Any best practices for lead management

3 Ways Marketing Automation Helps to Build Your Buyer Persona

Marketing Automation Helps to Build Your Buyer PersonaImplement successful marketing strategies and make the most of content-driven, scalable automation confidently through understanding your buyer persona. Marketing automation is a useful tool in gathering the analytics you need to build your buyer persona, strategically reach your target audience, and truly understand what they’re looking for.

According to an article by Tony Zambito, thought leader on the topic, buyer personas describe “who buyers are, what they are trying to accomplish, what goals drive their behavior, how they think, how they buy, where they buy, when buyers decide to buy, and why they make buying decisions.” That’s quite a bit of information to gather. In the end, building accurate models of buying behaviors helps you to understand how your prospects expect and prefer to interact with your brand. Use marketing automation to build your buyer persona. Uncovering such knowledge will arm both sales and marketing teams with the information and assurance they need to seal the deal.

Integrate the Analytics

With features such as Lead Liaison’s Social Append, marketing automation allows you to gather data available from a variety of sources and channels and build a telling profile of your ideal prospect. Not only will you understand their social interactions, but you’ll also have a grasp of how they expect to interact with your brand and product. Another useful way to implement the numbers and stats you’ve gathered is to sort your prospects: what actions were taken by you that won a prospect over? What were the signs that you were about to lose a prospect? Building out a thorough analysis of this data will help to create a persona based on previous experience that will ensure a successful plan for the future.

Work with the Sales Team

Get insights from the sales team to refine the personas. They’re the ones with the most direct contact with prospects, so take advantage of their findings. When using marketing automation to build your buyer persona, marketers and sales teams need to maintain a two-way communication plan so that they can nail down the specifics- what questions are your prospects asking during their buying process? What are their goals, or what are their company’s goals? What are the signs that a prospect is ready to buy? Productive lead tracking and nurturing can provide the data you need to see what action steps the marketing team is taking that lead to higher success and ROI in the sales interactions.

Create a Range of Different Personas

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket by creating and implementing just one persona. Recognize the common factors in your buyers’ decision-making process, and develop a few different personas that are testable. When thinking about a relevant range of personas, utilize customer surveys, case studies, and other tools and strategies already in place. Having a broader perspective allows you to try out various strategies to discover which works best.

How to Create a Successful Sales and Marketing Collaboration Plan

How to Create a Successful Sales and Marketing Collaboration PlanIt’s no secret: a well-oiled organization understands the necessity of inter-department collaboration and productive communication. In order to boost lead generation, keep leads nurtured and happy, and gain return customers, you must have a successful sales and marketing collaboration plan in place. Maintaining a healthy communication internally should translate to developing a strong engagement with the target audience which helps boost your rate of return.

Marketing automation, smartly implemented, can make this process easier and more efficient. However, without sales and marketing collaboration and alignment, your sales team will inevitably waste time following leads that just aren’t qualified (yet). By keeping both parties in the know on how to properly analyze your lead tracking practices, you’ll find it’s much easier to nurture leads and provide personalized marketing efforts. Cold calling everyone who signs up for your newsletter will probably deter leads from taking the next step and you’ll risk looking desperate. Strategize and implement a clear and concise protocol for points of contact to potential leads at the appropriate times.

Maintain two-way communication

Studies have shown that returning customers make up a significant portion of your revenue, so proper lead nurturing sets the stage for a lasting relationship. Ensure your sales and marketing collaboration plan includes guidelines on how and what is communicated between departments. This level of collaboration means greater customer satisfaction through better communicated ideas. Let your marketers set up sales for success through targeted marketing campaigns that communicate a positive message about your brand and delivers what the potential customers are looking for.

Keep tasks relevant and separate (don’t do the same thing twice)

While collaboration is key, it’s still a good idea to have tasks and responsibilities that the marketing team is responsible for, and tasks and responsibilities that the sales team is responsible for. This is the reason for the division—play up each department’s strengths. The marketing team should be able to create killer content that gives the sales team the upper hand when it’s their turn to reach out to qualified leads. Sales and marketing collaboration means communicating key points between departments, not consolidating the whole process into just one team or the other.

Strategic implementation of your marketing automation practices between sales and marketing is critical. Because most of your potential customers will find your brand through the internet, chances are they can easily find your competitors as well. Use the analytics from your marketing automation to draw up a plan of action for your leads as they request more information and take the next steps. The joint efforts of both departments will enforce this plan of action. The marketing team needs to head up key strategic, back-end development while the sales team can focus on maintaining lead (and customer) satisfaction. Keeping the customer in mind throughout the whole process means keeping everybody engaged and will provide the greatest return.

Making Workflow Automation Simpler and More Manageable

Workflow AutomationOne of the most challenging tasks business owners face is workflow automation. Without someone sitting in the middle of everything and pulling all the necessary levers to get things done, many businesses struggle with engaging in a variety of tasks – including marketing automation and lead flow.

Workflow automation doesn’t have to be painful, and it doesn’t require hiring a full time project manager for your business. The right marketing automation system can give you a workflow out of the box without a lot of hassle or time training.

Determining Your Workflow

The key to using software to get your workflow automated is to establish dependencies. This means that once an action happens on the business side, tasks, follow up and lead flow are created automatically.

Before marketing automation, business owners and project managers had to determine and set up these lead flow channels themselves. Workflow changes all that. The right marketing automation system allows your company to create these dependencies, schedule them for you and keep everything in one place so you know what isn’t getting done and can delegate accordingly.

For instance, say your dashboard registers a new lead. This lead comes in the form of an opt-in, containing an address and business information. You can set up a dependency on your backend to add this new lead to a certain geo-targeted or relevant content list. You can set tasks in your project management system for your sales team to call this lead within a few days after you get it.

The Power of Workflow Automation

You can also collect emails and send correspondence each time a new user visits your site. That’s something that a human project manager simply can’t do for you – no one should be tasked with watching IP addresses and a ticker all day to try to get leads deeper into your funnel. That’s why automation is so important – it takes the hassle out of marketing and gives you the option to create dependencies that allow business management tasks ease of flow.

Lead Liaison’s dependencies and workflow automation are set up within a program called Sparks. Lead Liaison’s automated software will monitor your back end and lead flow, and then create a series of events in the system once certain triggers happen. From a filled out lead form to a visitor coming to your site, different Sparks can be set up to create events in the backend of your business you can use to make your daily operations more productive. We’d love to show you how Sparks works – connect with us today for a consult!

Marketing Segmentation and Personalization for Clients

Marketing SegmentationIs marketing segmentation necessary to a successful advertising campaign? Not necessarily. Success is based on generating ROI – bringing in enough revenue to cover your advertising expenses and overhead while retaining a profit. That’s the bottom line for most advertising campaigns –right?

Well, not necessarily. If you’re running a successful advertising campaign, return is imminent. At the same time, businesses who are successfully marketing should always be taking steps to deepen their marketing funnels and ensure marketing segmentation reaches users in a way that encourages conversion. Many business owners are so wrapped up in their day-to-day business operations that deepening marketing segments is last on their lists.

More Intimate Marketing Segmentation

Establishing trust with your user base or customers is in some cases about deepening intimacy. By deepening intimacy you’re basically approaching users in a way that identifies with their unique needs right away.  When customers get marketing from you, they should feel like you’re speaking to their specific needs. The more you can establish that intimacy and create a more personalized experience, the higher your likelihood of conversion. If you’re prepared to work with marketing segmentation, you can find opportunities to create more intimate and personalized marketing materials with less hassle.

Establishing Personalization in Marketing

Marketing segmentation helps you establish personalization by knowing who you’re talking to. In order to understand the different segmented needs of your audience, you’ll need to understand the audience and what needs set them apart. For instance, if you sell a beauty product that’s mostly used by teens and women in their early 20s, you have two separate buying markets: Younger women and the parents of teens.

Knowing this information, you can look back at analytics or at your marketing automation to get an idea of who’s visiting your website and materials based on what channels. You might find that most of the teens find you via Instagram and buying parents open most of your emails. Knowing this, you can craft customized marketing materials for these networks and test those materials over time.

Once you’ve worked with marketing segmentation and sent out personalized messaging, you can continue to work with modifying that messaging over time to bring in higher conversion rates. You can continue sending out comprehensive marketing messaging to your entire client list while you’re doing this, ensuring multiple opportunities for your audience to buy while retaining personalization.

If you need some help decoding your marketing segmentation, give us a call! Lead Liaison’s marketing automation dashboard makes marketing segmentation a snap. Let us tell you more!

Do You Have Control of Your Lead Tracking?

Take Control of Lead Tracking

Do You Have Control of Your Lead Tracking?

It’s time to take control of your lead tracking. Are you wasting time manually researching, following up, and tracking each lead? Sure, it’s not a waste of time; thorough research and proper follow up are the stepping-stones to closing the deal. Having full control of your lead tracking will allow for your reps to be better informed and better prepared to close. But, manually populating each lead’s profile is a time-consuming and often

repetitive task that, I would guess, is not all that exciting. Not only does this

method of lead tracking waste valuable time, but it also opens up the opportunity for human error. You send several follow-up emails each day to your leads. Then, for each one, you still have to input all of the relevant details into the CRM. Whew! Not following the full routine of lead tracking is detrimental to your future relationship with the lead. Take control of your lead tracking and spend more time closing leads instead of repopulating data into your CRM.

Keep up with your leads

Tracking leads (and keeping documentation of it) is increasingly important in building your relationship with them. How can you follow up with a relevant, personal message if you don’t remember where you left off? Every rep does it differently, some prefer handwritten sticky notes, some input it directly into the CRM. Either way, making that information readily available for your next interaction allows you to pick up where you left off. It also allows you to transfer the lead to another rep, if need be. Lead tracking done through marketing automation allows you to filter out the leads that just aren’t interested, or may be interested next year, or are only interested in this one specific product, etc. Take control of your lead tracking—keep up with them to help you figure out what they want and when they’re ready for it.

Strategize the next moves

Lead tracking through marketing automation should provide a record of their response times. When did they respond to your last email? Was it in the morning, or at lunch? Chances are, their response times are indicative of when they’re available, and therefore the perfect time for you to reach out to them next time. Leads are quickly lost if you become an inconvenience for them. Manage your leads and maintain control of your lead tracking by working with their schedule.

Lead Liaison’s Send & Track plug-in works seamlessly with Microsoft Outlook and lets you take control of your lead tracking. Using this marketing automation tool keeps your leads out of that scary black hole of lost emails and wasted communication. The Send & Track plug-in adds a button to your Outlook that automatically inputs the correct data into your CRM and tracks all of the future activity with that lead. Not sure if the lead opened the last email you sent them? Send & Track will tell you that too. Plus, it automatically syncs data to your CRM for leads that have already been entered into the system.

Customer Profiling for Deeper Advertising

Customer Profiling for Deeper AdvertisingIf you’re not profiling customers, you could be missing out on valuable information that will help deepen your sales funnel and ensure repeat customers. Customer profiling isn’t all about lumping your customers into a category-it’s a way to understand what your customers are thinking or hoping to buy so that you can develop customized marketing assets that increase your appeal.

Many businesses pass over customer profiling because they throw a wide net when they begin their marketing, then never really pay attention to who is responding or buying over time. Because of this, businesses that are profiling their customers could be missing out on a brand new market and increased sales.

Customer Profiling: The Basics

Your first step to successful profiling is to get acquainted with certain information about your target customer. Compare this information with the demographics of the people who are currently buying from you. For most businesses, there may even be a secondary set of demographic information you can analyze to identify another subset of customers you can target.

When profiling customers, take a look at some of this information to determine who your target customer is and how you can mix up your marketing efforts.

Age. This doesn’t have to be strict – for instance, ‘the average range of your customer is 54 years old’ – rather, it’s more important to identify your customer based on a range of different ages, then market to the ranges saving yourself some time and effort.

Income. If you’re selling things your target audience member can’t afford to buy, you’re wasting time and advertising dollars. Determining what your average customer makes and how to target your customer based on that information is crucial to a successful marketing campaign.

Ethnicity. People from different ethnic groups often use different products and have different retail needs.

Geotargeting. With all the specific geo-targeted marketing possible in the digital world, it makes sense to know where your customers are coming from. For instance, if you run a national advertising campaign and most of your customers happen to be from Wisconsin, it makes sense to do some specialized advertising to your target customers in that particular state.

Making a Plan

Marketing to your target audience is really only possible if you know that audience. Customer profiling will allow you to get a look at your average customer and determine whether or not that person is getting the kind of advertising they need to buy your products more quickly.

If you don’t have any idea who your average customer is, deep analytics data may give you some insight you never thought possible. Lead Liaison’s marketing automation dashboards are sophisticated while retaining the user friendliness average business owners need to succeed. Talk to us about a consult today!

How to Get the Most from Your Leads

How To Get The Most From Your LeadsEvery lead has different intentions, needs, and potential for conversion. Businesses that focus all of their energy on lead generation won’t generate the revenue they expect, because not all leads are created equally. Some leads may be ready to make a purchase while others will require additional information before they can make an informed decision. Businesses must also focus their energy on getting to know their leads and understand their needs to increase the chances of conversion.

Here are a few helpful tips on how you can get the most from your leads:

1.     Monitor Leads

You can get the most from your leads by understanding their behavior. Marketing automation software utilizes website visitor tracking technology to follow leads as they surf online. This will show marketers what pages they have viewed and which papers they have download.

2.     Profile Leads

The next step in making the most from your leads is creating comprehensive lead profile. Marketing automation software creates a detailed lead profile using the information leads share in online registries combined with behavioral details extracted from website visitor tracking.

3.     Rank Leads

Once leads are profiled, they should be ranked based on their likelihood for conversion. Each lead is compared with the profile of an existing consumer to determine exactly what they are looking for from your business and how far along they are in their buying process. Leads that show a high potential will be immediately passed on to sales.

4.     Segment Leads

If your lead generation strategies are effective, there will be too many leads to address individually. Segmenting leads into groups will make it easier to get the most from your leads, since you can customize lead nurturing content based on groups of leads with similar needs.

5.     Nurture Leads

The most important way to get more from your leads is lead nurturing. This is a business’ opportunity to create a meaningful connection with a leading while demonstrating their expertise. All lead nurturing content should be original, informative, interesting, and relevant.

6.     Qualify Leads

Marketing should be able to determine whether a lead is sincerely interested once that lead has been tracked, profiled, ranked, segmented, and nurtured. Marketing automation software will evaluate each lead’s potential and then notify sales the moment a lead shows signs of conversion.

To get the most from your leads, you must first understand exactly what they lead is searching for online and where they are in their buying process. By first monitoring, profiling, ranking, and segmenting your leads, you can develop customized lead nurturing content that will improve the chance of conversion. If you would like to learn more about getting the most from your leads, please read six essential elements in every successful lead nurturing email.

Sales Funnel Management vs. the Holidays

Sales Funnel Management vs. the HolidaysThere’s something about the holidays that tends to throw sales funnel management off a little bit. Because traffic typically slows during the holiday, the accumulation of sales data often goes unmanaged well into the new year. Employees are off doing their own thing with their families, and oftentimes the vacation isn’t enough to make full alertness and appreciation for work a possibility when they return to their desks in January.

If your business is going well for you – or even if it’s not – you may already have a workflow in place for collecting and interpreting data. Businesses who experience a slow time of year in January are often in a good position to modify their tracking and workflow for better sales funnel management. However, what do you do if the holidays slow your team down so significantly that your holiday data is never truly looked at?

Segment, Segment, Segment

One of the biggest issues most businesses have with sales funnel management during the holidays is the time factor. Particularly if your business tends to be rather slow during the holidays, traffic and page use can be glossed over in a way that robs you of valuable sales funnel management data. This data can give you insight into how you should change your website or your product offerings for success during the new year.

If this is happening, segment the data. Ask your team to prepare two special meetings  – one that focuses entirely on holiday data (and not just MoM ‘month over month’ for December data!) to get an idea of how the “holiday mind” can result in different usage of your website over time.

Streamlining Sales Funnel Management

Many businesses don’t factor in the differences between how “holiday-minded” users view their sites and how this type of traffic varies over the rest of the year. Again, rather than thinking in a MoM data collection space, it’s important to compare traffic during the weeks leading up to the holidays with traffic for the rest of the year.

You may find that the data is telling you to significantly change up your workflow, monitoring and conversion optimization processes before the holiday hits. Paying attention to your data at the granular level –whether site visits, page usage or form fill-outs – can help you design a work flow process that better accommodates time off and work flow for the holiday season.

Marketing automation can do all this for you – there’s no need to dig up holiday data when it’s presented to you cleanly in an easy-to-use dashboard. Talk to the Lead Liaison experts today about how we can help with your holiday sales funnel management!

How to “Spark” a B2B Conversion

How to "Spark" a B2B ConversionThat first touch. That first look. That first sound. That spark! We often remember first impressions when something significant happens. It’s no different for business-to-business sales. In this case, though, we’re not talking about attributes like a snazzy website or a funny TV ad, we’re talking about timing, response, and good old-fashioned value. That first impression can come from how quickly you respond to a sales lead and what you deliver when they inquire about your brand.

We’ve created the spark that can transform the curious to the converted.

A Spark is a real-time event trigger in the Lead Management Automation™ (LMA) application. What events can be triggered, you ask? Anything from adding the lead to a contact list to creating a CRM task in Salesforce.com. The value in automating these events is in the rapid response you can provide each sales lead.

What constitutes a Spark? A Spark happens when a visitor to your website uses a specific search term to reach you, has visited multiple pages on your site, or other activities. The Spark can be the start of a long-term relationship with that lead through a nurturing process. By quickly responding to an “inquiry” (a user-defined request), you provide value that can lead to a conversion from prospect to customer.

Here are some examples that are used as sparks:

  • A prospect submits a web form, which triggers an email sent to the prospect with more information and distributes the lead to your sales team
  • A link within an email is clicked, which triggers and alert to the lead owner and creates a task in your CRM for that lead owner
  • A hot prospect (measured by lead score) visits your pricing page, which triggers an email to the lead owner.
  • A lead is converted in your CRM from Lead to Contact, which updates the fields and status in your CRM

A Spark can trigger multiple activities, reducing redundant processes and increasing your spectrum of response. Research has shown that prompt response and value delivery rank high among reasons buyers purchase from a vendor. Using Sparks to trigger events in response to inbound activity shows your leads that your brand acknowledges their interest and wants to provide value in their customer experience.

Customer Relationship Management: Not Just an App

Customer Relationship Management: Not Just an AppCustomer Relationship Management (CRM) refers to a type of software or application you can use to manage your interactions with customers, keep a customer’s contact information secure and manage deals and sales. Right?

Well, sort of. A good CRM will do those things for you, but apps can’t do it all. Customer relationship management should actually be about proficiently managing your relationships with your customers – meaning, putting the right tools in place to make sure you offer consistently great customer service. With all the lingo and the acronyms and the must-haves in the app world, we can forget that a solid CRM won’t help if there is no plan for actually managing customers.

Solidifying Your Strategy

Marketing automation can be helpful because the right platform gives you much more information than standard analytics tools ever will. If you are able to use marketing automation data to determine specific consecutive days that a certain visitor has spent on your site, it makes sense to contact that visitor personally, strategically discuss some of the areas of your site they spent the most time on, and determine how your offering suits their needs. Without marketing automation tools, you simply can’t give this level of service to your clients. In fact, you won’t even know what specific users are visiting your website. All Google Analytics and other services will give you is a lump of customer data that doesn’t single out specific IPs.

Take a look at your web visitor data over the past 90 days. If you don’t know who’s visiting, it might be time to consider a marketing automation tool that can help you log specific visitors and tie their needs to your services. If you do know who your visitors are, develop a lead flow strategy for using your customer relationship management tools to pinpoint them, then contact and pitch to them.

Customer Relationship Management Strategy

For instance, does a potential client continue to hover around price points for a certain service you provide? If so, it makes sense to call that person or email them with a special promotional deal. Does a specific client keep coming back to your website to look over terms of service or specific offering points on a package? If that’s the case you might experience future problems from that customer or need to answer a question.  A simple call to check in might remedy a complaint that’s about to surface.

With marketing automation tools, you can better manage the relationships you have with current customers and put systems in place to give them better service. For more information and to take advantage of what marketing automation has to offer for your customers, visit leadliaison.com.