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Remember When your Marketing Automation Company Focused on Marketing?

What is a Vendors Focus on Marketing Automation?It seems that the trend in the Marketing Automation Industry is for companies to become a Jack of All Trades. We all know how that story ends.  If you don’t, please ask the next guy you see with a Member’s Only Jacket and Blackberry.

There are ways to tell your Marketing Automation “partner” is out for their best interest and not yours:

  1. They tout their CMS, even though 86% of the market uses WordPress, Drupal or Joomla.  Good luck getting apps for that CMS, and if you do… they are going to make a pretty penny off you.  If you don’t believe me, go look for apps in the Blackberry store.  People don’t develop apps for closed environments with small market share.
  2. They sell you on their CRM tool as an advantage of buying their Marketing Automation Platform.  Awesome!  Now you get to tell sales that they are locked into a substandard CRM because your Marketing Automation provider decided that it would be more profitable for them to sell a CRM than to integrate with the best players in the space.  Not a good business decision, and a horrible way to go about aligning sales and marketing efforts.
  3. They only offer one Email Service Provider.  All-in-One solution providers LOVE locking you into their ecosystem.  Even the best email solution providers today, may not be the best ESP’s tomorrow.  Never buy from a company that is owned by an ESP (they are the copier salespeople of the industry) as they have not prepared for technical Armageddon.
  4. SEO and Marketing Automation are two very different beasts, with two unique skillsets.  Your marketing department probably needs both; but they probably also need toilet paper and computers.  I wouldn’t buy any of these items from the same company for obvious reasons.  Bottom line:  Either your MA or SEO will suffer (or both) if you buy from one  vendor.  You will save a ton of money and get much better results by choosing best of breed in each category.
  5. Your Marketing Automation product is being offered by an agency that is super proud of its “partner” status.  The translation: They have invested a ton of time and money in a solution that might not be a good fit for you.  Unfortunately, these “partner programs” dictate that they will recommend the company that they are invested in regardless of the value that it drives to your business.   If you have doubt, demand an agreement with your agency that they will not have a financial benefit from working with any software provider.  That should not only include your account, but all other account that such an agency works with.   Otherwise, the Agency may shift its dollars.

You should also avoid the “All-in-One” solutions that focus on Real Estate, Flower Shops, and Supplement Companies.  Even if you conduct business in these areas.  There are a ton of these companies that prey on Mom and Pop shops.  They advertise on Facebook and other consumer focused websites because they are looking for people that don’t have experience and won’t ask the tough questions.  Some of their users will claim success because they don’t know any better.  Others will be outraged that they were not able to achieve the required level of support, expertise and functionality for $ 200/month.

  • A solid solution provider will help you build a story.
  • Help you tie together all of the technologies that benefit your organization.
  • Create a compelling narrative that you can share with prospects.
  • Have a vested interest in your organization’s success.

If you have any questions about Marketing Automation or how your company could strengthen its efforts, I welcome your request.  Even if my company, Lead Liaison, isn’t a perfect fit for you…I’ll point you in the right direction.

Don’t wait any longer.

How Marketing Automation Increases Lead Conversion

How Marketing Automation Increases Lead ConversionLead conversion is a vital statistic for any successful marketing and sales team. It can also be a difficult statistic to influence in a competitive world, one where failing to contact a lead at the perfect time can result in a competitor taking the sale. However, according to the Aberdeen Group’s Marketing Lead Management Report,

“Companies using marketing automation see 53% higher conversion rates from initial response-to-MQ.”

Read on to learn how some of the essential practices of marketing automation can increase lead conversion.

Lead Scoring

Marketing automation tools, by their very nature, gather a large amount of raw data. From web clicks and form submissions to social media demographic data, your marketing automation software is constantly gathering and analyzing a lot of data about every lead in your database. This data is used to then create an individual profile for each lead – one that is continually being updated. This profile is then evaluated by the metrics that your sales and marketing teams deem most important, and is assigned a lead score. This lead score indicates how likely an individual is to be converted to a client.

Once a lead has been assigned this score, it can go to one of two places. If the lead is warm, it will be sent straight to your sales team, who can try to convert the lead as quickly as they can. If the lead is not warm, it will be sent to your marketing automation software’s lead nurturing tools.

Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is a marketing automation process of contacting individual leads with promotional and educational material in order to make them more likely to purchase your company’s product or service. Lead nurturing also takes advantage of the large amounts of data that has been collected about each lead so that each lead can be placed on the most appropriate lead nurturing program. Once a lead has been placed on a lead nurturing track, your marketing automation program will continue to gather data on the lead, recording things such as email click through and giving you an even fuller picture of your leads.

If your lead exhibits positive behavior that may lead to a sale, then their lead score will increase, and when the time is optimal, will be handed over to your sales department.

Lead Conversion

When a lead is presented to your sales team, either by exhibiting positive buy signs when assessed initially as a lead or as a result of a successful lead nurturing program, your sales team will have all the information they need to convert the lead. With access to a leads entire history of interaction with your website and promotional emails, you can make sure the right person will know the right thing to say to make the sale.

These are just a few of the ways that marketing automation increases lead conversion. If you want to learn more about the benefits that marketing automation can have for your business, you should check out Lead Liaison’s marketing automation resource blog.

4 Ways Integrating CRM and Marketing Automation Can Help Sales

Integrating CRM and Marketing AutomationCustomer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are nothing new. Developed in the 80s, CRMs have become an essential part of any successful marketing strategy. However, since some of those systems are based on technology and business practices that have been around for decades, not everyone is using them to their best potential by integrating them into their marketing automation strategies. Read on to learn about 4 ways that integrating CRM and marketing automation can help your sales team close deals.

1. Unparalleled insight into how your marketing tactics are performing

With a well integrated CRM and marketing automation system in place, you’ll know exactly how well any marketing strategies are performing, because you will have a total picture of how your customers are interacting with your marketing materials. Your marketing team will be able to track forms customers have submitted, pages they’ve viewed and emails they’ve opened, among many other things. This will give you total transparency and enable your marketing team to see what is helping your company make sales and generate leads – and what isn’t.

2. Your sales team can focus on only the best leads, making them much more efficient

Once your marketing team has finished successfully integrating CRM and Marketing Automation, your sales team will be able to operate at peak efficiency. Your sales team will be able to track any and all online interactions that any given lead has had with your company. These interactions can be used in conjunction with any demographic information your company has available about a lead, and all of that information is evaluated to create a lead score.

This lead score will indicate how likely a lead is to buy, and can be quickly and accurately assessed by your sales team. This means that your sales team can spend their time contacting only the most likely to convert leads, without spending valuable time following up with leads unlikely to ever make a sale.

3. Increase your sales opportunities with lead nurturing

According to Emailmonday,

B2B marketers see an average 20% increase in sales opportunities from nurtured leads versus non-nurtured leads after successfully deploying a lead nurturing program.”

By integrating CRM and marketing automation tools you can set your colder leads on highly targeted lead nurturing tracks. A lead that has been nurtured will ultimately be much better educated about the services your company can provide. And a better educated lead, if your marketing material has been effective, will be much more likely to buy.

4. Make your sales cycle faster by streamlining the process

Integrating CRM and marketing automation can make your entire sales cycle faster by reducing the time it takes to qualify a lead. It accomplishes this by helping you identify the best time to contact a lead in a lead nurturing program. By taking all of the data available and involving your sales team in the development of nurturing campaigns, you can ensure that your leads get the most appropriate content at the right times to cut down the time it takes for a lead to be ready to convert.

Integrating your CRM and marketing automation tools is an important part of a successful marketing program, and there are many more ways in which your company can benefit from this process. By carefully managing your existing processes with marketing automation, you can transform your marketing and sales departments.

Make Sales by Ensuring your Automated Marketing Material Gets your Customers’ Attention

Make Sales By Ensuring Your Automated Marketing Material Gets Your Customers’ AttentionSuccessful lead nurturing campaigns depend on a certain degree of subtlety. In order to maintain a strong connection and build a relationship with a lead that may not be ready to buy, the lead can’t feel like they are constantly being pitched at with every communication they receive.

However, a sales strategy has no real value if it doesn’t result in sales. In order to make those sales, you must make sure that even subtle automated marketing material gets your customers’ attention. You can do this by following three simple steps – pull them in, establish value, and then make an offer.

Pulling Them In

Even when the material you are sending out on a lead nurturing track is intended to be very subtle, every contact you have with a customer should still have a hook that will pull them in and make them think about your products and services. Great headlines and strong content are key to this. Make sure everything you send out has something that will interest a customer, and make sure everything you send to a customer is well put together and coherent.

The marketing automation tools provided in Lead Liaison’s software offer an incredible opportunity to customize content to appeal to target groups. By using Lead Liaison’s social intelligence capabilities you can build detailed profiles of different demographics of leads, and send them content tailored to appeal to them directly.

Demonstrating Value

Another way to make sure you’re getting the full attention of your leads when you contact them is by establishing value through your content. You do this by communicating your expertise, and then demonstrating your willingness to share it with your customers. Design content that will educate your leads about not only the services you provide, but the broader realities of the industry and how to overcome specific obstacles. This will not only establish your company as an expert in the field, but will make sure your automated marketing material gets customers’ attention every time.

This is another process where marketing automation tools prove invaluable – an essential part of any lead nurturing strategy is communicating different levels of information as your relationship with a lead develops.

Making An Offer

No matter how far down a nurturing path a lead is, you should always remember that every communication is still an opportunity. Whether it’s the first email or the twenty-first email you’ve sent, every communication should remind your leads that you’re here to sell a solution to the challenges they face. Always include an offer that will entice your leads, and hopefully get them to convert.

Using Lead Liaison’s lead tracking tools, your sales team will be alerted when customers respond to prompts sent through an email campaign, and will be automatically alerted that a lead has exhibited a buy signal, giving them the opportunity to contact the lead and make the sales your company needs.

By adhering to these simple principles, you can make sure that all your automated marketing material gets customers’ attention every time. Visit Lead Liaison’s marketing automation resources blog to learn more about the important ways that marketing automation can help your business.

Use Marketing Automation to Expand Your Online Presence

Use Marketing Automation to Expand Your Online PresenceTry to use marketing automation to expand your online presence. No matter what field you are in, your company’s internet presence is a valuable part of how you interact with your customers. Not only are the constantly expanding social media networks a wonderful way to grow your company’s profile and develop new leads, but the internet is hands down the fastest way for anyone, anywhere, to find out about your business. On top of that, by utilizing marketing automation tools built into Lead Liaison, your company’s website can become an invaluable tool to gather essential data about how your customers interact with your site and marketing materials. Read on to learn about how marketing automation can expand your online presence.

Marketing Automation and Social Media

Lead Liaison has intuitive and effective social media marketing automation tools built into its software. Lead Liaison’s social media marketing automation tools allow your marketing team to develop a comprehensive social media strategy, and then schedule posts to major social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to ensure that your social media profiles remain relevant and up to date.

Be sure your social media strategies are not static, however. Make sure you make an effort to interact with your community of customers and your industry at large. Tweeting about an ongoing trade show or other industry event will introduce you to new potential leads and is an integral way in which marketing automation can expand your online presence.

Data Tracking and Lead Nurturing

One of the more complex ways that Lead Liaison’s tools can help you expand your online presence is by using data tracking software included in our suite of programs. Lead Liaison’s data tracking tools analyze which elements of your website are being clicked on and which are not, letting you know what parts of your marketing campaign are working. The data tracking software also communicates with Lead Liaison’s lead database, collecting data about individual leads based on their interaction with your marketing material and helping your sales staff know how warm any given lead might be.

The data collected from your website is also essential to establishing successful lead nurturing programs. By organizing email campaigns for a lead nurturing program based on specific lead qualifiers and demographics, you can send content to your leads that will be most appropriate to their demonstrated interest in your company and products.

This process can also be tied into the social media tools available from Lead Liaison. Our marketing automation tools include a feature called social intelligence, which can scan a variety of different social media sites to develop a further picture of a lead by collecting information on things such as age, gender and interests. This process allows you to send extremely targeted content to interested leads.

These are just some of the ways you can use marketing automation to grow your online presence. Visit our marketing automation resource blog to learn about more of the ways that Lead Liaison’s tools can help your company.

Evaluate and Focus your Lead Nurturing Strategies using Lead Liaison

Evaluate and Focus your Lead Nurturing Strategies using Lead LiaisonHaving a diverse and complete lead nurturing strategy in place is a very important part of any overall marketing automation strategy. We’re excited to share some ideas on how you can focus your lead nurturing strategies. Lead Liaison’s built in lead nurturing tools can be extremely helpful in implementing a successful lead nurturing strategy; however, you need to be sure you are implementing the most complete and effective plan for regularly contacting your leads. Take some time to evaluate your current lead nurturing system by thinking about some of these common mistakes. Make sure you’re up to speed by reading over these best lead nurturing practices.

Common Lead Nurturing Mistakes

There are some very basic mistakes that, even though they are easy to fix, can derail any lead nurturing strategy. The most basic one is ignoring your leads. Focus your lead nurturing strategies by making sure unqualified leads are entered into a lead nurturing program to ensure every potential lead is contacted and engaged. On the other side of this is the issue of spamming leads. Excessive emails and social messaging contact is sure to eventually annoy and deter a lead, driving them to a competitor. Make sure that all the content that makes up your lead nurturing program is well put together and engaging – people notice when content is sloppy or off topic.

Another common mistake is not engaging in split testing your lead nurturing programs. Obviously, you should have different lead nurturing paths for different demographics of leads, but you shouldn’t be afraid to try different things within different groups. Different approaches yield different results, and you’ll quickly be able to see which approach gives you better results.

Best Practices for Lead Nurturing

One great way to focus your lead nurturing strategies is to engage a lead with your lead nurturing program’s content is by educating the customer. Inform the customer how your product can solve their various problems, or simply deliver informative content that is relevant to your business or industry. Add a personal touch, and be careful not to skew all of the information you deliver into a pitch for your product, if content is too biased it can turn a customer off. Do your best to add a personal touch to as much of your content as possible to help your lead nurturing communication connect with a lead.

Remember to integrate all of the various data that Lead Liaison’s marketing automation tools can deliver to your marketing team, and use that data to place the lead into the most effective lead nurturing program. On a higher level, make sure your sales team and your marketing team are communicating with one another and are generally in sync – both departments will be able to interpret different things about different leads and lead behavior.

Learn more about Lead Liaison’s other great marketing automation tools by visiting our website. Check out our marketing automation resource blog to learn more about how marketing automation can streamline your business.

How to Grow your Small Business using Small Business Marketing Automation Tools from Lead Liaison

How to Grow your Small Business using Marketing Automation Tools from Lead LiaisonAre you looking for small business marketing automation tools? It goes without saying that growing a small business, where resources and time are limited for everyone involved, is a very difficult process. Lead Liaison’s suite of marketing automation tools can help you increase the reach of your marketing strategies and the effectiveness of your sales team. With the proper application of these strategies and the tools Lead Liaison can provide for your company, you’ll not only achieve higher sales but have prepared your business to expand to a larger, more efficient organization.

Engage your Leads with Marketing Automation

There are many different things to keep track of to ensure you engage the maximum number of leads your company can handle. One of the most important places to engage with potential customers is on social media outlets such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, but manually updating all these profiles can be overwhelming for a small marketing team. One of Lead Liaison’s small business marketing automation tools is social media automation. By investing time in scheduling your social media posts, you can be prepared to tweet or comment on any relevant events coming up for months ahead of time. Your team will be able to focus on the important things rather than live tweeting an industry event.

In addition, Lead Liaison’s small business marketing automation tools give you access to data that would be unavailable without our suite of tools. Information such as what companies are clicking on your website and whether or not they have followed a link in an email is all tracked and stored by lead liaison’s data tracking tools. This additional sales intelligence is included with small business marketing automation and  gives your sales people specific information about individual leads and the general behavior of your customer base in general.

Increase your Company’s Sales Potential

Data gathered by Lead Liaison’s data tracking software is not merely for strategizing your marketing approach, it is also delivered in usable, informative reports to your sales team.  This is very important for companies that have a small sales team. By tracking things like buy signals, your salespeople can focus their time contacting only the most qualified and likely to purchase leads.

What about the leads that aren’t ready to buy? Obviously you don’t want to forget about them, but often times small companies don’t have the resources to maintain contact with people who are not purchasing anything. That’s where Lead Liaison’s small business lead nurturing tools prove invaluable to a small sales team. Lead Liaison’s lead nurturing tools put colder leads in paths that will automatically keep in contact with a lead and continue to collect data about the lead’s behavior towards your website and communications. If the lead indicates a new found interest in your company or your product, someone on your sales team will be alerted and they can try to contact the lead and make the sale.

Lead Liaison has many other great small business marketing automation tools that will prove invaluable to a rapidly growing business. Visit our automated marketing resource blog to find more great strategies to build your business.

5 Reasons Your Company Needs Website Visitor Tracking

5 Reasons that your Company Needs Website Visitor TrackingVisitor tracking gives salespeople the ability to monitor site visitors by name/company/location so that they can better identify prospects and their thoughts.   Progressive companies are beginning to understand that visitor tracking is the foundation for all digital marketing and sales efforts.

Here are 5 key signs that you should be using individual visitor tracking on your website:

1) You invest in SEO, PPC, or retargeting campaigns

These technologies draw people to the “door” that is your digital presence.  If you don’t have a way to “hear” who is at your door, and what they are thinking; it kills your ability to develop a relationship with each individual buyer.

Now consider how much you are spending for SEO/PPC/RC campaigns.  If you spend $5 per visitor, and only 1 in 40 site visitors identifies themselves; then you are paying almost $300 per lead.  A quality visitor tracking system will help you triple the effectiveness of turning your SEO/PPC/RC investment into leads that can close.  Our clients find that on average, their company gets 9X more bang for its buck when using visitor tracking with SEO/PPC/RC campaigns.

 2) If your company has a sales team

Why would you pay for a sales team, and not help their success?  Gone are the days of “pounding phones”.   The trends in digital marketing revolve around self-education and timing.   If you are able to identify WHO is investigating you, it allows you to intelligently approach potential customers AT THE RIGHT TIME.  Bottomline: visitor tracking helps you work smarter and more efficiently.

3) Your salespeople will go to a tradeshow or networking event in the next 12 months

Only a small percentage of your prospective clients are ready to buy at any given point in time.  You have two options.  You can use visitor tracking as a way to highlight when contacts are ready to talk or you can have your salespeople call everyone every two weeks and hope they stumble upon something good.  The latter is a very costly strategy, that will kill your reputation of potential buyers.

 4) You use email

It doesn’t matter if your email is coming from Gmail, Outlook, a CRM, a marketing automation platform, or a third party “email blaster” provider.   90% of your emails will never be responded to.  That doesn’t mean that they aren’t effective.  Instead, it means that your emails are simply planting seeds for future action in the minds of your prospects. You need visitor tracking to give your salespeople the necessary information to have a “green sales thumb”.  That means that they know:

  • When a prospect is interested
  • What they are interested in
  • Their potential concerns with approaching you.

 5) You have a website

Most companies see value in tools like Google Analytics that will tell you things like “ 155 people were on my website today”.  How does that help salespeople?   True sales value comes from giving your salespeople the name, company, location, and interests of the visitor.

 

Creating and Maintaining A Healthy Balance Between Lead Profiling and Lead Nurturing

Creating and Maintaining A Healthy Balance Between Lead Profiling And Lead NurturingWhile every lead is worth pursuing, the fact of the matter is that not every lead is ready to buy quite yet. It’s the very nature of marketing automation that the strategies being employed generate a large number of leads that are not ready to be converted into customers. But just because they aren’t going to purchase right now, or even in the near future, doesn’t mean you should ignore them. In order to keep in contact with these leads and be ready to convert them to customers at the opportune moment, you must employ successful lead nurturing – and the ability to do this effectively requires that you begin with careful lead profiling.

Learn More About Your Leads With Lead Profiling Software

Lead nurturing and lead profiling are two functions that are at the core of Lead Liaison’s marketing automation software. Lead profiling begins by collecting as much data about potential leads as possible, and Lead Liaison has many different methods of doing this. Our software tracks things such as email opens and site click-throughs, in addition to monitoring buy signals that indicate how likely a customer is ready to purchase your product. Lead Liaison also uses social intelligence software to gather data about things such as a customer’s age, gender and interests to create a detailed portrait of your leads.

All of this data is processed by Lead Liaison’s lead grading tools, and the leads that are likely to buy are passed on directly to the sales team so they can make the sales that they need to. However, the leads that are not ready to be converted are sent to Lead Liaison’s lead nurturing tools, and this is where a successful lead profiling strategy can really pay off for your sales team.

Lead Nurturing Helps You Get The Most Out Of Every Lead, Every Time

Lead Liaison’s automated lead nurturing tools ensure that no lead is ever left behind by contacting colder leads on a schedule that your marketing team dictates or in reaction to certain actions taken by the lead, such as following a link in an email. This noninvasive contact helps ensure that your leads never feel spammed or irritated, but will keep your company in mind for when they will require your products or services.

Combing automated lead profiling and lead nurturing can lead to many different and effective strategies. Using Lead Liaison’s automated nurture tracks, you can arrange for customers with different levels of interest to be contacted with different frequencies and content. By taking advantage of the data collected can be used to engage in very specific targeted marketing. For example, your sales team could set up an email campaign that would be directed only to male baseball fans aged 30-40 during the World Series.

To learn more about the fantastic opportunities Lead Liaison’s marketing automation software can create for your business, visit us online and check out our marketing automation resource blog.

The Biggest Obstacles to a Successful Marketing Automation Implementation

The Biggest Obstacles to the Successful Implementation Of Marketing AutomationGood marketing automation implementation strategies with the help of marketing automation software such as Lead Liaison can give your company’s marketing department a significant advantage in lead generation and in the bottom line for sales. However, in order to give your company’s marketing department maximum benefit, these strategies must be implemented correctly and completely. Below, we’ll tell you about some of the biggest obstacles businesses encounter when attempting to implement marketing automation strategies, and what you can do to avoid them.

Strong Sales Can Prevent Marketing Innovation

One of the most obvious ways for your company to fail to receive the benefits offered by marketing automation is by simply not having a strategy at all. Businesses that already generate strong sales feel little need to suddenly implement a new system. After all, if it isn’t broke, then don’t fix it, right?

The problem with this mindset is that marketing automation strategies are intended not only to improve sales, but also to ensure that your sales team is maximizing all potential leads at all times. The Internet is a constantly shifting environment, and every company should have a vantage point that keeps them become aware of the newest innovations in marketing automation and how their company can take advantage of them.

Partial Marketing Automation Implementation Can Keep a Marketing Team From Operating Efficiently

Another common problem experienced by companies that are not getting the most out of their marketing automation strategies is partial implementation. This can be one of the most frustrating situations for companies, because they may be putting a great amount of effort into one area of marketing automation, such as content creation, but are not seeing nearly the results that they were hoping for.

This is one of the great strengths of Lead Liaison’s marketing automation software, as our tools are a comprehensive approach to marketing automation to ensure that all of the data and information you are gathering about potential leads is being properly coordinated, and that all necessary data is constantly being communicated to the sales team.

Large Companies Face Large Organization Problems

In larger companies, the sheer scope of implementing a new marketing strategy can bog down the process to the point that marketing automation implementation is never accomplished. It is easy to observe these kinds of difficulties and mark them up as symptomatic of the politics that can gum up the workings of larger companies. However, it is really a problem with the company’s executives. These are the people who need to be aware of the value a strong marketing automation strategy, and responsible for the successful implementation of it.

These are just a few of the larger, companywide problems that can keep a company’s marketing department from boosting sales with a comprehensive marketing automation strategy. To learn more about other challenges of marketing automation, and to learn more about the marketing solutions that Lead Liaison can offer your business, visit us online and check out our marketing automation resource blog.