Best practices on lead generation

Website Visitor Tracking for New Leads

Website Visitor Tracking for New Leads Website visitor tracking is a useful technology to help your direct and indirect sales channels develop new leads. It is an automated system that records and analyzes all prospects that cross path with your company’s website. It is an extremely efficient way to generate and track new leads online.

Here’s how your sales and marketing team will benefit from using Lead Liaison’s website visitor tracking:

1.       Brand new prospects presented daily through a web portal or desktop application.

There are hundreds or thousands of visitors on your website daily that slip through the cracks. Experts estimate as much as 96% of your website traffic is hidden and never identified. Website visitor tracking ensures no potential lead is missed. It is a completely automated system that guarantees every visitor is captured and accessible.

2.       Marketers gain insight into potential leads that are visiting your website.

Website visitor tracking provides marketers with useful demographic and behavioral characteristics of potential leads, so they can identify those with the greatest potential for conversion. When they pick-up on this info they can put sales on high alert. This can turn new leads into instant customers.

3.      Marketers gain insight into which competitors are checking out your company.

Not only does website visitor tracking provide insight on leads, it will also advise you when competitors are visiting your website. Competitors can gain an endless amount of useful information while visiting your website and it helps to keep a close eye on those businesses that are taking the time to check out your site.

4.      Advises sales when buyers with worthwhile potential are online.

Sales teams can identify companies or individuals as “Favorites” and receive SMS or email alerts when their Favorites go online. This enhances their ability to engage and converse with buyers in real-time while buyers research their options.

5.      Real-time view of prospect`s online behavior.

Website visitor tracking gives your company new leads plus identifies what potential buyers are doing online, as they are doing it. This provides your business with valuable information about who’s visiting your website and what they are interested in at any given moment. Sales will develop a unique competitive advantage by gaining key insight prior to their outreach.

Website visitor tracking for new leads is an essential component of the marketing automation engine that is designed to generate revenue. It brings in new prospects daily, gathers demographic and behavioral insight into prospect and competitors, alerts sales when prospects are surfing, and provides real-time views of their online behaviour.

The Top 5 Reasons Every Business Needs Website Visitor Tracking

The Top 5 Reasons Every Business Needs Website Visitor TrackingWebsite visitor tracking is an essential technology your business should use to stay competitive. More consumers shop online than anywhere else and website visitor tracking monitors buyer behavior while creating in depth profiles on every lead that comes in contact with your company’s front door and brand; your website. It is the most efficient and effective way to capture, profile, and convert leads.

Here are the top 5 reasons every business needs website visitor tracking: 

1.      Captures all online traffic that visits your site

There are hundreds or thousands of leads passing through your website on a daily basis and right now approximately 95% of them are moving onto another site unnoticed. Website visitor tracking is an automated program that guarantees every single lead is caught and profiled.

2.      Produces pertinent data for lead qualification

Tracking visitor’s online behavior provides the marketing automation engine with powerful data that can be used for lead scoring and qualification. By monitoring where each lead travels on a website, it will help determine their needs and interests. This also includes registration forms and surveys to draw-out useful demographic characteristics.

3.      Gives your salespeople a better understanding of your customer’s needs

Website visitor tracking will not only make it easier to qualify leads, but it will also provide your salespeople with valuable information about each visitor. It shows exactly which pages they are visiting, how long they stay on each page, and how frequently they visit your site. This insight can be used to nurture and convert more leads into customers.

4.      Proves whether campaigns are working or not

Unfortunately, not every effort that is made in your marketing automation strategy will have stellar results. Website visitor tracking is a great way for marketers to see exactly what is working and what methods still need more work.

5.      Provides marketers with a bounce-rate for landing pages

A bounce-rate shows how many visitors arrived on your website from a specific landing page and then immediately left. This information will help marketers determine why consumers are not staying longer than a few seconds when they land on certain pages. This is usually a sign that the link taking them to a page is misleading or there is an issue with the information on the landing page.

Website visitor tracking captures every lead, produces necessary data for lead qualification, assists salespeople in understanding their customers, provides a metrics for measuring campaign success, and provides a bounce-rate for landing pages. All five of the top reasons your business needs website visit tracking have one critical thing in common; they all work together to generate more revenue. Revenue generation is really the greatest reason why all businesses need website visitor tracking.

Why Website Visitor Tracking is Essential

Why Website Visitor Tracking is Essential Website visitor tracking is the recording and analysis of visitor’s online behavior as they traverse your company’s website. It is the beginning, as well as the core of a solid marketing automation strategy.

What makes website visitor tracking so essential?

The first and most important reason why website visitor tracking is essential is that it captures every single person that crosses path with your website. Without website visitor tracking, businesses are missing out of 95% of the visitors that land on their website. Website visitor tracking is performed with automated software, so every IP address is gathered and analyzed.

Website visitor tracking is also essential because it provides greater insight into a lead’s buying process and their online behavior. Every move they make is tracked and included in their lead scoring profile. Marketers can see exactly which pages they clicked on, how long they stayed on each page, and how often a specific lead has returned to the same website. It also shows when a lead has become inactive.

Website Visitor Tracking is Essential Fuel

Website visitor tracking is the fuel for the lead scoring and qualification process. It provides a real-time view of prospects activity, so your sales team can act quickly if a lead is demonstrating a strong potential for conversion. Some marketing automation companies will send real-time alerts via text messaging if a prospect views a particular webpage that signifies sincere interest.

Website Visitor Tracking is Essential Metrics

Another benefit of website visitor tracking is that it provides a valuable metrics for analyzing the success of a marketing automation campaign. Since tracking shows how long a lead stays on a specific page, the reports it generates will show marketers exactly how well each landing page is doing.

For example, if there is a link on a connected social media site that is bringing in significant traffic, but the new visitors are leaving as quickly as they arrive, there is something askew with the landing page. This could be because the page they are landing on is not relevant enough to the claim made on the social media link and that is why potential customers are not interested. Website visitor tracking will show you a bounce-rate for each landing page, so you know which ones are working and which ones need tweaking.

Website Visitor Tracking is Essential for Online Business

The biggest marketplace in the world is the internet and 70% of all people start their buying process online. Online companies need website visitor tracking to gather as much information as they can on every potential lead, evaluate their campaigns, and convert more leads into customers. That is why website visitor tracking is so essential.

How to Optimize Landing Page Sliders

Marketing automation isn’t just about lead management – well it is, but it’s also about finding out how to get those leads into your funnel and keep them there. One of the most critical and overlooked metrics related to lead management is your individual pages’ bounce rates.

We’ve talked about bounce rates before. Yes, you need to lower them. Yes, you need to be able to see that clients are staying engaged and your site design and layout aren’t prohibitive to that. However, there are some things you could be doing with your landing pages that are prohibitive, and you don’t even know about them. Today we’ll be focusing in on one aspect of a landing page that plenty of advertisers aren’t really thinking about when it comes to their own sites. Let’s show you how to optimize landing page content and sliders in this article.

The Landing Page Slider

A slider is one of those slideshow-type deals on your landing page that allows customers to click through a series of side-scrolling images. Some sliders change automatically without the user needing to engage. Yahoo News has one:

Landing Page Slider

For a news site, the slider is a great idea. Different content on the site is highlighted and the user has the ability to click to a news story that catches their individual interests.

These days, business websites that sell products and services also feature the slider. If your company sells retail products – much like a news site – it makes sense to utilize a slider. You can use the images to let customers know about special promotions, featured products or just to generate interest in a particular product category.

Sliders for Service Websites

Consulting and service oriented websites don’t have it so easy. If your site was designed by a company that isn’t concerned with branding you, or if you’ve uploaded images to the slider yourself, you may be using stock images that aren’t necessarily reflective of your branding or what you have to offer.

Many of these sliders take up most of the page they’re featured on. They tend to make a website look slick and modern – but if they’re taking up the entire page above the fold, your users aren’t really getting anything from them but pretty pictures.

Optimizing Your Sliders

If your landing page features a slider, you really have two options. You can either nix the slider altogether and have your web designer create something new – or you can optimize the images you’re putting into the slider.

For instance, if you’re selling marketing consulting services and one of your slider images is your logo, try changing up or adding text to the logo that really pushes your products. Ensure this text contains some sort of call to action,

“Learn why Lead Liaison Services is the Best out There.”

“Read Customer Reviews to discover why Lead Liaison is the Best Choice.”

The idea behind customizing the sliders is not just to add a different look to your landing page, but to get a click-through to a different page that details your products and services. This strategy is intended to decrease your bounce rate by allowing customers to learn more about you and go to a page with a higher chance of capture. The secondary page should feature a form to fill out or a number to call so you have a better chance of capturing customer info.

Lead Liaison staff can hook you up with analytical tools that will help you keep track of your landing pages – how they perform, what you could do better and how to integrate landing page metrics into the rest of your marketing via an advanced marketing automation interface. Find out more today! We’d love to help you.

5 Keys to Maximizing Demand Generation

Maximizing Demand GenerationDemand generation requires discipline, patience, and focus. The process of building awareness, creating interest, and provoking action requires a deeper strategy than simply building a marketing campaign. Here are a five key considerations to maximizing demand generation:

Website as hub

Design marketing, sales, fulfillment, and customer service through the prime portal for the company – your website. This can increase efficiency when interacting with your markets and lead to greater demand for your solutions. The site can be used to aggregate contact data from marketing inquiries, product orders, shipments, and feedback forms. By enhancing visitor experience and maximizing the functionality of your site, it becomes the lead touchpoint and will convert customers to advocates.

Your website can be used as a demand generation vehicle in itself through design elements that align with a lead’s decision-making process, build engagement, and progressively reduce objections. In order to be effective at demand generation, it’s also important to ensure that the site appeals to market participants at different points in the buying cycle.

Deploy multiple tools

Effective demand generation requires a basket of tools. Start with an integrated marketing approach that deploys multimedia communication tools to cultivate relationships. Channels such as blogs or Twitter feeds provide effective exchange mechanisms where suspects, prospects, and customers can connect with your company and provide meaningful information that can be used for future marketing campaigns.

There is no shortage of options for database mining, touch point tracking, and contact management. Tools that manage the distribution of information and track lead activity provide more robust market interaction and granular analytics. And with marketing automation tools such as our Lead Management Automation™ platform, companies are able to cultivate lead relationships and measure campaign effectiveness.

Know thy audience

The first step is to analyze your markets. Not just demographics, but psychographics and buying triggers. It’s important to develop a persona or profile for your market(s) that provides marketing and sales with an audience they both can connect with. Marketing campaigns should be persona-centric, letting the audience figure out why they want your solutions.

Turn your marketing strategy from ego-centric to customer-centric. Ask questions, get others to praise your solutions, and make buyers feel good about choosing your solutions. Successful marketers understand who their buyers are by learning about what they do, what they care about, and how they see themselves. Above all, learn how to talk with your market(s) and not at them.

Remember the long term

In a perfect world your B2B sales cycle would be complete within 30 days. Maybe two weeks. But that’s just not the way most purchases happen. With lead times of six months, a year, or even 24 months, demand generation is a long-term proposition. Keep in mind, it can take up to ten impressions just to register in a suspect’s consciousness!

Integrate marketing, sales, and customer experience

Future demand is generated through reputation management. The reputation you earn is formed through the entire process a customer experiences, from first contact to solution delivery to satisfaction follow-up surveys. It is important to blend your marketing strategy, sales execution, fulfillment process, and customer feedback together.

Throughout the lead nurturing process a strategy of integrating marketing and sales touch points is essential to generating demand. Messaging is more effective when combined with a marketing inquiry follow-up call from a sales agent. As a lead moves through the marketing pipeline it often becomes necessary to execute sales calls in order to elevate a marketing-qualified lead to a sales-qualified lead.

Once a purchase is made, customer satisfaction feedback through forms and phone surveys help to deliver the expectation that the relationship doesn’t end with a sale. And though a sales conversion has taken place, demand generation is still necessary to maintain a long-term customer relationship.

Quick Questions that will help Qualify Leads

Questions that will help Qualify LeadsThe ability to qualify leads and prioritize them based on their potential for conversion is priceless. However, before a company can put a lead scoring plan into place, they will first need to understand what constitutes a quality lead. By asking the right questions, a company can build an effective profile that will capture leads that have the highest potential for conversion.

Here are some quick questions that will help qualify leads

What does your average customer really need?

The first thing a company will need to figure out is what perceived value their product or service has to offer to the lead. What exactly do their customers want? Are they looking for a reputable company that cares about the environment? Do they want a provider who can offer 24 hour customer support? There is something specific every lead is looking for in a company and being able to determine what a lead needs is invaluable for qualification.

When will the lead be ready to purchase your service?

The next aspect a company needs to determine is what stage each lead is at in the buying process. Have they just started their online search? Do they seem anxious to make a decision? Has their frequency of visits increased? Figuring out where a lead is at in their buying process is essential when qualify a lead.

Why should they choose your product or service?

A business will also need to demonstrate to their leads what makes their product or service better than a competitor. This will not only involved understand what a lead wants in a product or service, but also understanding all of the options available to the potential buyer. Why is your product better? Is your price a selling feature? Why is your service superior? A company has to know the reason their offer is superior, so it can be promoted effectively.

Who is your ideal customer?

The most important aspect of lead scoring is using everything a company knows about their existing customers to create an ideal customer profile. What are their characteristics? What are their likes and dislikes? What type of online behavior do they display? By pinpointing attributes of an ideal customer, a business can create a profile for comparison that will generate high-quality leads.

By asking the right questions, a company can determine what their leads really need to know before they are ready to make a decision. They can also figure out what stage the lead is at in their buying process, what will make them want a particular product or service, and who fits their ideal customer profile. Just imagine what can be done with such valuable information.

Scoring Leads from Marketing Qualified Lead to Sales Qualified Lead

Scoring Leads from Marketing Qualified Lead to Sales Qualified LeadEffective B2B lead management involves more than simply preventing viable leads from falling off the radar. The effectiveness of a lead management program is really measured by how well it moves suspects from marketing qualified leads (MQL) to sales qualified leads (SQL). The difference between the two statuses can represent tens of thousands of dollars in closed business.

A lead scoring system helps to differentiate between leads that are likely to buy now and those that require more nurturing. However, it is most effective if it is constructed properly.

There is often disagreement between sales and marketing departments about what constitutes a “qualified” lead. This makes some sense because the parameters are different among the two departments. A lead scoring system, used as part of a lead management program, provides an opportunity to put values on parameters used by each department.

The lead scoring model should have a threshold – a minimum score – that indicates that a suspect has met enough criteria, the right criteria, to be worthy of a sales engagement. Lead scoring provides a systematic way to transition leads from marketing to sales in a way that gives the sales team confidence that the lead is viable and prepared for a sales engagement.

The question is: at what point is a marketing-qualified lead ready to be transitioned to a sales qualified lead?

For example, take two suspects that have entered your marketing funnel. One is a VP of operations, the other a line supervisor. The VP has visited your website a few times and spent about 15 minutes on your product pages. The supervisor has visited your site fifteen times, downloaded two white papers and several fact sheets, and attended a recent webinar.

Which lead is considered a better sales qualified lead?

In many industries, a VP is a more sales-ready lead because of the likelihood that he has buying authority. However, there are companies that allow purchases by supervisory staff. The greater level of activity by the line supervisor might indicate better timing, but does she have buying authority? Which parameter means more?

This is where applying weight to scoring parameters is important for lead scoring to be effective. Some activities and/or attributes provide greater impact on sales-readiness than others, but which ones matter more could be night and day from one company to another. Examining which behaviors have led to sales in the past is a good way determine weights for certain qualities and behaviors. For example, if the evidence shows that your product sells well after being noticed by subordinates who influence the C-suite after conducting research through white papers, then recent white paper download activity, when combined with the subordinate’s title, should be weighted more heavily than a C-level executive who visited the website a couple of times.

According to marketing experts, a 10% increase in lead quality translates to a 40% increase in sales productivity. This should motivate executives to align sales and marketing departments through a lead scoring system, like the one in Lead Liaison’s Briefcase™ lead qualification dashboard.

Lead scoring can help most businesses improve sales conversions and shorten sales cycles. But it’s important to remember that the scoring model you use to move leads from marketing qualified lead to sales qualified lead status is dynamic (newly uncovered evidence affects existing scoring metrics) and comprehensive (incorporates parameters from both departments).

How does your company score its leads? Post a comment here or drop us a line.

When Does Your Marketing Qualified Lead Become a Sales Qualified Lead?

When Does Your Marketing Qualified Lead Become a Sales Qualified LeadHow does your company define a lead as “qualified”? Are the leads that fit a demographic/firmographic profile and respond to marketing touchpoints considered qualified?  Your marketing and sales departments may disagree on which leads are truly qualified to become a sales opportunity. In this post we look at when your marketing qualified lead (MQL) becomes a sales qualified lead (SQL).

A marketing qualified lead is a suspect that has advanced through multiple marketing touch points and fits an optimal lead profile. A sales qualified lead requires more to be considered a viable sales opportunity:  it must be ready, willing, and able to pay for your solution.

In order to qualify as a sales opportunity a lead must have the following:

  1. An established need. This can be indicated through online forms or by contact from a sales agent. The need must be solvable with your solution. There are plenty of B2B needs to be met, but if your solution does not directly address the need completely or partially, the lead is not sales-ready. Even the most cash-rich prospects are of little value if there is no need – perceived or real – for your solution.
  2. Money to purchase. a marketing-qualified lead may show substantial interest and be completely engaged, but without capital to make a purchase, your sales agent is wasting time. Even the most inexpensive solution will be unavailable to companies with no budget.
  3. A plan to buy. Many companies understand they have needs that must be met through buying from B2B vendors, but don’t always plan for purchases. A marketing-qualified lead cannot evolve into a sales-qualified lead without understanding where the prospect is in the buying cycle. A lead may be fully marketing-qualified because of fit and interest, but it does not reach a sales-qualified status until there is a firm plan to commit money towards a solution. Your sales agent will be “spinning wheels” until the prospect gets buy-in from decision-makers to move forward with a purchase.
  4. Possesses purchase authority or decision-making capacity. There may be a few layers of authority involved in a purchase. This is where a marketing-qualified lead is clearly different from a sales-qualified leads. Sales agents know that, in order to close a deal, they must be engaged with a buying authority or a decision maker. An influencer may be marketing-qualified but, without purchase authority, he may not be the appropriate contact for a sales agent.

Some – but not all – of these characteristics of a sales-qualified lead can be captured through marketing touchpoints. By implementing a lead scoring system that includes both marketing qualification criteria and sales qualification criteria, your company can more easily differentiate between a marketing qualified lead and a sales qualified lead.

It is important to include sales agents when determining scores that indicate a marketing qualified lead. A few examples of sales qualification criteria include:

  • Funding available immediately                          10 points
  • Funding available within 6 months                   5 points
  • Budget in process                                                2 points
  • No funding available                                            0 points
  • Expressed a direct need                                     10 points
  • Expressed a potential need                               8 points
  • Unaware of a need                                              3 points
  • Expressed lack of a need                                    0 points
  • Lead contact is decision-maker                         10 points
  • Lead contact is purchasing agent      5 points
  • Lead contact is influencer                  3 points
  • Plans to buy immediately                   10 points
  • Plans to buy within 6 months             5 points
  • Plans to buy within 1 year                  2 points
  • No plans to buy                                    0 points
  • Would spend over $1,000                 10 points
  • Would spend under $500                  5 points
  • Would spend less than $100             1 point

Sales and marketing should be aligned in establishing the difference between a marketing-qualified lead and a sales-qualified lead. Implementing a lead scoring system to rank marketing suspects and sales opportunities will improve conversions and enhance the transition from marketing funnel to CRM priority.

Three Key Rules for Developing Lead Forms

Three Key Rules for Developing Lead FormsB2B marketers have a plethora of tools available to gather information about marketing leads. One of the more effective methods is using online lead forms. Using a form to capture relevant data about a lead allows you to organize leads, personalize marketing messages, and score behaviors. There are three key rules for developing lead forms.

Developing effective forms requires thoughtful consideration about what information you want to gather and how forms will be used within a lead nurturing system. The first rule of lead form development is: don’t get greedy! Asking for too much information too early in the qualification and nurturing process can put any future relationship at risk. The most effective lead forms for a newsletter subscription or white paper download will only ask for a name and email address. Once the email address is collected it becomes an alternate communication channel, and an opportunity to deepen the relationship. So ask for minimum information up front then earn permission to request more.

The second rule of lead form development: keep it fresh! Rotating questions is a form development technique in which new questions are posed each time a lead revisits a form. For instance, a lead that visits a product page must enter a registered user name and answer a few questions that reveal qualifying criteria – such as company size, revenues, and industry – in exchange for an in-depth video about the product’s features. The next time that lead visits the same product page, she enters her username and answers three different questions that reveal need – such as purpose for visiting page or growth expectations – in exchange for a live chat Q & A session.

Protecting personal identifiers should be an essential factor in developing lead forms to gather information. Therefore, the third rule of lead form development is: keep it safe! Security verification certificates are commonplace among internet vendors providing online transactions, and should be included in any marketing page that contains a form. Secure socket layer (SSL) certificates present you as a trusted vendor to your leads, and can provide them peace of mind when sharing company information.

A final note: default form fields should be left blank. If your form has a default setting which returns a certain score in your lead scoring matrix, then the possibility exists that the lead will not select the another option. Often a lead will plow through a form by selecting the default option. Therefore, the score may be inadvertently skewed, and worse, not clearly represent a lead’s actual circumstance. For example, using “executive” as a default setting for a lead’s position may not clearly specify her position within the organization. If the associated score for a response of “executive” is 100, but the lead turns out to be a middle manager with a score of 15, then the resulting score won’t accurately reflect that lead’s appropriateness.

Lead Liaison offers companies professional-grade web form and landing page design solutions.  If you’re interested in visually creating forms and landing pages using drag/drop technology and using advanced techniques such as progressive profiling, form pre-fill and more let us know! We’d love to earn your business.

Building Awareness: Your First Step Towards Demand Generation Part 2

Building Awareness: Your First Step Towards Demand Generation Part 2In our last post titled Building Awareness: Your First Step Towards Demand Generation we talked about using search engine optimization, viral marketing, social media marketing and email to help build awareness and generate demand. We’ll add a few more items to the list in part 2 of this post.

Pay Per Click Advertising

Using web publishers to create awareness accomplishes two objectives: 1) it gets your message in front of prospects through a third party (who has likely earned the trust of your market), and 2) it allows you to measure results and pay only for responses to your message. Be sure to advertise with publishers whose content is relevant to your business; simply buying ad space on popular websites and search engines doesn’t always produce good results. Narrow your focus to include publishers who reach your target audience.

Outbound marketing is a more direct approach to creating awareness. Using outbound techniques may run the risk of alienating prospects; however, results are measurable and often leads are qualified sooner than when using inbound marketing methods.

Telemarketing

Using call centers, automated messaging or staffing telemarketers can be effective in creating awareness; however, telemarketing effectiveness is often based primarily on timing (where a prospect lies in the sales cycle). Many of today’s B2B marketing professionals consider telemarketing a costly option that does not produce comparable results to inbound marketing, but it does have its place in certain industries. This technique provides a way to instantly respond to questions, so it can be a good way to introduce a complex product.

Outsourced Lead Generation

There are several ways to create awareness through companies like Lead Liaison. We use web forms, landing pages, email campaigns and website tracking to build lead lists. These lists include targeted prospects that may or may not be aware of your company or products but they have a need that requires a solution. Often this strategy is comparable to SEO because the leads that are captured have shown an active interest in what your company provides.

This concludes our series on  Building Awareness: Your First Step Towards Demand Generation. Are you interested in using Lead Liaison to help build awareness and drive demand? Contact us ASAP if that interests you.