Sales

Automated Lead Sales Intelligence Platforms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lead generation priorities of marketers

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

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

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

This report studied eight channels of marketing automation: 

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

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

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

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

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

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Shaped Automated Software

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

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

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

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

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

The Future of Lead Generation and Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation Valuable Features

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key Takeaways

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Benefits of Sales Team Diversity

The Benefits of Sales Team Diversity

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

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

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

Diversity Drives Increased Sales

Reasons to create more inclusive work groups

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Widening Your Lead Pool

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Increasing ROI With Diversity and Inclusion

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

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

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

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

inclusive practices will pave the way for future success.

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

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

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

Improving Customer Satisfaction

Importance of inclusive and diverse marketing ads

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key Takeaways

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

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

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

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

Lead Generation Strategies that Boost Sales

Lead Generation Strategies that Boost Sales

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

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

Update Your Website

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

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

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

Don’t Overwhelm Visitors With Options 

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

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

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

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

Put in the Effort to Tell People Who You Are

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

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

Information to put on the website homepage

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

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

Get Information on Who Visits Your Website

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

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

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

Utilize Effective Landing Pages

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

Keep Your Landing Pages Simple 

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

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

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

Include Testimonials on Your Landing Pages 

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

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

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

Have a Mobile-Friendly Landing Page 

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

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

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

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

Remove Menus From Your  Landing Pages

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

Upgrade Your Content

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

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

Start Blogging and do it Consistently

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

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

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

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

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

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

Email Marketing is Your Friend

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

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

Lead generation difficulty and effectiveness by channel.

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

Get Active Online

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

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

Get Active on Twitter

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

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

Lead generation on twitter

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

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

How Intent Data Can Increase Sales Conversions 3

How Intent Data Can Increase Sales Conversions

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

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

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

What is Intent Data?

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

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

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

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

Gaining Insight Through Behavioral Data

Intent Data Uses for B2B Digital Marketing Strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First Party Intent Data Vs. Third Party Intent Data

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Privacy Concerns and Third Party Intent Data

Difference Between First, Second & Third Party Data Intent

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

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

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

Internal Data and Its Importance to Closing Deals

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

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

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

Creating Customer Profiles Based on Internal Data

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

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

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

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

Providing Insight to Identify, Segment, and Score Leads

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

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

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

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

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

16 Best WordPress Plugins for Business

16 Best WordPress Plugins for Business

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

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

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

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

1. WPForms

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

2. MonsterInsights

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

3. All in One SEO

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

4. OptinMonster

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

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5. PushEngage

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

6. Shared Counts

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

7. WPML

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

8. WooCommerce

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

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9. Nextiva

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

10. Ahrefs

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

11. Smash Balloon

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

12. BuzzSumo

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

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13. WP Super Cache

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

14. Pure Chat

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

15. MailChimp for WordPress

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

16. LeadBoxer

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

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

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

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Lead Types: How to Determine Your Sales Lead Temperature

Learn how to properly identify the different lead types and determine your sales lead temperature in this ultimate guide.

Have you ever played a game where you hide something and give clues like “getting hotter” or “getting colder” until the person eventually finds it? Working with and nurturing leads is kind of like that.

  • The warmer a lead, the closer they are to buying.
  • If a prospect is cold, it means you need to keep providing the lead with information until they are ready to buy.
  • It isn’t always easy to recognize the signs indicating which lead type you’re dealing with, which is why we created this guide.

Keep reading to learn how to rate each sales lead temperature and how the right lead scoring system helps you correctly categorize all of your leads.

You can also choose to “jump ahead” to the following subtopics:

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What Are the Different Sales Lead Temperature?

A sales lead is someone who is in the market for your service or product. This person fits your criteria for being an ideal client and would benefit from what your company offers.

These lead types are segmented into three major categories:

  1. Cold lead
  2. Warm lead
  3. Hot Lead

The ability to recognize sales lead temperature is essential for establishing where leads are in the funnel. This information aids in finding the sweet sales spot to ensure successful conversions.

Cold Lead Definition

Cold leads are those who ft your target audience but haven’t yet interacted with your company or brand. These leads are the farthest from converting and need to be educated about your company’s mission, exactly what you offer, and why your product/service is the right solution for meeting their specific needs.

This lead is not ready to buy in any capacity. If you try to make the sale at this stage, you may alienate and lose them altogether. Instead, focus on warming the potential client up through high-level, informational content.

Warm Lead Definition

Warm leads are closer to converting because they have shown some interest in your product or service. They may have searched a business on Google that offers a comparable product or service or even visited your website. A warm lead may have also engaged with one of your social media posts or clicked a link in an email.

These types of leads are categorized as warm because they’ve already had some interaction with your product or service so they are at least acquainted with what your business offers. This means they are actively researching solutions and are looking to buy in the near future.

Hot Lead Definition

A hot lead often referred to as a qualified lead, is a lead that is very interested in what your company does and is ready to buy. This person has been to multiple sites, talked to people about their solutions, and has likely eliminated the competition.

It’s essential to recognize the buying signals for each lead type, so you’re prepared to move them along the customer journey.

Buying Signals for Lead Types

There are surefire buying signals you need to be keenly aware of to be an effective salesperson. Typically cold leads aren’t going to emit any buying signs, but there are ways to identify when a lead is cold.

How to Tell if You Have a Cold Lead

If you see a new lead on your dashboard and have nothing more than a name or an email, that’s a cold lead. These leads haven’t interacted with your company and don’t know about you or your service/product.

How to Tell if Your Lead Is Warming Up

You’ll start to notice a lead is warming up when you see them interact with your brand more. Maybe they fill out a form to download a PDF, or they sign up for a free trial of your software. At this point, they’re familiarizing themselves with your brand and deciding if you’re the right solution for them.

If you’re going to reach out to this person, it shouldn’t be to convince them to buy, but rather, to offer additional support if needed. As a sales representative, you need to show them that your company cares about how they use your services and wants to be the helping hand they need when they have questions.

At this point in the sales cycle, you still may not be sure whether the lead is qualified or not. Thankfully, there are questions you can ask to help determine where they are in the buying process.

How to Tell If My Lead Is Hot?

Only when a lead comes to you and asks about pricing, signing a contract, or getting started should you try and close them. You can nudge them in the right direction by asking them how their free trial went once it’s over,  but a lead isn’t truly a hot lead until they ask for concrete steps to move forward.

If you think you have a hot lead but aren’t sure, try a soft close. An example of this would be letting them know you have a deal going on but not asking them to purchase. Let them tell you they want to buy.

The Importance of Sales Lead Management

Sales lead management is the overall lead qualification process for a business. The flow a lead generally goes through is:

  1. Identified: A lead is recognized.
  2. Educated: A lead learns about your brand.
  3. Engaged: The lead has performed an action with your company.
  4. Qualified: The lead is qualified and is ready to purchase.
  5. Passed On To Sales: Sales has the lead and is closing it.

As a sales manager, you need to be clear about the sales process and determine the parameters for a lead’s temperature. Without setting clear guidelines and expectations, your sales team won’t know how to move a prospect through the temperatures and turn them into a hot lead.

By creating a winning lead strategy, you can expect to see your team more confident in their sales. They will also be more capable of closing deals and building long-lasting relationships with your new clients.

It is tough to look at those five stages and manually move leads around to serve them best. That’s why lead management software is a great choice to help classify a sales lead temperature.

Why You Should Use a Lead Management Software to Determine Sales Lead Temperature

A CRM can boost your sales by up to 29% and has proven to increase productivity by 34%. Getting the right lead management software helps you to warm leads up and increases the amount of time your sales team is selling rather than prospecting.

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Automatic Lead Tagging

A lead management software will automatically tag and filter your leads to show you the ones that need interaction with you. After setting up the parameters for a cold, warm, and hot lead, your sales team will save time by only focusing on the closest to-converting prospects.

Built-in Integrations

Lead management software is typically built with numerous integrations to make your daily life easier. These integrations can help warm up your leads by sending them relevant emails to inform and encourage them to keep interacting with your brand.

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Superior Tracking Abilities

When it comes to understanding a lead’s temperature, don’t underestimate the importance of tracking your prospect’s actions. IP tracking will tell you when a prospect comes to your site, opens your emails, and what they end up doing with that information.

Knowing what they interact with and what they ignore will help you tailor your sales pitch to meet their unique needs.

Advanced Segmenting

Using filters helps to remove clutter in your dashboard. Filters and segments enable you to focus your efforts on leads that are inside your target audience.

You can filter data such as a company’s name, the business’s size, where their head office is, and how they initially found your business. From there, your lead management software will be able to automatically send targeted messages to help move prospects through the funnel.

Lead Qualification

Good lead management software helps you segment your leads and enables you to qualify leads. Knowing how to qualify a lead is a skill that all salespeople and marketers are constantly working to perfect. Don’t try to do it all yourself; allow the software to help make the process easier and more efficient.

Notifications

When you use the right lead system, you’ll automatically be notified when someone interacts with your site, indicating they are ready to buy. You no longer have to rely solely on identifying the signals yourself. You can trust your software to alert you of critical actions your prospects are taking.

To begin using an automated lead generating and nurturing system, request your free LeadBoxer trial today!

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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.

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Yvan de Canson

Content Marketer at Salesbox

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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.

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Why are Warm Leads Better for Your Business?

Contribution from freelance writer Jackie Wills

Anyone involved in sales and marketing knows that developing sales through cold calling (cold leads) can be a thankless and frustrating task. In the modern age, though, an effective digital marketing strategy can mean that prospective clients already know all about your business and are ready to convert into customers with just a little encouragement. Welcome to the world of warm leads. An effective web presence and strong social media engagement means that the word is already out there regarding your business. People will be aware of your service and your unique selling points, and the whole sales dynamic becomes easier and more successful. This means better conversion rates and less time wasted on trying to develop interest in your product or service from scratch.

Is cold calling dead?

Everyone has experience of a cold call, whether it is a telephone call from a double glazing company, an unsolicited email offering you car insurance or a catalogue through your letterbox. Cold calls do generate some sales leads, or nobody would be doing them, but generation and conversion rates are poor. An increasing number of people block unsolicited calls and emails, and there is a school of thought that cold calling is no longer worth the effort. In the majority of cases, cold calls get you off on the wrong foot with the customer and put you at an instant disadvantage. They are suspicious of you and your motives, they never asked you to call and you probably interrupted them in the middle of dinner. Not the best start for a successful future.

What are warm leads?

A warm lead is someone who has already shown an interest in your product or service. They might have taken a look at your website or signed up for an email newsletter. Or perhaps they have followed you on social media or read an article or blog post that you have published. At the very least, you can be confident that warm leads are aware of and are interested in your product or service and have demonstrated an interest in learning more about it. They are far more promising than cold leads, as the initial “foot in the door” part is not necessary. There will not be the same level of suspicion and reluctance to engage. Many warm leads will approach you, rsocather than you having to chase them, but there are others that just need a little push in the right direction.

Getting hotter – qualified leads

A qualified lead is one that is a step further on in the buying cycle. While warm leads are aware of what you have to offer, a qualified lead is one that specifically needs that product or service. For example, if you operate an Italian restaurant in New York, then warm leads might be those who look at your social media pages and sign up for newsletters. They know something about your restaurant, and might be prepared to give it a try if they were in the neighborhood. Compare this with someone who has googled “Italian restaurant in New York” – this is a qualified lead, as it is someone who is specifically looking for a service just like yours.

Focus on Warm Leads

SEO experts Search Engine Journal carried out some research on warm leads versus cold, and the results are remarkable. They concluded that search-driven leads have a 14.6% close rate compared to just 1.7% for cold leads. This is simply because warm leads are already better prospects. Cold calls mean a lot of wasted time on prospects who have given no thought to your offering.

Identifying warm leads

The digital age is all about big data. There is more information available regarding every part of a business than ever before. Everyone who clicks on a link, conducts a search or uses an app leaves a unique data stream. The amount of data that’s being created and stored every day is truly mind-boggling, and it just keeps growing. The company that makes the best use of the data at its disposal is the one that will gain an edge over its competitors, but in the grand scheme of things, only a small percentage of data is actually analyzed and used to make critical insights. By making use of online lead generation tools, you can identify who is visiting your website and why. This gives you some useful information as to what people are looking for, and how they are driven to you. It provides a ready-made list of warm leads for you to develop into paying customers.

Evaluating your best leads

You can achieve unprecedented conversion rates by using the latest proprietary algorithms to rank those warm leads and make sure you focus on the ones that are likely to bring the highest prospects of a completed sale. Traditional sales strategies have relied on what is known as the BANT approach to evaluate leads. In short, this evaluates the following parameters:

  • Budget: does the potential lead have the funds available to buy your product or service?
  • Authority: is your prospective buyer in the position to make the purchase decision, or will they have to seek approval from somebody else?
  • Need: do they have a specific need that the product or service will satisfy?
  • Time frame: are they in the market for your product now, or at some future date?

Conceptually, there is nothing wrong with the BANT approach, and it has become the go-to sales qualification methodology. However, it does have certain flaws and limitations. For example, the implication is that Budget is the first and most important consideration, when in reality, most people will agree that Need is most important. What is it that people want, what problems are they facing or questions do they seek answers to that have driven them to your business? Customer need should really be the first consideration of anyone in sales, and in order to understand that, you need to know your customers.

Understanding your customers

Customer personas are the basic characteristics of your customer base. They might include basic demographic information such as age, gender, income level and employment status, as well as non-identifiable personal data, including geographic location, personal goals, past behaviour and lifestyle. Through personas, you also learn why they are looking to interact with your business and what needs they think you can satisfy. This information is of critical importance as it helps you decide where to focus your marketing efforts. Traditionally, companies have defined their most valuable customers as those who spend the most money. However, that may be over-simplistic, and there are plenty of other factors to consider, including the following:

  • Acquisition costs: How much did you have to spend on sales and marketing to win this type of customer? If acquisition costs are high and returns are low, then it could be time to rethink your methods.
  • Retention costs: What do you need to do in order to keep your customers? Do they expect a large amount of communication, support or training? In general, acquisition costs are higher than retention costs, so it makes sense to do whatever you have to, in order to maintain a close relationship with your customers and give them no reason to look elsewhere.
  • Average purchase size: On average, how much does your customer spend on a single purchase? Consider this question not just in the aggregate, but by each persona or customer type. Bear in mind that people often make purchasing decisions on the basis of value, not just on price. Ask yourself whether you might sell more to any customer segments through carefully targeted promotions and by developing an awareness and interest in other product lines. Social media coverage can be great for promotions like this.
  • Lifetime value: Single purchases are great, but repeat purchases are better. How much does each segment spend with your business over the course of their lifetime? This metric says a lot about the overall relationship that you have with your customers.
  • Customer satisfaction: To what extent are your customers satisfied with your product or service offering? Can you identify groups of satisfied and dissatisfied customers? If so, what makes one group happy and the other group unhappy? This is a great way to identify areas for improvement, or it could be a case of needing to communicate better to manage customer expectations.
  • Value alignment: Are your target customers actually the people who are buying from you? If not, then who is? Knowing this will help you to further refine your customer segments, and to make sure you are perfectly aligned.

By examining the above metrics, you will have better knowledge than ever about your customers. Armed with this knowledge, you will be in the ideal position to develop those leads that can bring real long-term success to your business and ensure you maintain that all-important competitive edge. In our next article that you can find here, we have discussed our best Lead Generation strategies for 2017.