Best practices for lead generation, marketing automation and revenue generation topics.

Improve the Efficiency of Your Sales Team

Improve the Efficiency of your Sales TeamIf the primary function of your business is to provide a product or service to customers, you must ensure that you improve the efficiency of your sales team.  No matter how top notch your products or services may be, if your sales process is incompetent, eventually your business will suffer or fail.  We’ve collected and compiled some top ways to improve your sales processes.

Sales Pipeline Management: A Key to Success

Measuring your sales pipeline and its ROI are a challenging for any business.  But it’s the first step in the process of making sure your sales team is working smarter and not harder.  First, make sure you’re delivering attractive content to generate online traffic.  Keep track of metrics and data to track any stagnation and to calculate how long you expect each of your prospects to spend in your sales pipeline.  Identify each type of customer in your sales pipeline – this way you can tailor up-sell offers based on a prospect’s individual behavior.

Lead Sourcing

Make sure you’re spending time tracking which leads are likely to close.  Training your sales team on the three primary ways of calculating lead sourcing can lead to a more successful sales process:

  • A conversion rate will tell your team which sales sources are converting leads to opportunities.  Using a simple formula will assist you in comparing current sources with ones you hope to use in the future.  If you find that sources aren’t working for your leads – strategize with your marketing and sales team as to why this is the case.  Are you approaching the leads from this source in the wrong way or is this simply a case of the source being unattractive to the right customer?
  • Figuring out your lead to close length will give you information on how long a lead source takes to close.  Each source that you’re using will bring your company leads at different steps in the purchasing process.
  • Average value per lead calculations will tell you which sources provide you with the best customer fit, for the best value.  Do you want several smaller sales per month or one or two big sales?  Average value per lead will help you start devoting your time and effort into sources where the best leads are active, providing you with the type and frequency of sale that you want.

Sales and Marketing:  Working Together for the Best Leads

Collaboration between sales and marketing teams takes more than just a few monthly meetings.  Encourage your sales team to give marketing feedback on the leads received on a regular basis.  This will give your marketing team the chance to make adjustments to their marketing automation program.  Products marketers should share new product features with the sales team – this will make your sales team more knowledgeable on the products.

Pinpointing deficits in your leads funnels, using metrics to measure your lead sourcing, and ensuring that your sales and marketing team are working well together are all vital ways to ensure your success.

How Can I Generate More Leads?

How Can I Generate More Leads?When it comes to the best ways to generate sales leads, we all know that social media is a well-used platform.  However, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook usually generate few sales leads.  Let’s take a look at how we can utilize marketing automation in our goal to generate more leads and answer the question, how can I generate more leads?

Leveraging your Marketing Automation Program

Marketing automation has been shown to increase lead conversion and provide focused information on scheduling, tracking, and defining marketing programs and processes.  A marketing automation program gives you all the tools needed to generate leads and track them as they move through the sales funnel.  Real time analytics give you insight into where your leads are in the buying process and an average timeline on when you can expect them to buy.  This gives you the opportunity to personalize your messages to your leads depending upon their needs, instead of sending out generic messages that will often be ignored or deleted.

Marketing automation can also make capturing lead information easy and effective.  With a landing page, leads are able to quickly and easily enter their contact information or request your product catalog or a call about your services.  Using marketing automation effectively means that you will be able to track the success of landing pages and make adjustments where you see fit.

Another crucial area where marketing automation is effective lies in the content you’re posting on your blog.  Marketing automation is able to track the effectiveness of the information you’re posting – including how appealing it is to your leads and audience.  Figuring out the proper number of communications for your prospects will ensure your posts don’t wind up being overlooked or worse, deleted before they’re noticed or read.

Marketing Automation Helps Qualify Leads

Often, we make the mistake of including ALL leads in our communications.  This only causes good, qualified leads to fall among the wayside, lost in a crowd of leads that aren’t worth the time investment.  Marketing automation helps you qualify your leads by giving your marketers precision in all of their marketing processes.  By monitoring leads and gathering useful information, including what search terms they’ve used and what content they’ve viewed, marketing automation makes it easier to understand where the consumer is in the buying process.

It also makes it easier to score leads.  Lead scoring is a simple process of assigning number values to certain behaviors and attributes so you can measure the value of a lead.  This numerical value will help you determine whether the lead is to be passed onto the sales team or if the lead needs more information, content, or research.  Marketing automation will also score company demographics such as location, company size, and other criteria to ensure that the correct types of leads are being funneled to your company.

The marketing automation sector is expected to increase from $3.2 billion to $4.2 billion in 2015 – this is a significant increase and indicates the tremendous impact of marketing automation.  Adding marketing automation to your repertoire will add increased value to your business process and marketing department as a whole.

Ready to take the next step?  Let’s help you with adding marketing automation to your business repertoire!

Marketing Automation: Why Does Lead Nurturing Make Sense?

Why does lead nurturing make sense?Lead nurturing, the marketing process of developing relationships with leads regardless of their current timing to purchase, is a straightforward concept. But many don’t realize the importance of lead nurturing or how it can help. Let’s look at lead nurturing and how it relates to marketing automation.

Why Lead Nurturing Makes Sense

One of the biggest pros for lead nurturing is the ability to market personalized messages to prospects. These messages can be generic in nature but personalized to an audience that’s only in Lead Stage 1 of marketing automation. These leads have only just entered the market and do not have a current timeline for purchasing.

It’s important if you’re looking into automation not to just send leads cold emails. Your first objective for beginning lead nurturing is to establish permission to stay in contact with the lead. If your audience loses interest in your messages, they’ll unsubscribe from your mailing list or mark emails as spam.

Target Your Leads

Make sure you’re creating content that your visitors want to see. The more you can find out about a lead who’s visited your website, the better. By creating high quality content that is relevant to your leads, you’re increasing the possibility of converting leads to customers significantly. Make sure that when sending out your messages, you’re not overdoing it. Ask yourself: when’s the best time to send messages so you can ensure your prospects will see them? Answer that and then tailor your messages to be sent out at the best possible time.

Another best practice for lead nurturing that might seem like it’s coming from the stone age, is using plain text emails instead of HTML. A few lines of content and a personalized signature go a long way toward establishing an individualized message, which is targeted to your audience. HTML based emails are fine when sending out training tips or when the emails are clearly coming from the marketing department and not the sales department.

When Lead Nurturing Works

Lead nurturing is a powerful way to use marketing automation to stay in touch with prospects. When it works, you’re able to establish purchaser preference while also gaining useful knowledge about your prospects timing. If you’re ready to take the next best step with lead nurturing and marketing automation, contact us today! Lead Liaison staff would love to chat with you about your company’s individual marketing needs.

Is Visitor Tracking Violating Your Privacy Statement?

Visitor Tracking Could Violate Your Privacy Statement

Visitor Tracking Could Violate Your Privacy StatementDo you have a privacy statement?  If so, you might be violating it with many visitor tracking programs. It’s important to ask your self, is visitor tracking violating your privacy statement? Make sure you know what you’re getting into and who you’re dealing with.

Here is how it works.  Company A has a strong marketing effort.   They get 1,000,000 people to “opt-in” by submitting a form.  Visitor ID Company drops a cookie on the machine as part of the transaction, and tracks the behaviors of that party including visits so that it can create a better experience between Company A and the visitor.

Nothing wrong so far.

The trouble begins when Visitor ID Company wants to attract Company B.  They offer Company B a 7 or 14 day trial and use Company A’s database to correlate unique visitor IPs to their database.   Some have even been known to throw in “sample data” from a competitor’s traffic to show what could be achieved while the trial period is in progress.

Here are the problems:

  • Company A has just helped its competitor
  • Company A has breached its moral and legal obligations (in some cases) to its clients to protect their relationship
  • Company B is wasting sales time pursuing fake leads or bad data entered by company A
  • Visitor ID Company has mislead a prospect into buying results that are a representation of what could happen… under the guise that it just happened.

Long story short, you have just breached your customer’s data by working with a visitor tracking solution that shares data.   The good news is that there are a limited number of companies that DO NOT share data.   Those companies actually pull superior data for your sales team in the long term; because they don’t add the other company’s garbage (such as false records).

The downside, is that during a “trial” the company that is using gray-hat techniques will often seem to be a superior/easier to use solution.    So, be careful when conducting your trial and make sure that the vendors you look at are willing to sign a privacy policy that matches the ones you give to your prospects and customers.

How Does Marketing Automation Help Inbound Marketing?

How Marketing Automation Helps with Inbound MarketingOccasionally we run into customers that are fortunate enough to have way too much business. They’ve got more leads than they can handle. That sounds like a good problem to have, right? Well, what if there are so many leads that the organization has a hard time keeping up? This is a reality for some businesses. They fall behind as all of their leads are look-a-likes and some of them start falling through the cracks.

There are two solutions to this problem. First, make sense of the data and leads resulting from your inbound marketing. Second, use automation to transform the task of following up into an efficient, well oiled machine. In this post, we’ll focus on the first step, making sense of your inbound traffic and help you understand how does marketing automation help inbound marketing.

How Marketing Automation Helps with Inbound Marketing

There are three corner stones of making sense of your inbound marketing. We call these the “three Ps of inbound marketing”; profiling, prioritizing and pinging.

Profiling your Prospects

You’ve got to profile your prospects by building a clear picture of who they are and what they’ve done before coming into your lead funnel. Create a digital DNA of your prospects that combines demographics, online behavior and social information.

Prioritizing your Prospects

Prioritize your inbound marketing by automating the process of lead qualification. Most marketing automation systems use lead scoring and lead grading as two ways to prioritize website activity using any criteria. Marketing automation companies that get it right offer both automatic and manual lead scoring, for greater control. As inbound traffic comes in each of your prospect’s behavior is scored. The higher the score the hotter the lead. Lead grading helps you identify ideal buyers. These two pieces of criteria are then combined with other criteria, such as recency of activity, and placed on a hot lead dashboard, which simplifies the process of identifying who’s hot and who’s not.

Pinging you

You know your inbound marketing efforts are paying dividends when your prospects express key buying behavior. We call these Buy Signals at Lead Liaison. When a Buy Signal is triggered we alert you via text or email. If you’re buried in new leads its good to know when you need to follow up with the hot ones instead of treating everyone as equals.

Marketing Automation: Where Do I Begin?

Marketing Automation:  Where Do I Begin?Delivering the appropriate message to engage leads and customers is the biggest challenge for many marketing companies.  Marketing automation provides you with ways to generate leads and reach a broad audience.  But for those with little to no experience in Marketing Automation, it can be a harrowing journey to begin.

Understanding The Multiple Stages of Marketing Automation

If you’re asking yourself – “Marketing automation – where do I begin?” understand that marketing automation really begins with the right message at the right time, for the right audience.  Streamlining sales by delivering engaging content and advertisements targeted to your audience is the key for any successful marketing strategy.  Since marketing automation will always rely on adjustments based on how your communication strategy evolves, it’s essential that marketing professionals learn how to do this themselves, instead of relying on an IT team.

The second crucial step in marketing automation is creating lead stages.  Lead stages help you identify where your leads are in the process and how long before you can expect them to move on to the next stage.  On average, it takes a lead three times to research a purchase online before moving on to a salesperson.  Lead stages include the following:

  • Lead Stage 1:  This stage helps you find those leads that have just begun the process.  They have no identified timeline and have just started their search for solutions or products.
  • Lead Stage 2:  This second stage is a potential customer who knows exactly what he needs and wants but isn’t able to make a purchase yet.  These leads have ideas but are looking for approval from their team before moving forward.
  • Lead Stage 3:  Leads in Stage 3 are the best leads to offer demonstrations to.  Leads often have a short list of products in mind for their solution and many have already decided on which they prefer, even without a demonstration or sample.  Stage 3 is imperative for making the lead sees why they should set up a meeting with you, as opposed to your competitors.

Bringing it All Together

Making sure that content is personalized instead of generic will make your marketing automation a success.  Delivering messages that focus on your potential customer’s wants, needs, and interests while avoiding the harsh hard-sell approach is what you want.

Marketing automation makes this whole process much easier.  It will give you better insight into what your leads are doing, including content they are viewing and downloading; how they respond to emails, and where they are in sales process.  Each step of the way, you’re able to monitor and measure your marketing automation system, making incremental adjustments to ensure success.

Understanding Marketing Automation and Knowing Where to Begin

If you’re feeling lost in the process, don’t hesitate to chat with a Lead Liaison rep today! We know how and where to get you started and would love to take your business to the next level.

GPS Tracking for your Website

GPS Tracking for your WebsiteTracking teenagers is similar to tracking for your website.

Having children is a wonderful thing. As kids get older we create stronger bonds with them, and they become more precious than ever day by day. Then they become teenagers. They start to do whatever they want, or at least thing they can do. They begin driving and hanging out with the wrong crowd. How do parents control such rebellious behavior? You can’t. But at least you have options to monitor their behavior and when you see something that’s serious, you intervene. That one option is to track your kids. Nowadays you can buy magnetic vehicle tracking devices that you stick to the bottom of your car. Then you hop onto the companies software interface and monitor where the car is going. It’s all done via GPS and cell towers to monitor where the vehicle is going and at time it’s at different places. In this case, if you see your 17 year old at a bar at 11PM, you’ll know to have that conversation with him/her; otherwise, let them be a teenager.

The concept of the GPS tracking device can also be applied to business. Companies like us, Lead Liaison, smacks a GPS tracking device underneath the chassis of your company’s website. Every time you have a visitor, we’ll track their activity, their online behavior, to help you look for key events that indicate a call to action. Different from solutions like Google Analytics, website visitor tracking identifies businesses, not just internet service providers, that come to your site. Visitor tracking can also help you convert visitors into identified people. Kind of like scanning someone’s drivers license. When a visitor clicks a link in an email, watches a video, downloads a document, submits a form, etc. your visitor tracking solution grabs the persons email address and adds it to their profile. When the visitor comes back, the sales person gets a Buy Signal, indicating buying interest.

Learn more about how you can attach a GPS tracking device to your website. 

When Building an Email List, Don’t Buy!

When Building an Email List, Don’t Buy!Building an email list takes time. We all know this, yet something about the allure of buying emails and trying to “beat the system” captures the attention of many companies. It may seem at first that buying an email list is a great workaround – saving you from having to build a list organically and expend money and effort into lead gen – but at the end of the day, buying lists for sale could be hurting you more than helping you.

If you’re a company that’s built an email list via direct list purchasing, why should you stop doing this – and better yet, what can you do to get that legit list you’re looking for without a lot of legwork?

 

Building an Email List Organically – Stop Buying!

The minute you buy a list and execute emails to that list, you’re sending spam. Why is this? Well, 100% of the list subscribers you just purchased opted in somewhere else. They never agreed to receive promotions from your particular company.

Any legit email service provider (ESP) is going to ask for your address and company information to comply with CAN-SPAM regulations. Additionally, your ESP should confirm that you built your opt-in organically to decrease the chance of spam. If your list isn’t organic, your ESP may shut down your campaigns and bounce you even after your first list send. If you’re in this situation and you just paid for an email list, you’re now out the new customers AND a way to send your emails. No bueno!

How Can You Build a List Organically?

For starters, you should be prepared to offer great content. A top of the funnel activity such as a blog post, a free offer like a white paper or an instructional video offers opportunities for you to build organic traffic and get customers engaged with you. The free, useful content you offer is bait and will also help you succeed organically – particularly if you use things your customers are searching for as the title of your videos or blog posts. For example, if you’re a financial planner you may use something general such as “what is financial planning?” that has a high search volume as your post or video title.

Once users take the bait, they’ll see an opportunity to download a whitepaper from you. Ask for their email address to get the whitepaper – and voila, you now have their email and can advertise to them again and again without spamming. Create several funnels and opportunities like this based on the different services you provide, or different topically separated content offerings on your site.

Want more info on how to build your list organically? Lead Liaison can help! We’ll assist you in rethinking your funnels, building out new campaigns and measuring them today. Let’s chat!

 

3 Ways to Use Marketing Automation to Enhance your User Experience

Use Marketing Automation to Enhance your User ExperienceThe art of converting prospects into customers begins with their first interaction and experience with your brand, whether that’s through a landing page, social media ad, or (fingers crossed) word of mouth. If this experience is frustrating and not user friendly, what incentive do they have to return? Here are a few points to consider when shaping your user experience and ways to use marketing automation to your advantage:

Customize

  • Landing pages: How did a visitor find your website? Be sure what they’re looking for is the first thing they see. Create a few different landing pages for various scenarios, especially if you have a vast range of products.
  • Emails: Make sure you are providing pertinent information that will warrant them to open the email, not unsubscribe. This may include special deals/offers, but nothing too spammy.
  • Verbal contact: Utilize marketing automation software to synchronize platforms to be sure sales reps and customer service are on the same page when speaking to a customer or a prospect.

Interact

  • Survey your customers: Ask questions about what they believe is your most useful and convenient feature. Survey prospects, ask what they’re looking for in a product and see how closely you can meet their needs.
  • Reward: Host contests on social media to engage your followers, and provide a coupon code or free service to those who interact with your brand.
  • Customer support: There’s nothing more frustrating for your customers than to pay for a monthly subscription service and not receive the support they need to use your service to their greatest benefit.

Personify

  • Don’t be the bot: When automating your marketing process, it’s important to keep in mind your customers are real people that are intelligent and think for themselves. Canned messages just won’t cut it for most. Steer clear of creating bulk messages to send out on social media platforms, as that only invites ridicule. Engage with customers through carefully planned social media campaigns.
  • Get the details: Often a step of the implementation or customer support process, getting details from your customer in how exactly they plan to implement your service or product can truly help start a beneficial relationship. By understanding their needs, you’re able to gather insight for further improvement while also providing them with the most efficient way to implement your service.
  • Create a two-way conversation: This one is pretty self-explanatory. The basic take-away point is to create an environment in which your customers and prospects alike feel comfortable to interact. Check out these simple steps that encourage your customers to engage in a positive way.

Track Email from MailChimp, Constant Contact, Vertical Response and More

Integrates with Any 3rd Party Email Service Provider or CRMDid you know you could track email from a 3rd party email service provider, or ESP, and get even more value out of your existing email system? Marketing automation from Lead Liaison will help you track email from MailChimp, Constant Contact, Vertical Response, iContact, ExactTarget, Emma and any other 3rd party email system you can imagine. We’re not just talking about basic stuff like opens and clicks that you have to dig up, we’re talking sophisticated tracking that delivers crucial sales intelligence pushed to your reps.

What’s the value-add?

This process will magnify the value of your 3rd party email system by 10x. Here’s what you’ll get above and beyond what you have with your 3rd party email provider:

  1. Complete history of online behavior. We’ll pull together past, present and future activity that your prospect demonstrates as they engage with your company’s brand. This includes all kinds of behavioral tracking, such as document downloads, pages viewed, videos watched, chats, social media engagement and more through the life of the prospect’s buying cycle.
  2. Real-time website visitor tracking. We’ll tell you when your prospect is online and what they’re looking at in real-time.
  3. Sales alerts. When your prospect comes back to your website and demonstrates buying signals we’ll send a Buy Signal alert to your sales rep via email and/or text.
  4. Profile enrichment. We’ll layer on data from 110+ social networks on top of the rich demographic and behavioral information collected on your prospect.
  5. Original lead source attribution. Marketers spend tens of thousands of dollars on marketing campaigns but often times have difficulty attributed closed business to their marketing campaigns. We’ll identify the original lead source of your prospects with “Email Marketing” if they engage with your email sent from the 3rd party system.
  6. Lead qualification. When your prospects engage with emails sent from your 3rd party system Lead Liaison will automatically add a point value, determined by you, to your prospect’s lead score. Lead scores range from 0 to 1,000 and provide a great way for marketers to help salespeople separate hot leads from stagnant leads.

What do you need to do?

Integrating marketing automation with your 3rd party email service provider is easy and can be done selectively, on a campaign by campaign basis. To integrate Lead Liaison with your 3rd party ESP simply add some special tracking code to the end of each of your links. We’ll use the email information and tracking code to add engagement activity to your Prospect’s Profile. If the Prospect is already in your system with an assigned Lead Owner we’ll trigger Buy Signals for the Lead Owner.