geographic location.

Want to see for yourself? Get in touch with LeadBoxer and start a free trial today.

Customer Engagement Strategies for Millennials

Most organizations strive to engage with their customers at a high level. However, engagement with the right audience at the right time can be difficult to achieve. When assessing who to target in your lead generation efforts, it’s important to find the right demographic best suited for your offerings. While an organization may target a wide variety of people, Millennials are currently a common demographic to approach. In order to effectively develop and cultivate leads, it’s best to understand a few key customer engagement strategies for Millennials.

Keep reading or use the following links to “jump” ahead:

Customer Engagement Strategies for Millennials

When comparing millennials to other generations like Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z, there are many differences to consider.

Millennials operate very differently when making purchase decisions. For example, a Baby Boomer may call a retailer while a Millennial would rather surf the web before calling. Due to the constant changes in how this demographic operates, it’s vital to stay updated on the following customer engagement strategies to boost engagement and generate leads.

Complete a Marketplace Analysis

To effectively target Millennials, it’s important to understand how this audience behaves. The first step in learning more about this demographic involves completing a marketplace analysis.

  • What is Marketplace Analysis?

A marketplace analysis dives deeper into the behaviors and patterns of a target audience. Additionally, it involves an assessment of the industry, competitors, and other market variables. The process involves the following three elements:

  • Customer Analysis: Understanding more about the needs and wants of the customer in order to provide relevant offerings.
  • Competitors Analysis: Reviewing competitors to see how your organization can improve.
  • Partner Analysis: Understanding how partners or suppliers help to achieve goals.

As the visual below demonstrates, there are several factors used to complete an effective marketplace analysis. The process involves both internal and external elements.

effective marketplace analysis

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By completing a marketplace analysis, organizations can better understand the buyer landscape for Millennials. However, effectual customer engagement strategies for Millennials rely on the ability to appeal to this generation by understanding the typical buyer journey of this audience.

Understand the Modern B2B Buyer Journey

It turns out that more and more Millennials are making key B2B buying decisions. In fact, a 2018 survey showed that 13% of Millennials are decision-makers in B2B purchasing. The same survey showed that 28% of them help to influence purchasing decisions within their organizations.

As these numbers are relatively low, we expect those percentages to continue to grow. We learned in 2015 that Millennials are now considered the largest generation in the workforce, passing Boomers.

So, what’s the best forward-thinking approach to increase engagement with Millennials and create more leads? It involves understanding more about the modern B2B buyer journey.

The Millennial buyer journey looks different compared to other generations. According to HIPB2B, 86% of millennials prefer to not engage with sales until the middle of the buying process. Additionally, 67% of the buyer’s journey is now completed in a digital format.

Those statistics show that Millennials will review your website and content before making a purchase decision. Other generations may make a decision much sooner in the process.

  • Privacy

As Millennials enjoy browsing through a website until they decide to make a purchase decision, they don’t like to be pressured. If they open your emails or download something on your site, experts suggest not calling them right away.

While calling them may sound like the most practical decision for your lead generation efforts, it can make them feel pressured. Millennials prefer to stay behind a screen. It’s best to be patient and focus on a lead-nurturing approach.

cell phone habits graphic

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As the graphic demonstrates, Millennials are far more inclined to text rather than call. As you’re looking to increase customer engagement with this demographic, these findings are important to consider.

  • Sending Nurture Messages

Instead of pressing this generation into a phone call, sending lead nurturing messages is encouraged. Some common types of nurture messages include:

  • An introduction or greeting
  • Information about a product or service
  • Directions
  • Call-to-action
  • Availability hours

While GenXers and Boomers may prefer to speak with a sales agent about a product or service, Millennials prefer doing research on their own before making a call.

Know Where Millennials Go for Information

Another customer engagement strategy for millennials involves finding where they get their information. It’s vital to understand how they operate online and what information they use to make purchase decisions.

Millennials use some of the less traditional B2B sources to find their info. According to MarketingSherpa, 38% of Millennials rely on industry analysis when making decisions about what B2B products/services to purchase or recommend to others. 36% rely on in-person meetings with vendors, while 33% of Millennials gather information from a vendor’s website.

  • Building Trust

Why do you think Millennials rely on an industry analysis when making B2B purchase decisions? For the most part, it involves trust.

Industry-analysis content gives your brand third-party validation that creates trust in the eyes of the buyer. If a Millennial is able to see that you’re a reputable brand in the industry, they are more likely to become a high-quality lead.

Provide a Bargain

As every adult today has lived through some type of great recession or depression, we all understand the value of a dollar. In fact, the majority of generations are still experiencing the impact of the 2008 recession.

That could point to the fact that Millennials are constantly looking for a good deal. According to MediaPost, 48% of Millennials used online coupons in 2016. That was more than both Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

While Millennials may not be using their own budget when buying something, these B2B buyers are still bargain shoppers.

To cultivate as many leads as possible, it’s encouraged to send out coupons to your entire audience. As everyone enjoys saving money, providing coupons can be a driving force for increasing conversion for your Millennial shoppers.

Properly Segment Content

Another smart tactic is to ensure your content is segmented effectively. Content segmentation involves positioning your website to effectively convert visitors into buyers. Due to how differently Millennials operate online, it’s important to know which content segmentation strategies work best for this demographic.

The process starts by first assessing what you see working for each age group. Through A/B testing and optimization, organizations can determine what types of content these audiences enjoy. Following that step, you’ll then want to target those generational demographics based on your findings.

As the graphic below indicates, four key areas must be understood to properly segment content. Given how different age groups are more responsive to specific types of content, understanding the proper segmentation process can allow you to make smarter, more relevant decisions with your messaging.

market segmentation graphic

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Develop Personalized Mobile Messaging

According to The Future of Customer Engagement and Experience, personalized mobile messaging is what drives conversions. These messages are more relevant when received via text, and these messages receive higher open rates compared to other mobile marketing tactics. Furthermore, mobile messaging boosts customer loyalty.

While mobile messaging is a driving force for millennials, it also provides these benefits for retailers:

  • SMS works on any device and any network
  • Requires no apps to download
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Easy to implement
  • Safe and secure
  • A simple source of communication
  • Cost-effective

With the abundance of digital services available today, it’s easy for retailers to start mobile engagement strategies to boost lead generation. Areas such as shipping and account alerts are easy places to start. From there, an organization may choose to promote personalized marketing offers or even a loyalty program.

Another part of your personalized mobile engagement strategy could include two-way communications with customer service, personalized shopping assistance, and surveys and polls that operate in real-time.

  • Intelligent Notification Platforms

Organizations may choose to utilize intelligent notification platforms in their mobile messaging strategy. These are used to improve service quality for the customer. Without it, users may receive the wrong messages on the wrong devices.

These platforms help to ensure the following:

  • Messages reach the right user on the right device
  • Messages align with objectives
  • Interactions are private, safe, and secure
  • Messaging is reliable
  • Interactions build customer loyalty
  • Messaging increases engagement

Utilize Data Resources

Understanding more about Millennials involves understanding more about the data at your disposal. Luckily, there are many avenues to find valuable data insights regarding how the Millennial audience behaves online.

Today, it’s even possible to get near-real-time anonymized mobile data aggregated from millions of mobile users from across the world.

To provide the most relevant and timely messaging, you should leverage internal and external data sources and intelligent notification platforms as well as account based selling if it fits. This can ensure your organization has the most relevant, valuable data to drive your lead cultivation efforts. It can also ensure the right content is delivered to the right audience at the right time.

Boosting customer engagement with Millennials involves utilizing high-quality lead management software. Contact LeadBoxer today to learn more about its sophisticated lead and customer data platform.

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Social Selling Index Best Practices

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

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

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

What is Social Selling?

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

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

social selling sales model

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How to Start a Selling Business Through Social Selling

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

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

  • Facebook

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

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

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

LeadBoxer Facebook Page Example

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  • Twitter

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

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

  • Existing customers
  • Leads
  • Competitors
  • Twitter lists

Social Selling Best Practices

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

  • Be Human

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

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

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

LeadBoxer LinkedIn Profile Example

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  • Do Social Listening

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

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

  • Provide Valuable, Helpful Content

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

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

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

  • Build Lasting Relationships

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

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

Social Selling on LinkedIn and the Social Selling Index

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

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

how to maximize social selling on linkedin

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  • Boost Your Authority

When creating your profile, be sure to emphasize relevant experience, accomplishments, awards, and memberships. Highlighting how you’ve helped past customers makes your profile customer focused. Additionally, ask your contacts for recommendations and to endorse your skills.

With an optimized profile, you’ll be visible to prospects and be viewed as an authority and a valuable resource. Most importantly a resource that is offering the solutions leads are looking for. You’ll secure prospects, building relationships with them, and converting them into customers.

  • Expand Your Network

LinkedIn is an example of online business networking and a good place for account expansion. The more connections you make, the greater your network becomes. The larger your network, the more opportunities you’ll have to meet promising leads. Or people who’ll introduce you to prospects.

Here is a great example of a Guardian Life financial advisor whose leads took off with LinkedIn. With one client, he obtained 35 referrals. Since then, his social selling business has more than doubled.

  • Participate in LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn has many professional networking groups that offer opportunities to meet other professionals and prospects. Here, one can share and post relevant, informative content and comment on other’s posts. When you’re active in a group, it conveys that you’re knowledgeable in your industry.

  • Social Selling Index

Salespeople with a high social selling index do better at attracting and converting prospects. LinkedIn is a great place to boost one’s index score. LinkedIn social selling index correlates to more leads and met sales quotas.

This index is a score that takes into account the following variables:

  • The quality of relationships
  • The salesperson’s personal brand
  • The amount of relevant content and engagement they produce
  • How well ideal prospects are targeted and nurtured

reps sell more with social selling

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Tips on Using Social Selling to Optimize Sales

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

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

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

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

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

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Lead Capture Pages 101: Importance, Strategies, and Software

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

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

What is a Lead Capture Page?

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

nutshell inbound marketing strategy

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

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

How Lead Capture Pages Help Sales Teams

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

Find qualified leads on autopilot

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

Gain insight into prospects

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

Score and prioritize leads

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

15 Lead Capture Page Software Options

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

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

Lead Capture Page Software with Lead Intelligence and Nurturing

1. LeadBoxer

lead capture pages software

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include a CRM

Cost: LeadBoxer starts at $195 per month.

2. Leady

marketing strategies from leady

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Cost: Leady starts at $39 per month.

3. Autopilot

marketing automation software autopilot

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Cost: Autopilot starts at $49 per month.

4. Act-On

web form builder act-on

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

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

5. Karta

marketing and sales solution from karta

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Cost: Karta starts at $99 per month.

CRMs with Lead Capture Page Builders

6. HubSpot

hubspot marketing platform

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

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

7. Pipedrive

marketing automations from pipedrive

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

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

8. Zoho CRM

lead generation from zoho

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

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

9. Agile CRM

lead capture form tool agile

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

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

10. Keap

marketing and sales processes from keap

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Cost: Keap starts at $79 per month.

Landing Page Builders

11. Instapage

landing page builder from instapage

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Cost: Instapage starts at $149 per month.

12. Unbounce

lead capturing opportunities from unbounce

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Cost: Unbounce starts at $79 per month.

13. Leadpages

lead generation tool leadpage

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Cost: Leadpages starts at $25 per month.

14. Landingi

landingi landing page creator

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Cost: Landingi starts at $29 per month.

15. Mailchimp

mailchimp all-in-one marketing platform

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

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

Tips for Creating an Optimized Lead Capture Page

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

Limit the fields in the lead form

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

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

lead form from leadboxer

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

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

how to loose valuable conversions

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

Match the fields in the lead form to the offer

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

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

registration form from kinsta

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

Choose the right positioning for the lead form

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

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

right positioning for the lead form

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

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

lead capture form from hubspot

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

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

pop-up capture form from instapage

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

Include your privacy policy

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

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

privacy policy on display ob hubspot

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

Generate Leads on Autopilot for Your Sales Team

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

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

lead nurturing software options scaled 1

The 12 Best Lead Nurturing Software Options for Your Business

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:

What is Lead Nurturing Software?

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.

1. LeadBoxer

lead nurturing software option

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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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

2. Nutshell

email campaigns

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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.

Pros:

  • Combines pipeline management with basic lead nurturing
  • Lean and intuitive interface
  • Includes reporting function that analyzes how well your lead nurturing activities are working

Cons:

  • 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.

3. HubSpot

marketing automation feature

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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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

4. SharpSpring

visual marketing automation builder

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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.

Pros:

  • A CRM combined with marketing automation
  • Personalized emails that send in response to lead behavior
  • Create marketing automation workflows with a visual builder

Cons:

  • Might be too bulky for smaller businesses
  • 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.

5. Keap

successful marketing processes

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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.

Pros:

  • Combines lead capturing, nurturing, pipeline management, invoicing, and payment all in one platform
  • Plenty of features while still easy to use
  • Stellar support team

Cons:

  • Some Keap customers complain of emails going to spam
  • Has a tendency not to save work if the program freezes or logs out unexpectedly

Cost:     Keap starts at $79 per month.

6. Autopilot

personalized email journeys

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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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

7. Act-On

marketing and sales tools

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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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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

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

8. Karta

lead behavior

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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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • It takes a long time to learn how to use the program effectively
  • Documentation and video tutorials are still in their infancy

Cost: Karta starts at $99 per month.

9. Marketo Engage

successful email campaigns

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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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Cost of entry can be prohibitively expensive for some
  • The interface feels dated and lacks the email design functions of many competitors

Cost: Marketo starts at around $1000 per month.

10. Pipedrive

automated email capabilities

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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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

11. EngageBay

pipeline management

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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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

12. SalesExec

customer support

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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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Limited integrations
  • 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.

intent data

What is Intent Data & How Can You Use It?

According to research, the average B2B buyer is already 67% of the way through the buying journey before having extended contact with a salesperson. By that time, they’ve likely formulated some ideas about possible solutions to their pain point. And might even be leaning toward buying from your competitor.

Intent data is the key to identifying those leads sooner, nurturing them earlier in their buying journey, and making more sales. This comprehensive guide will outline the fundamentals of intent data, including:

By the end, you should know exactly how intent data fits into your marketing and sales processes. You’ll also learn how to pick the right intent data supplier for your needs. So you don’t end up with the wrong strategy for your business.

What is Intent Data?

Intent data shows the likelihood that a person or company is in the market to purchase a solution for a pain point. It’s derived from information about the online research contact or account is conducting about a particular topic. As well as context clues that might signal their purchasing intention. Topic and context data are the two main types of intent data. Both rely on tracking cookies, cross-domain tracking and IP addresses to form a complete picture.

Topic Data

If a hiker needs to buy new hiking boots, she may scout online reviews of top brands. Before she ever goes to the store and tries on a pair. Anyone looking at her search history might assume she’s interested in the topic of “hiking boots”. The same is true of B2B leads and target accounts. Forrester claims that 68% of B2B buyers research by themselves, a significant increase from 53% in 2015.

In addition, 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before connecting with someone in sales. Even before signing up for a free trial of the software that might solve their problem, your lead is probably researching their pain point and weighing multiple options. Topic data tells you what they’re researching. There are four types of topic data available.

Anonymous First-Party Behavioral

These are unknown visitors to your company’s site and the actions they take while there. They haven’t yet filled out a form or explicitly revealed information about themselves. However, it’s possible to identify their company by tracking their IP address. unknown visitors A lead generation tool like LeadBoxer can help fill in the gaps and show more contact information about these otherwise anonymous visitors. Consequently giving a more complete picture of who they are and what they’re researching on your site.

Known First-Party Behavioral

These visitors to your company’s site have provided their contact information by filling out a form, therefore they are “known” individuals. Lead generation or marketing automation software can track what pages they visit and other ways they engage with the site.

Anonymous Third-Party Behavioral

These are unknown visitors to sites you don’t own but that might still be relevant to your business. You can track different topics over a network of sites and see what’s most popular.

aberdeen intent data

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If you’re a supplier of project management solutions, and someone from a company that fits your ideal customer profile is reading articles about “project management” on Business Insider, you can access that information through intent data suppliers. A few of which we’ll review in a future section.

Known Third-Party Behavioral

These are visitors to sites you don’t own that have shared some of their contact information. Like with anonymous third-party behavioral, you can access their information and the topics they’re researching through the right supplier.

Context Data

Context data tells you whose intent data is valuable and who only has a passing interest in a topic. There are a few details that are especially useful for establishing context.

Job Title

If a sales professional is researching “sales pipeline management”, it’s possible they’re looking for a CRM tool that can help manage leads. If a marketing professional or content creator is researching the same topic, it may be more likely that they’re putting together a blog, video, or another piece of content on the subject.

Job Postings or Leadership Changes

Job postings and leadership changes can tell you whether or not to reach out to a lead. If you sell advertising services but the target account is in the process of looking for a new marketing director, now might not be the best time to approach them. And if the account has announced the recent hire of a marketing director, it’s a better opportunity to pounce and offer a better option than what the predecessor left behind.

New Funding

A new round of funding is another indicator that a company could be open to new solutions, both because they have a bigger budget and because they may be growing their operation and need more sophisticated tools to manage their company.

New Legislation

Did new legislation just pass that requires an account to operate their company in a certain way, or opens them up to new business? If you have the solution they need in response to these changes, this context lets you know if you should act.

Press

Keep a close eye on accounts that make the news. Press about an expansion of operations or increase in earnings might indicate that they need new solutions, while bad press may mean that they need some space to do damage control before focusing on other things. However, not all bad press is a sign to stay away. If an account makes the news for poor customer service, maybe now is the time to reach out and offer information about your CRM software.

What to Use Intent Data For

There are several uses for intent data, but before diving into the specifics, know that if your competitor isn’t already using intent data, they might soon. Polls show that nearly a quarter of B2B companies are already using intent data, while another 35% plan to use it within the next 12 months. Using intent data in some capacity will become increasingly necessary to stay competitive. These are the main ways that it can benefit your business.

Reaching Leads Early

The most obvious use of intent data is to establish contact with leads earlier in the buying journey. Getting in touch with leads before other salespeople do is one of the biggest ways to get a leg up on the competition; research shows that in 70% of cases, the first salesperson to connect with a lead is ultimately who they give their business to.

Lead Prioritization

Context data can help make a distinction between who is actively researching a pain point and who is just reading about a certain topic without any intention of making a purchase. This information illuminates whether or not a lead fits your ideal customer profile. prioritize leads A tool like LeadBoxer quickly shows you the highest priority leads by allowing you to search by filters such as location, industry, and company size.

Automated Outreach

First-party leads that give off certain signals can trigger automatic marketing or sales processes, such as an email series, that can instantly start nurturing them when it matters most.

Account-Based Marketing

Hone in on what content works best at engaging first-party leads, and what needs more refining.

Personalization of Outreach

By knowing what topics and articles leads are researching, sales agents can personalize how they make contact and develop a relationship with them. They can mention specific topics and establish relevance quickly to capture and hold a lead’s attention.

Targeted Advertising

Get even more granular with your advertising strategy by honing in on leads who give off certain signals. That way, you’re not wasting any of your advertising dollars on people who only have a passing interest but have no intention of buying your product.

Targeted Account List

Develop a list of accounts who are engaging with third-party sites about relevant topics but aren’t yet engaging with your company. You’ll be able to connect with leads who your sales team might have otherwise never considered.

Analyze and Retain Customers

Intent data works with existing customers, too. Monitoring what current clients are researching so you know if they’re thinking about switching to a competitor or if there’s something you can upsell them on. With intent data in your toolbox, you can continue to anticipate and solve problems long after the initial purchase has been made.

How to Obtain Intent Data

There are several intent data vendors out there who can help you access intent data on your site or data available on third-party sites.

First-Party Intent Data Vendors

First-party intent data is nothing new. You may already have access to some thanks to free tools such as Google Analytics. Other vendors can provide you more details about who is visiting your site and turn anonymous visitors into known visitors.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free tool that monitors the activity on a site, such as page views and how visitors arrived at the site. While it can’t identify individuals, it can hone in on IP addresses and show you what accounts are active on the site.

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In the example above, several businesses use branded aliases, making it possible to identify which accounts are visiting a site. However, Google Analytics can’t provide any further context than that. It also can’t go into detail about what the visitors’ unique actions were on the site.

LeadBoxer

LeadBoxer catalogs all known visitors to your website. If a visitor fills out a form, the information they provide automatically populates their profile within the software. LeadBoxer can then calculate a lead score for that person using other data points such as what pages they visited, what topics they seem most interested in, and how engaged they are with the site.

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With this information, you’ll know exactly when to act on a lead. LeadBoxer takes it one step further and can help identify previously unknown visitors. For example, if the visitor didn’t fill out a form but arrived at the site via LinkedIn, LeadBoxer can trace back to that person’s LinkedIn profile and use the information to populate the visitor’s information within the software.

BounceX

Like LeadBoxer, BounceX can identify many website visitors (40-70%) who would otherwise remain anonymous. It then creates personalized marketing experiences – similar to account-based marketing – for these visitors based on their engagement.

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BounceX can automatically engage with visitors who have not yet filled out a form or appear that they’re about to leave the site. In a way, it identifies users who are displaying intent and then begins to nurture them before a sales agent ever steps in.

While sophisticated, BounceX is said to have nearly a $4,000/month price tag, making it a serious investment for most businesses. It also doesn’t prioritize showing you accounts who express high intent but instead tries to let the AI nurture users through website personalization.

Third-Party Intent Data Vendors

If an account is researching topics around the web that are relevant to your product or service, these solutions will help you find them.

Bombora

Bombora can tell you what companies are expressing active intent to purchase your products or services long before someone from that company ever lands on your site. This tool does this by monitoring 6,000 intent topics across 3,800+ publisher websites.

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Bombora only tracks IP addresses, cookie IDs, and company domains provided by the publishers’ registration data. They can tell you what companies are expressing intent, but they can’t tell you exactly which employee is doing the research or who your sales team should engage with. In short, there’s no context data with this vendor.

Aberdeen

Aberdeen bought The Big Willow, and intent data supplier, back in 2018. They offer a lot of the same value that Bombora does but take it a step further by integrating their solutions into Salesforce.

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Companies expressing active intent pop up in the Salesforce dashboard so sales teams know exactly which accounts to jump on. You can also see how those accounts will impact the pipeline. You can also choose to integrate Aberdeen Marketscape, a product that shows all the topic keywords researched by each account showing intent.

This helps establish more context. If you’re not already using Salesforce, getting started with Aberdeen’s intent data (and then Marketscape) might be a little too complicated and cost-prohibitive.

How to Select an Intent Data Vendor

There are several different suppliers of intent data out there. It’s important to work with the one that best fits the needs and size of your company, or else you risk losing time and money. Here are a few considerations to keep at the top of mind when screening vendors.

How many sites are in the vendor’s network?

Ask this question if you’re considering third-party data vendors. The network refers to the websites they monitor, which tend to be publisher sites like Forbes. The larger the network, the better, as this gives them a bigger pool of data to draw from.

How many topics does the vendor monitor?

Third-party data vendors monitor a finite amount of topics. At the time of this writing, Bombora claims to have nearly 6,000 topics in their system, while Aberdeen claims to have hundreds of thousands of keywords at their disposal.

Can the vendor give context?

On its own, a list of names and topics they’re researching isn’t very useful. You need context to know if their company fits your ideal customer profile, as well as what their job title is and if they have any purchasing authority. Third-party data vendors can’t give much context at this time, but some solutions for first-party intent data can.

How to Use Intent Data

Trying to make use of intent data in its raw form is inefficient. Intent data works best when used to calculate a lead score. A lead score is a concise, visual way to describe how promising the lead is and therefore how much it’s worth pursuing them.

Some solutions, like LeadBoxer, will not only capture intent data but will automatically input it into a lead score. You can adjust what data points to use for calculating a lead score based on the needs of your company. set lead score 900

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Here are three of the most important factors to keep in mind when adjusting what data points to use for a lead score.

Fit

This is as simple as asking the question: does this lead fit our ideal customer profile? Are they the right size company, in a certain location, etc.? If an account showing active intent doesn’t fit the mold of your ideal customer, then their lead score will go down.

Intent

Take into consideration not only the topics researched by that account but the frequency and recency of the research.

Engagement

Has this account not only engaged with relevant third-party pages, but with your site or social media profiles? A solid first-party data vendor will be able to track and show you individual actions. Use that information to increase their lead score. track actions The more specific the data points used to calculate a lead score, the more accurate and useful the lead score will be. This will help weed out accounts that aren’t the right fit or are researching topics without having any intent to buy a product or service.

When Intent Data Isn’t Enough

Intent data isn’t a magic bullet for identifying leads earlier. There are limitations to this technology that will hopefully improve as time goes on. Be aware of the following when incorporating intent data into your marketing and sales processes.

When a Visitor is Registered Under the Wrong IP Address

If an unknown visitor to your site or a third-party site is registered under the wrong IP address, you won’t be able to tell what company they work for. This often happens by accident but nevertheless makes it impossible to identify the correct account.

When a Buyer is Conducting Research Out-of-Network

Third-party intent data vendors like Bombora and Aberdeen don’t aggregate data from every corner of the internet. They only draw information from sites within their networks. If a buyer is researching on sites not covered by that network, then you’ll never know.

Decay Rate of Third-Party Data

Given the amount of content people consume regularly, you shouldn’t expect sales agents to always be able to reach out to a lead and reference content they read a week or two earlier.

Third-Party Data Lists Account But No Contacts

Bombora and Aberdeen only list the account, not the contact information of the individual who was searching.

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While it’s certainly useful to know which accounts have an interest, you’re still limited by not knowing who to reach out to.

When Used At the Expense of a Sustainable Sales Pipeline

Relying on intent data is no reason not to have robust marketing strategies that help draw new leads into your sales pipeline. Like most sales tactics, it’s best used in tandem with other processes.

Get an Edge Over the Competition With Intent Data

Intent data is a hot technology that more and more businesses are using to gain an edge over their competitors. By seeing what topics leads are researching, you can reach out to them sooner and have a better chance at closing the deal. While it’s not the end-all, be-all way to keep your sales pipeline full, it is a valuable tool to have at hand.

Third-party intent data still isn’t as precise as some would hope it to be. Vendors can only provide accounts, not individual contacts, and don’t offer much in the way of context data. Third-party data also decays more quickly than first-party data.

Some first-party data is free and already at your fingertips via Google Analytics. A tool like LeadBoxer can keep you apprised of who exactly is visiting your site whether or not they’ve filled out a form. It’s also easy to get context data and use each data point to calculate a lead score, showing you exactly which leads to act upon at that moment.

If you haven’t already started taking advantage of the intent data laying untapped on your site, now is a great time to start. Try a free trial of LeadBoxer today.

Looking for more qualified leads?

We offerLead Identification and Lead intelligence through website & email tracking

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sales prospecting tools

30 Sales Prospecting Tools to Fill Your Pipeline

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.

In this guide, you’ll find:

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

 

1. LeadBoxer

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.

Looking for more qualified leads?

We offer Lead Identification and Lead intelligence through website & email tracking

Watch Video or Book Demo

2. Dux-Soup

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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.

3. LeadSift

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).

4. Capterra

Price: It’s free!

Description:

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.

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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.

5. MatterMark

Price: Starts at $49/month.

Free trial: Yes! You get 14 days.

Description:

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).

6. CrunchBase

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.

7. LimeLeads

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Price: Professional Plan – $11.25/month, Turbo Plan – $41.25/month

Free trial: Yes + limited free forever plan

What it’s all about:

LimeLeads is a great tool for sales prospecting as it doesn’t cooperate with fake data.

The tool was built by a bunch of B2B marketing veterans that were sick of a lack of credible data being available. Its main goal is getting you prospect lists that are accurate.

The tool integrates with CRMs and will enable sales teams to put together a list of prospects in 30 seconds or less.

8. Salespanel.io

Price: Custom pricing plans depending on your needs.

Free trial: Yes + free forever plan.

What it’s all about:

Salespanel.io is a relatively new tool in the sales space. The tool scrapes your website visitors and tracks their activity.

It finds the person’s social media profiles, company details and bio before feeding them straight back into your dashboard to follow up.  

9. ZoomInfo

Price: Custom pricing depending on your needs

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:

ZoomInfo is a huge database that can help your sales team qualify prospects.

It gives you more than just a company’s name and address. It can also find an email address of key decision makers in a company. 

Tools for Finding Email Addresses

10. ViolaNorbert

Price: Starts at $39/month

Free trial: Yes, your first 50 leads are free

What it’s all about:

To use VoilaNorbert, you’ll need a prospect’s first name, last name, and company website. In return, you’ll get their email details:

11. Hunter

Price: Starts at $39/month

Free trial: First 100 email lookups are free

What it’s all about:

Hunter is a Google Chrome extension that can dig up any email addresses linked to a specific domain name.

If you are looking for an address for a key decision maker but you can’t find it, Hunter will figure out a pattern behind the company’s email addresses so you can effectively guess the email.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to get in touch with Mirko Rakic, a software engineer at Hunter. Just let the tool do its thing:

We are going to hazard a guess that Mirko’s email is mirko@hunter.io

The tool also has a Google Sheets add-on so you can gather email addresses in bulk automatically, and then add them to your CRM.

12. Prospect.io

Price: $99/month for 1000 leads.

Free trial: No

What it’s all about:

Prospect.io is one of the few sales prospecting tools on this list that can integrate with most big name CRMs.

Apart from being able to work with CRMs like Salesforce and Hubspot, you can build and manage email campaigns from the tool’s dashboard as well.

If you’re working on Google Chrome, Prospect.io has a custom extension to use on the browser.

13. SellHack

Price: Starts at $3/month for 100 leads

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:

SellHack sells itself as a tool for sales reps who want to completely automate the prospecting process.

The tool can gather a list of prospects automatically, so sales teams can spend more time closing.

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But you won’t get a list full of bogus emails either—SellHack verifies every single email it pulls through LinkedIn.

14. LeadFuze

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.”

15. AeroLeads

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.

16. Skrapp

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

17. Charlie

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?

18. Owler

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.

19. Crystal

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Price: Starts at $29/month

Free trial: No

What it’s all about:

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.

20. Nudge

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.

21. Mention

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?

22. Siftery

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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.

23. Apollo.io

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.

24. Emissary

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

25. PandaDoc

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.

26. Calendly

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.

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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.

27. Outreach

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.

28. Boomerang

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.

30. GlobalMeet

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.

Looking for more qualified leads?

We offer Lead Identification and Lead intelligence through website & email tracking

Watch Video or Book Demo

1

MQL vs. SQL? What’s the Difference and Why Does it Matter?

Our world is full of acronyms. And while there’s no shame in asking a colleague to define terms, few of us feel comfortable raising a hand in a crowded meeting and asking a speaker to unpack a sentence. Consider MQL vs. SQL. You may know that the “L” in these terms stands for “Leads.” If you’re in sales or marketing, you may even be tasked with increasing MQLs or SQLs.

However, that is a basic understanding. Digging in a little deeper about the similarities, differences, and uses of these two terms can help you to be even more effective. Let’s learn more about both.

Defining Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)

The acronym MQL stands for “Marketing Qualified Lead.”

In the shortest definition we could find, courtesy of Hubspot, an MQL is a person that is more likely to become a customer when compared to a typical person.

Think of it this way: Many people may connect with your company. They may visit your website, attend your webinars, or chat with you at a trade show.

For some of these people, the goods and services you offer are exactly what they’re looking for. But for others, your product or service is not a good fit. They may never be in the position to buy anything from you at all.

The people in that first group — those who are interested and have the potential to buy your product — are your MQLs.

Separating MQLs from unqualified leads typically involves using a lead-scoring program. You’ll assign a certain set of points to actions people might take, such as:

  • Reading an email message you sent.
  • Chatting with you on social media.
  • Downloading an ebook.
  • Filling out an online form.

Once people have amassed enough points, due to all of the actions they’ve taken over time, they can be considered MQLs.

They’ve shown enough interest that it seems likely they are ready to deepen the conversation with someone — typically in sales — within your company.

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Defining Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)

The acronym SQL stands for “Sales Qualified Lead.”

This person has not only shown a deep interest in your products and services, but they have also shown some sort of intent to purchase. They not only like what you offer, but they actually need to buy what you sell. They also may need to make that purchase in the near future.

While defining an MQL can be done through automated software that assigns scores, defining an SQL is a little trickier. Typically, this is something that involves a conversation between someone in sales and the potential lead.

An SQL:

  • May have specific questions about how your product works or how much it costs.
  • And may not understand how your product fits into the other products they’re using.
  • May not be entirely sure the solution is right for them.
  • May not be able to find the answers they need in the marketing materials they’ve seen so far.

People like this need to have a discussion with sales.

At the end of that discussion, if the salesperson senses a real opportunity, this person moves into the SQL category.

Why Does Knowing the Difference Between MQL vs. SQL Matter?

You may be wondering why it’s so crucial to understand whether someone is an MQL or an SQL. After all, a lead is a lead, right?

Not quite.

Understanding where your leads fall into these two categories can help you understand who should be in charge of that next conversation. This could mean the difference between making or losing a sale.

For example, we’ve long been told that people move through a traditional sales funnel in which they become aware of a product, consider options, make a decision, and then become an evangelist for the brand.

While this simplified form of a sale might still make sense in some industries, others consider their sales moving through more of a “tornado”.

In this model, users are consuming a great deal of information throughout the entire journey, and they may bounce back and forth between channels.

They may use social media posts in the awareness phase, for example, and then leap back to social media to evaluate solutions and understand usage. They may swing far away from the product before purchase, rolling out to e-commerce before finally deciding to look at a product catalog.

Consumers are doing a lot of the heavy lifting here, and they’re relying on marketing resources to guide the conversation

Pushing a savvy consumer to sales at the wrong time could cause a sense of pressure, and that could derail the sale. These people are doing their own homework. They’re not ready to talk yet.

Similarly, connecting a consumer with sales too early means sales must inform the consumer about the product’s ins and outs — and that’s a task best left to marketing.

On the flip side, sending a lead to sales too late might lead to missed opportunities. By the time these people get to the sales team, they may have made a decision and chosen a competitor.

When you have a firm understanding of the typical steps a consumer takes in order to become marketing qualified, and when you know what sorts of behaviors seem to suggest that a purchase is right around the corner, you’ll be well positioned to guide and shape these crucial conversations.

The Transition from MQL to SQL

By now, it’s probably clear to you that an SQL begins life in the company as an MQL. But this move from one state to the other isn’t spontaneous and organic. It requires an ongoing nurturing and communication process. It’s here that many opportunities are lost.

A handoff meeting between marketing and sales can be vital.

The marketing team can offer up a list of all of the resources the person has consumed over a period of time, typically pulled from marketing automation software program, which can help to guide the sales process.

For example, if the prospect has been almost exclusively researching one specific type of product, the salesperson knows the product that should open up a conversation.

Similarly, the salesperson can walk in the customer’s footsteps and read back through all of those resources, looking for knowledge gaps that the consumer might have. Those are ideal conversation starters that can pull the sale forward.

What happens if the sales call didn’t go as planned? This could be a sign that the MQL isn’t so “qualified” after all, but all hope isn’t lost.

When marketing teams are aware of this issue, they can add the person back into the content marketing program.

Maybe a series of follow up email messages about key features, or an invitation to a webinar, could help encourage a deeper level of comfort with the product. In a few weeks or months, that person really could be marketing qualified, and the next sales call could be a touch smoother.

MQL vs. SQL: Putting Theory into Action

While defining an MQL vs. SQL is vital — it’s also personal. That means there’s no handy template you can download in order to sort your leads. Instead, you’ll need to have some in-depth conversations within your sales and marketing teams. You’ll need to discuss your:

  • Customer personas.
  • Typical time to close projects.
  • Marketing resources.
  • Customer/prospect lists.
  • Lead scoring method.

You’ll need to think about how each persona interacts with your company during each buying phase. You will define what steps are meaningful and signal a deeper commitment.

You’ll also identify the assets you’re missing that could compel action. Those are the decisions that will help set up your lead scoring method. You’ll use them to understand how an MQL is passed to sales — and what comes next.

When you have a theory in place, sales and marketing will need to keep that conversation going. It’s vital for marketing to know more about the leads that sales finds easiest to convert.

How long have these leads been in the pipeline? What assets did they touch? And what sorts of companies are they from? What are their titles?

Sales teams may encourage their marketing colleagues to lock MQL rules down tight. That way, the leads they’re given almost always convert into SQLs and sales.

Unfortunately, a system that’s calibrated too carefully can lead to very empty, loose sales pipelines. And that can leave sales teams with little — or nothing — to do all day.

Meeting regularly to discuss opportunities won, opportunities lost and lessons learned can help the entire group to come up with a plan for the future.

Ready to Get Started?

Identifying MQL vs. SQL starts with capturing the right data. We can help you grab that data.

Use LeadBoxer to track activity from all of your leads at all stages of the purchase cycle. Try it for free to get the data you need in real time. Or, schedule a demonstration. We’d love to show you how it works.

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Looking for more qualified leads?

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DiSC profiling

How the DiSC Profiling Method Can Help You Manage Your Leads

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 add a DiSC colors to your Target Customer Profile and try to adapt your overall communication to it. That is to say your website (landing page), your content (blog, posts), etc…

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.

yvan-salesbox

Yvan de Canson

Content Marketer at Salesbox

trackin lead engagement

Tracking Lead Engagement Over Time

Lead Generation and Analytics

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.
  • Confirms which lead generation strategies are most effective.
  • 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:

In May 2017, we conducted a survey of 300 businesses based in North America to find out their main lead generation challenges, the best channels for generating high quantity and quality leads, new lead gen trends, and the effect of software.

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)
  • Conversion rates can improve by 300% with CRM in place (Cloudswave)
  • Customer service can improve by 47% with CRM (Capterra)
  • Overall, 74% of businesses using CRM report better customer relationships (Software Advice)
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Understanding “Warm Leads”

Freelance Writer Alex Levitov

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. warm-leads-leadboxer

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. This makes it a 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 They 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 are ready to 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 are primed 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 lead understands precisely where every person 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.

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 calls. 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 will be willing to invest 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 with confidence.

A business is better of investing all their efforts on warm leads rather than cold leads due to the higher probability of conversion. You might have ten cold leads in hand, but compared to them one warm lead is always a better use of your time. Firstly, it is difficult to try and monitor tend cold leads. A person who is familiar with your name or the name of your company and has taken an interest 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 list of email addresses, phone numbers, and data packs. 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 links 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 leads 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 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 to your business. This not only improves the SEO but automatically alters the feel of the conversation. The tables are now turned in your direction, and 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. 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 content for free. Now it is up to the reader whether they share the content you sent with co-workers or friends. What matters is that you have managed to catch their interest and are on 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 conversation. Once you are able to determine what attracted the lead to your website in the first place, it’s easy to work out the issues they are trying to solve. Your sales team can help you with this.

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 business is 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 business as soon as you get it. Social media metrics are a great way to become familiar with your audience and their needs. 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 reach new customers; customers 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. So your company could try this out. Even telemarketing is capable of providing positive results if forearmed with the right sort of information.

Email

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

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

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

robert novorolsky

How to Contact Leads

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:

  1. Lead name (a person or company)
  2. Contact details
  3. Subject matter

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.

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How to contact leads with LinkedIn

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.

 

Best Practises

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.

 

Step-by-step

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)

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Giving Product Tours Doesn’t Work for User Onboarding

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.

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How to use LeadBoxer to reach your leads on LinkedIn

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?”