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How to Start Generating Leads for Your B2B Company

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*Editor’s Note: The views & opinions expressed in any guest post on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Lead Liaison.

The impact of this “how-to” post can go either way — you resolve to “suspend” ties with your lead generation partner, or you stick to buying your sales leads from outside sources. While the former would be the more ideal action response, ultimately, your choice will depend on whether or not you are sold on the idea of generating leads on your own. You might be holding back from inbound lead generation because you think it’s too complicated of a process, unlike the easy way out you conveniently choose in buying leads.

But, just like anything else, there’s a simpler and easier way to running a lead generation quest if you have the proper know-how. This post will guide you to:

  • Set up a lead generating website
  • Incorporate a variety of strategies for generating leads
  • Simplify your lead generation efforts across platforms

Why Generate Your Own Leads?

Suppose you’re a Christmas tree manufacturer who, for the longest time, has relied on lead sellers for your marketing program. It might have worked in years past, but since a lot has changed in the marketing dynamics, you’d do well these days to be more active rather than passive in generating leads.

It’s very easy to see, for example, how direct mail marketing pales in comparison to joining trade shows to showcase your holiday-inspired product line for homes and offices to potential buyers. Instead of looking for customers, customers can find you where and when they need to. In such opportunities, you get more chances to introduce your product, generate instant feedback, and attract sales. It couldn’t get any better than that.

The Lead Generating Website

The phenomenal power of the internet as an information gathering and sharing tool is very well pronounced in the grand scheme of B2B marketing. At any given day, you will find people turning to online search more and more, looking for information, ideas, or solutions that suit their needs. That’s why it’s important that you design your website in such a way that it attracts visitors who will eventually turn into a lead.

Here’s how to develop a lead generating website for your business:

  1. Attract your target. A buyer-seller relationship all starts with attraction. You want people to visit your site so they would know what you can offer them. To attract people’s attention, you need to build on your content, and you can do this in so many ways. Write blog posts. Create video presentations. Supply an infographic. Include testimonials and photos. The kind of content you offer will depend on your product or service, but the main takeaway is to craft your content with keywords that match what customers are looking for in their online search, putting a good amount of research in the mix as well.
  2. Suit up for your buyer persona. At this stage, you’re starting to get traffic on your website, and you don’t want to lose those page views, especially the ones from your ideal buyer persona. You’ll then need to engage them more by catering to their needs and giving them valuable offers, whether it’s research data, a discount, a product review or guide, e-newsletters, a free trial, or a no-strings-attached type of consultation. This kind of engagement works both ways: you are allowing your site visitors to know your identity, and at the same time, getting them to reveal more about their buying preferences. Then, you can match your selling process to their own buying process.
  3. Start converting. By this time, your visitors are filling out forms and registering on your website. These indicate that you have just found a lead. Then again, you have to keep moving forward to make sure they actually convert into buyers. This is where optimization of each phase in your lead generation process comes in, and all of that can happen right on your website! These are the regular mainstays in your lead generation process:
    • CTAs are an essential tool in generating leads from your blog posts, not to mention, an easy way to connect better with your audience. CTA types include:
      • Smart CTAs, the ones you usually find at the bottom page;
      • Social CTAs, these are links to your company’s social media accounts;
      • Blog subscription CTAs, for readers interested in your content;
      • Comment CTAs, giving you insights about what readers think;
      • Slide-in CTAs, which are less intrusive than pop-up CTAs;
      • In-line CTAs, written links that lead to a related blog post; and
      • Sidebar CTAs, which may not necessarily connect to your blog post such as an invite to drop by your booth in the holiday trade show example cited at the beginning of this post.
    • Landing pages are the final contact points with your guests, where they fill out a form to possibly avail of your offer. So the more landing pages your website has, the greater the number of leads you can get. If you want more generic leads, use short forms to make them easier to fill out. On the other hand, if you want more quality leads, use long forms to ask more information about what your customers need.
    • Thank-you pages allow you one more opportunity to upsell offers that are related to what your visitors just signed up for. Of course, it goes without saying that customers appreciate genuine messages of thanks for checking out your site.

With this guide, hopefully, you’re on your way to generating your own leads than buying them. Sure, it’s a long way ahead, but now is the best time to start while you’re still at it.

Guest Post Bio:

Johanna Rivard, PureB2B’s Executive Vice President, is a two-decade veteran of the online publishing, B2B demand generation, and technology media markets.

Tips on How to Be More Personable on the Phone

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There’s a good chance that you spend a lot of time on the phone for work. You might have to prospect for clients or speak to existing clients. Whatever the case may be, you need to be as personable as possible. Follow these tips and you’ll be more personable and engaging in no time at all.

Keep Good Notes

Keep good notes when you interact with people on the phone. Then, you can refer to those notes to add a personal touch during later phone conversations. For instance, the person you are speaking with might mention that he or she likes pizza. Nest time you speak, you can talk about a pizza joint that you found in the area. Your client will be touched that you remembered that detail, and it’s simple to do when you take good notes. It also strengthens your relationship with that person, allowing them to trust you (and your business) more.

Have a Personal Conversation

It’s normal to want to rush off the phone, but it’s hard to make a personal connection if you’re always in a hurry. Set aside a few minutes at the start of the call to have a personal conversation. Ask about the person’s family or talk about what he or she did over the weekend. Share some of your own personal details as well. But, try to also be respectful of their time and pick up on hints that indicate that they want to get straight to the point.

Use the Prospect’s First Name

Some people think that you need to use Mr. or Mrs. when talking to clients or prospects since the formal title is a sign of respect. However, Mr. or Mrs. sounds very formal. Instead, use the person’s first name when appropriate, but do it in a polite way. You can even ask, “Do you mind if I call you Mark?” before proceeding.

Avoid Hands-Free Devices and Speakerphone

You’re going to sound much more personable if the prospect or client has your undivided attention. You can’t give that when you’re using a hands-free device or a speakerphone. You’ll start shuffling papers or completing other tasks, and that will make it hard to be stay focused. Speak directly into the phone so the prospect or client knows that you are concentrating on the conversation.

Provide Verbal Feedback

Verbal feedback gives you the opportunity to connect with others. Let people know that you’re listening to them by providing this feedback. Remember, they can’t see you! The only way they know that you are listening is if you make comments that indicate you are listening and absorbing everything that they have to say. This will help you form another connection with the person at the other end of the line.

Use each of these tips when you speak on the phone. Soon, the actions will become second nature. You will find yourself going back to your notes, offering verbal feedback, and more every time you talk on the phone.

Interested in practicing your phone skills on us? Give us a ring! We’d love to talk to you about other tips that we can offer marketers, sales people, and business people of all kind! 1 (888) 895-3237

How to Get the Most Out of Visitor Tracking

A website visitor tracking solution will never be a magic bullet to increase visitors to your website. If you bought your visitor tracking solution for that purpose, you will be very disappointed. Website visitor tracking is a middle-of-the-funnel solution. It gives you insight into who is visiting, what they are interested in, and how interested they really are. You can tell a lot by dissecting the behavior of your Prospects. Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your visitor tracking solution.

Improve Conversions

Lead Liaison can boost conversions on your website – but not without taking some steps to tie in these methods. Without them, you’ll rely on tracking businesses only. Lead Liaison provides a number of active methods to convert visitors (see graphic below). When a person is identified their activity, while anonymous, is connected to their present and future activity thereby creating a holistic profile of their interests. Identifying people is helpful for the following reasons:

  • When the prospect returns to your website sales can better time their follow up.
  • It makes it easy to tailor a salesperson’s follow up as the prospect’s interests and activities have been captured on their profile. You’ll know what they looked at, how they engaged, and what they care about. Having relevant conversations will bolster the relationship.

ProspectCast™

Integrate your Web Forms

Easily integrate web forms with Lead Liaison. Rename the name or ID fields. If the ID or name attributes cannot be changed then use our snippet of JS code to set the custom mapping.

Integrate Email Campaigns

We suggest including email, company, and name attributes. We can also help you measure the true ROI of your investment in a 3rd party email system.

Create/Integrate Downloadable Content

Create content that “teaches” people something. Think about helping/teaching, and not selling, when you put together your content. Use Lead Liaison’s Trackable Content feature to identify most popular content pieces.

Integrate Onsite Videos

Think about a video explainer, testimonial, or other forms of educational content that can be used on your site. Use Wistia for videos. See this Wistia and Lead Liaison press release for more information. With Wistia, you’ll get business-level analytics and conversion tools, all of which are integrated with Lead Liaison, for better lead conversion and analytics.

Then, Use Marketing Automation to:

  • Nurture prospects on behalf of sales
  • Automate one-to-many posting on social media
  • Run static/dynamic segmentations to have continual lists built of the hottest prospects that meet specific criteria
  • Better qualify prospects through advanced lead scoring
  • Development of web forms and landing pages without the need to involve IT
  • Run sophisticated targeting and retargeting campaigns
  • Run responsive marketing campaigns
  • Automate their GoToWebinar event 1x per year
  • Build and send sophisticated emails with full tracking, all in one integrated source
  • Send multi-channel marketing campaigns using best practices for B2B sales (5 to 7 touches, using a combination of email, postcards, handwritten letters, text messages, and more).
  • Develop stronger marketing ROI
  • Capture and convert more visitors through compelling offers (SiteEngage) with engagement windows / popups
  • Build surveys for customers and prospects

 

The Importance of Sending a Professional Thank You

 

Thank You

Everyone likes to be thanked, even those who you only know on a professional basis. Thanking someone is a way to show appreciation. When you send a thank you, people know that you appreciate the time, effort, and energy they put into something. Of course, it can be difficult to know who to thank and how to thank them. Once you understand the protocol, you will be able to show your appreciation to all of the right people. That will help you form valuable professional relationships throughout your career.

People to Thank

As a professorial, there are countless people that you need to thank. Thank your clients to show them that you appreciate their business. There are other companies they can choose, and you appreciate the fact that they chose yours. That is a huge reason to thank them.

You also need to thank prospective clients for taking the time to learn about your business. Doing this will help you move some of those prospective clients down the purchase funnel.

Next, you need to thank your employees. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to run your business. Let them know they are appreciated so they will continue to do a great job for you.

Finally, thank your partners. These are the people who provide you with ideas and partner up with you to help you create the best service. Let them know that you notice and appreciate their effort by sending them a thank you.

Examples of Professional Ways to Say Thank You

There are many professional ways to say thank you. First, consider using handwritten notes. This adds a personal touch when you say thank you. Then, include a thank you gift with the note. A box of warm cookies is a simple way to say thank you, but it works best when you see people in person. Fruit baskets and boxes of candy are always welcomed, and you can send them in the mail. You can also provide people with gift cards to restaurants or tickets to local sporting events. You can even send a nice bouquet of flowers, or keep it simple with an item that your company manufactures.

When you were young, your parents taught you the importance of saying thank you. You likely thank your family and friends. Now, it’s time to thank your work associates as well. Follow these tips and you will build professional relationships that will help you take your business to the next level.

Interested in sending a handwritten letter through our marketing automation tool? Click here for more information on our handwritten letters!

Why is Email Authentication Important?

parcel-575623_1280Email authentication is very important when sending emails through another domain. Marketing emails sent through your marketing automation software is a great example of an email sent outside of your company domain (yourname@yourcomany.com). Authentication helps legitimate senders prove that their email isn’t forged, and can help receiving email servers (like the corporate email servers to which you are sending your marketing emails) control inbound spam.

Still don’t fully understand the concept? We can help break it down for you. Let’s say that you are at home, waiting on a package to be delivered. A guy in blue jeans, a baseball cap, and sunglasses knocks on your door. You become hesitant to open the door to accept the package, because you expected the package to be delivered by a professional delivery service (like FedEx or UPS). You may not even open the door at all, in fear of a stranger gaining access to your home.

The next day, a big, brown UPS truck pulls up to your house. A man in a brown UPS uniform hops out with a package, and rings your doorbell. You don’t hesitate in opening your door and accepting the package, because it is being delivered by someone you believe you can trust.

This is email authentication. In our story above, you are playing the role of the email receiving server (your email account). The likelihood of your denying the package is higher when you don’t know or trust who is sending it. Deliverability is impacted, and it also just looks a little suspicious.

Your marketing automation company should encourage you to add email authentication to your domain. It’s a best practice, and should not be overlooked. Lead Liaison mandates that in our onboarding and assists our clients in that process. We then verify that it has been added, because we know that is a best practice. Even though it’s a little bit more work, and more follow up on our part, we prefer this over going the “easy way” and letting our customers figure it out for themselves.

Interested in learning more about Lead Liaison and our best practices? Click here for a demo!

How to Run a Webinar: Syndicate Webinar Content

How to Run a Webinar

This is the ninth and final installment in the series How to Run a Webinar.

In our most recent post in this series, we talked about pre-webinar bonding & follow-up. The last step of the process is to syndicate your content.

Syndicate Webinar Content

You’ve invested a ton of time planning and preparing for your event. Make sure you get the most out of your investment by syndicating your content. Syndication means taking the content and reformatting it to fit other mediums or marketing channels. For example, take your webinar recording and:

  • Have the video transcribed. We suggest using Upwork to hire someone to transcribe your video. It’s super affordable and worth the money!
  • Format the transcription into a white paper. Place the white paper on your website as Trackable Content in your marketing automation system and gate the content.
  • Put your video on an internet video hosting and analytics company like Wistia, embed it in your website, and gate the video.
  • Break down the white paper into smaller blog posts. Schedule the blog posts using your CMS.
  • Include the video, whitepaper, and any other related tools or documents in a downloadable “kit”, which is a fantastic lead generation strategy. Prospects are more inclined to give you their email address in exchange for lots of value.
  • Put the webinar recording in a “Resources” section on your website.

What to Expect

Attendance depends on the factors described in the beginning of this document. About 40-60% of registrants will show up for live viewings, but you can expect more registrants to trickle in and watch on demand over the next few days following your webinar.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this series. If you’ve got an idea for a series, we’d love to hear it! Comment below.

Do you want your own personal copy of the entire guide? Download the full white paper here.

Interested in a demonstration of our robust marketing automation tool?

 

Are You Ready to Nurture Your Leads?

Most marketers think that lead nurturing is just a natural process. They gather some leads, nurture them, and then make sales. In reality, you aren’t going to be successful with lead nurturing unless you are prepared. In order to prepare, you need to go through a three-step process. This process will help you have a successful lead nurturing campaign.

Know Your Target

Targeting is essential with lead nurturing. You can’t target everyone in your market and expect to get results. Instead, you need to narrow the scope of your targeting so you communicate with people who have shown interest in your product or service. Target the people who are in the middle of your funnel and need a little nudge. These people are the most responsive to a lead nurturing campaign.

Think About Content

You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king,” and that is especially true with lead nurturing. You need to think about how you are going to communicate with your leads. Consider mixing your content up. You might want to send some personal emails wishing your leads a happy holiday or a fun summer, along with educational content that will help them make an informed purchase. Then, consider personalizing it with handwritten letters.

You also need to consider how much content you will send. It’s important to focus on quality over quantity. With that in mind, stick to around four to five pieces of content for your campaign.

Consider Length

Your lead nurturing campaign needs to have a beginning and an end. If it goes on indefinitely, you will never turn your leads into customers. You have some leeway for how long your campaign should last, but 45 days is the sweet spot. You should be able to nurture your leads and turn them into buyers at this time. If you can’t convert your leads, you need to look over your data and see where you are losing your leads.

Lead nurturing is one of the most important components in internet marketing. Remember to prepare for your lead nurturing campaign so you can get the best results. The right preparation goes a long way into achieving your lead nurturing goals.

Are you ready to nurture your leads? Talk to one of our experts today!

 

How to Run a Webinar: Pre-Webinar Bonding & Follow-Up

How to Run a Webinar

This is the eight installment in the series How to Run a Webinar.

In our last post in this series, we talked about building a compelling landing page and “Thank You” page. The next step is to get comfortable with pre-webinar bonding and follow-up.

Pre Webinar Bonding

If possible, create further short pieces of content that cover any possible objections and start building more trust with registrants. This can be drip fed via email before the webinar. This content could be short videos or articles or just a nice webinar cheat sheet to download and print off before the webinar. Your marketing automation software can help you build a simple drip track for new registrants prepping them for the event.

Follow Up

Make sure to follow up with attendees and no shows once the event is over. We suggest doing so three (3) days after the event. In your follow up, include a video recording of the webinar. Put it into an email, but only include an image of the video. When clicked, the recipient should be taken to a landing page, separate from your registration page, where they can play the video. Separating your follow up page from your registration page will help you isolate statistics and get better tracking from your marketing automation system. This is especially handy for people that couldn’t attend the event as they can watch the video later at their convenience.

In the next, and final, installment of How to Run a Webinar we’ll talk about syndicating your content.

Can’t wait to get your hands on the entire guide? Download the full white paper here.

Interested in a demonstration of our robust marketing automation tool?

 

Breaking the Lead Gen Stereotypes

Gopher LeadsDid you know that the success rate of getting an initial appointment through cold calling is about 1-3%? Whereas, when the same call is made through a referral, the success rate shoots up to 40%. [1]

Luck plays a role in business success, but you can’t leave the health of your sales pipeline to chance. Besides the expensive traditional channels for generating leads, there is an innovative, often-overlooked approach to filling the top of your sales funnel: formal business referral program. Here are 5 steps to effectively use your professional network to become an extension of your sales force by generating high quality leads and business referrals:

#1 – Define your Ideal Customer

To ensure that your network and connections are investing their time in chasing the right people, make sure they understand your ideal customer base. Succinctly explaining the need that your product or service addresses in advance will better clarify your value proposition to your potential prospects.

#2 – Tighten the Feedback Loop

The need to have an effective two-way communication channel is paramount. No one will continue to send introductions and prospects into a referral-blackhole! So, make sure you provide regular updates on the referrals sent your way. The results in the image below show that when you implement an effective referral campaign, with systematic two-way communication system facilitating frequent automatic updates, the engagement rates can go as high as 74%.

#3 – Incentivize Referrals

Having a structured incentive plan within your referral program will keep your network motivated to look out for new leads. Evernote, a leading CRM platform with over 100 million users, acquired 13 million users through partner referrals. Evernote rewards points to its customers every time they make a referral, and the points can be used towards a free upgrade or increased upload capacity. [2] It is, therefore, important to recognize and reward the people who contribute to your pipeline.

#4 – Eyes on the Progress

Once you have gathered some prospects through your referral program, the next crucial step is monitoring the progress closely. Gather information about the activity of your referral network and analyze pipeline results to make intelligent decisions about how to continuously improve the program drive higher conversion and sales. In other words, monitoring the activity and effectiveness of your referral program will allow you to better educate, communicate with and encourage your lead referral network.

#5 – Remarkable Results

If you follow the above 4 steps, you will have a consistent pipeline with relevant leads. Additionally, your business will earn a higher conversion rate due to higher quality of more actionable leads.

Lead generation is the oxygen for the survival of any business, but it can be extremely difficult to identify the right source of leads. So, with the ever-changing modern world of commerce, make sure your methods of generating leads have not passed their expiry date.

Sources:

[1]https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/the-abusive-math-of-cold-calling/

[2]http://blog.evernote.com/blog/2014/05/13/evernote-reaches-100-million-users/

Guest Poster: Sahand Sojoodi

Founder and CEO of Gopher Leads Inc, a technology startup that accelerates sales revenue by engaging the customer-facing frontline. I have worked as an innovator and early-stage startup founder for over a decade. Gopher Leads utilizes a modern, mobile, cloud-based platform to educate, engage and incentivize employees to generate leads from their daily routines.  Follow me on Twitter @sojoodi, or email me directly at sahand@gopherleads.com.