Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Nurture Your Leads Better

All marketers have a single goal, to get an impressive amount of leads. Because in their mind, more leads result in increased sales, but that is not exactly true. The number of leads a business has is not directly responsible for increasing their sales. In fact, a much more effective measure is the quality of leads. This means that, to boost your company’s sales, you should nurture the leads that you have to increase conversion rates.

Following are simple yet effective guidelines that can help sales and marketing personnel in better nurturing of leads.

Before you decide that a lead should be pursued, you should conduct a thorough research on that lead. Who or what that person or organization is. If you call up a lead without the proper knowledge you will end up doing more damage than good.

‘Bad’ Leads
When you are starting the nurturing process you will need to recognize leads that will not pan out. You can use lead management software to verify the pursuable leads. Otherwise you will only be wasting your time trying to convince leads who have no interest in buying from you. People who are more interested in making purchases from your websites will likely click on the advertisements that you have provided, fill the given forms or contact you via phone. These are the leads that should be dedicating your time to.

Know your Leads
When you have weeded out the ‘bad’ leads, you can start organizing the remaining leads into categories according to the perceived requirements. Some leads will turn into customers with a single phone call. But others will require a more prolonged persuasion process. You will need to remain in regular contact with them to turn them into potential customers.

Build Trust
Don’t bombard a lead with your offers and try to make it all about your sales. The more hesitant leads require a more delicate touch. You should ask them about their needs and problems. Every time a marketer speaks to a lead, he/she can learn something about them. Track all the details of note so you can be helpful to your leads at a later time. Suggest ways and offer information with which they can fulfill their requirements and solve their issues. This will help build their confidence in you.

A marketer’s job is not done yet, once the leads are turned into paying customers the nurturing process is almost complete. You need to send follow-up emails and make regular calls to the leads to inquire about their continuing needs so they can be turned into repeat customers.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What is Ping Post Technology?

Businesses that have to deal with hundreds and thousands of customers or leads on a daily basis have a hard time keeping track of every customer. Managing leads can be more difficult than generating them. The level of competition for each lead makes it necessary for a business to keep track of each and every lead that they have generated lest they lose them. Manually performing this task will be time consuming and the amount of mistakes that will be made will be unaffordable. It would be more sensible to use some sort of technology or a tool that can help organize and keep track of the leads.

Introduction of Ping Post Technology
The best tool to use for this purpose is the Ping Post technology; it is revolutionary technology that can help businesses keep track of their leads. Its biggest advantage is that it can save you time. You can access the leads information in a manner of nanoseconds. It can be customized to suit your needs, so you can use it to not only save time but also to be more efficient.

Ping Post technology brings its many tiered benefits to your business. It provides you with many different options to categorize your leads. You can establish connections with your buyers and send information using pings which are swift and can save on costs of sending your data to your clients. It sends only a single piece of information like a phone or social security number to the client’s server. The information is pinged and if client’s server verifies the lead they purchase it. It keeps the whole lead from exposure while providing the essential function needed to sell the lead.

It keeps you from doing expensive and tiresome manual work that would have been required if not for Ping Post technology. Imagine trying to verify each lead manually, it would take days or months to validate the amount of leads a business can generate in a single day. Ping Post technology has an automated feature that will validate all the good leads and point you to the leads that are inaccurate. You can easily get rid of these bad leads whenever you wish using the system.

You can keep detailed records of all your transaction using Ping Post technology. You don’t need to purchase any additional software to perform that function. With its many benefits and ease of use it can transform your business by allowing your employees to be more efficient.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Lead Generation: Balancing Quality and Quantity

There are two basic approaches to lead generation that companies can adopt. The first is to take the route of brute force tactics and generate as many leads as you can. The second one is a more calculated approach –patiently wading through the data and generating leads that you believe will surely turn into potential customers.

One tactic focuses on quality while the other is based on quantity. But how do you know which methodology is the best one for you? The choice depends on your goals, and your sales and marketing personnel.

Lead Quantity
If you have the right amount of personnel in your sales and marketing department and you can spare them for the amount of time required to generate a large number of leads – you can take the quantity route. Simple math will tell you that there is a higher probability of finding more pursuable leads if you gather a large amount of them.

If you are purchasing leads from an agency, you can buy more leads at a lower cost if they are unverified or low quality. You can dedicate time and effort to build up these leads. Given the right persuasion techniques and dedication, you can foster repeat customers from these low quality leads. But it will require an extraordinary amount of work to sift through all those leads and find the ones that will turn into sales. So be prepared for that if you choose to follow this method.

Lead Quality
When you want to save time and you think that your employees’ efforts will be better spent doing other tasks than chasing many leads, you can choose to generate or purchase quality leads. Instruct your marketing and sales staff to do their research before they contact leads. Go after the leads that you believe have a high chance of converting into paying customers.

If you are purchasing leads from an agency – use lead verification software that can verify quality leads. Only buy the leads which can be verified; they will cost you more than unverified leads but they will have a higher conversion rate. You staff will require less time and effort to convince these leads to buy your products or services.

There is no right answer to which approach is better for your business; both have their advantages and disadvantages. In the end, it depends on how much money, effort or time you are willing to sacrifice to gain the leads and nurture them into paying customers.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Lead Nurturing: Don’t Sell, Help your Customers Buy

In the world of marketing and sales, the definition of the word Lead is always changing as newer technologies are being introduced. There are easier ways of contacting people then there were before. The introduction of social media has completely changed the atmosphere of the lead generation business. You cannot apply the same old methods to convince leads to buy your products or services that you used before.

The buyers have become smarter – they are more hesitant in being influenced into making purchases. This requires the marketers to adjust their approach and go from selling to a customer to helping a customer buy.

How to Help Customer Buy
Making this subtle but important change in the way marketers approach the lead can be difficult. But the following tips will help simplify it:

  1. When you first contact the lead, you need to build a mindset of customers first. The rest of the process should come to you naturally after that. Try to show genuine interest in what they say to you. Ask them about their needs and confirm that the service or product you provide can fulfill their requirements.

  2. Listen carefully to the leads and note all the details that can be useful later. You can learn about their needs and buying patterns from the information that the customers provide you with. You can also learn what it would take for to convince them to buy from you.

  3. The most important thing you need to remember is that you have to stop campaigning for your products or services. Don’t overwhelm leads with your selling tactics. Have a real conversation with them. You need to make the leads feel like you are there to help them get what they want.

  4. Your lead nurturing strategy should be based on one word, “help”. The lead shouldn’t feel that you are a salesman or a marketer. They should feel that you are there to provide them with a service they need.

  5. When contacting customers through email or social media, you should create compelling content. If you have created a rapport with the lead they will share that content with others.

  6. Train your sales and marketing staff whenever there is a new trend in lead nurturing. You need to change with the technology or you will lose out quality leads to your rivals.
By remembering these tips, your sales and marketing staff can successfully help the customers buy your products or services. With the emerging trends, it is necessary to change your lead nurturing strategy accordingly to keep the standards of your business and your revenues high.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lead Generation 101 - How to get started in Lead Generation

Imagine that you are watching a good movie and the film just got to the most important scene that will decide the life and death of the lead character. Just as the crucial scene approaches, your phone rings and someone asks for you by name and tells you that it is a very important call. They continue on to say they need to know about your insurance coverage. Well this annoying phone call is from a telemarketer who is gathering leads for his business.

Lead What?
Lead generation is a process of inquiring and gathering information on potential clients. Back in the day, lead generation was performed in trade shows where company representatives would setup a booth and have people fill up cards or forms with their contact information. These ‘leads’ would then be contacted via mail or telephone to inquire about their interest in purchasing the particular company’s products or services.

Now that the internet is uber-popular, greater portions of leads are generated online with the help of some lead management softwares that can streamline the whole process greatly. But still, a large number of leads are generated through inbound and outbound phone calls. Good lead management can help you build a relationship with your customers and can increase your business revenues. You can either generate leads for your business yourself or hire one of the numerous agencies that provide leads to businesses.

Getting Started
Generating your own leads may appeal to you and it is the more cost effective method. But hiring an agency to provide you with the leads is not that expensive either while being much more effective. You can choose the option you prefer and get started. First, there needs to be one or multiple websites setup to gather the leads. You can advertise your products or services on these pages and attract potential customers. You should include a form that requires people to provide their contact information. And also a valid phone number so that the potential consumers can call you if required.

The information is processed and verified. There is a whole lead database created that can be used to send promotional emails to the leads and can also be used to call them. You then need to skillfully convince these leads to make purchases from your website. Don’t be obvious about making a sale; build a relationship with potential consumers to turn them into loyal ones.

This basic information will help you make the decision on getting started with your lead generation. You can either generate and manage your own leads or hire an agency to do it for you. Wherever the leads originate, they will eventually help you boost your sales and improve your profits.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Before you start generating leads, you should…

Lead generation is a growing business; businesses of every size, big or small, depend on leads to generate revenues. Usually a small business will rely on a lead generation agency for their leads. But companies that can afford it, setup their own lead generation team in their marketing departments. Sometimes such companies, in their haste to start generating leads, overlook vital information. This can result in mistakes and ineffective lead generation.

Before Lead Generation Begins
Before you start your lead generation proceedings you need to put a few questions in front of yourself.

1.       Does your marketing team have complete knowledge of your product/service?
You have to train your marketing team comprehensively. They should know all about the products/services they are selling. They should be able to answer any type of queries about the products/services.

2.       Do you know what your consumers want?
Perform surveys, monitor social media and employ other tactics to learn about your target customers. You need to know what their issues are and what they require to solve those issues. When you have gained the information required to learn what your consumers want, you can look at the next question on the list.

3.       What does your brand offer the customers?
Gathering the information mentioned above is crucial to get the answer to this question. When you know what your consumers’ needs and demands are, you can think about whether your product/service can provide them the solutions they are looking for. If your brand cannot offer them anything of value, you cannot convert leads to customers.

4.       What methods will you employ for lead generation?
They are many traditional and digital lead generation methods you can use. You have to develop a strategy for lead generation and add the platforms that you will use to that end. You can use cold calling, email marketing, trade shows, email marketing and myriad of other ways to capture leads.

5.       What will do with your unverified leads?
There will many leads in your database which will unverifiable and unusable for you. You should contact a lead generation agency and unload these leads to get something out of the hard work you put in to capture them.

The questions above will help you better prepare for lead generation. Your marketing staff will play the most vital role, so make sure that they are well trained and have access to good lead management software. When you enter the lead generation business with an enthusiastic and trained staff, you will have a better chance of capturing quality leads.

Learn to Speak the Language of your Prospects

Cold calling is one the most reliable and effective prospecting or lead generation methods. It is also one of the most dreaded ones. People hate cold calls and marketers have also come to like them less, who likes being yelled at by 10 different people in a span of a few hours. But it doesn’t have to be that dreadful, if you take the right approach. Prospects you are calling can be turned into valuable customers, if you learn to speak their language and take a more tactical approach.

Call the RIGHT Person
Before you can start to convert prospects into consumers, you have to make sure that you are talking the right person, the decision maker. Make several calls if you need to, until you get in touch with the person who handles the decision making. Don’t take any clever approaches to get through to the decision maker, don’t lie or pretend to be their long lost friend. Be truthful and tell them that you are selling this and this and you would like talk to the person in charge. If you are persistent enough, you will get in touch with them, and you would have made a good impression on them.

Don’t Sell Yet
Once you are talking with the right person, have a conversation with them and don’t just start pitching them a sale from the get go. Keep the conversation light; squeeze in joke or two if you can. Bring the conversation towards their problems. Be genuine and show concern for their issues.

Offer a Solution
Now you can start your sales pitch. After you have listened to their issues, you can offer them a solution in the form of your product. You will have to be creative and use a quick wit to guide the conversation towards the sales pitch.

Close the Deal
When you have told the prospect about your products and how it can help them, you can move on towards asking them for their contact information. Don’t forget to thank them for their time and transfer them to the sales department. Your part of the job is done.

By following the procedure above you can turn many leads into consumers. There will be some difficult prospects which will require a bit more maneuvering on your part. But if you use the right ‘language’ you can turn even difficult leads in to consumers.

You Said What to your Lead?

There are so many things that need to work in order to generate a quality lead. Contact information for the leads needs to be gathered, those leads need to be verified and finally, a connection is made with the leads in order to turn them into warm leads.

That whole process can be rendered useless, if the captured leads are not nurtured properly. By following an effective nurturing procedure and avoiding the following mistakes you can utilize the generated leads properly:
All generated Leads are not Equal
A common mistake that many businesses make is that they treat all their gathered lead equally. This can waste the time of your marketing staff and tax your resources. The simplest solution is that you should invest in lead management software. Software will allow you to verify the leads and score them; you can place the leads in different categories according to their value.

Disregarding the Leads
After spending time and energy in attracting the leads to their brands, businesses make the mistake of ignoring the leads. When the leads have shown interest in your company’s products or services, they can be turned into customers. Show them the proper attention and provide them with regular updates, to nurture them properly.

Hello, we are selling…click
Don’t include a sales pitch in every piece of conversation you have with the leads. This will give a feeling of a forced sale and that will make a bad impression on them. People are constantly bombarded with sales calls and emails, you should stand out. Provide them with informative material that can be useful to them.

No Split Testing
Split testing is an important tactic in lead nurturing. It allows you to learn which of your lead nurturing strategies is working and which is not getting the desired results. Even the best haul of leads can be lost if a proper nurturing strategy is not in place. Split testing provides you with an opportunity to minimize the losses.

Mentioned above are the most common mistakes made in the lead nurturing process. By rectifying these issues you can streamline the nurturing process and turn more leads into valuable customers.

Lead Generation through Content Marketing

Lead generation was left to telemarketing, email campaigning and seminars. But now businesses are using focused content marketing to attract their target consumers. A survey by Marketingprofs and the Content Marketing Institute suggests that, about 90% of businesses are using content marketing to generate leads and expand their business.

Creating engaging content in any form can help raise the awareness about a brand online. To effectively generate quality leads here are some popular content marketing methods:
Webinars have become a very powerful content marketing tools, everyone online seems to be using them. So you will have to stand above the rest with a catchy title and including highly useful information in it. You can make use of some clever surveys, along with your webinar, to gather information about the participants. Webinars are free, so people will flock to them, if they are even remotely relevant to them. With the surveys accompanied with your webinar, you can turn them all into leads.

Articles and Whitepapers
Publishing relevant articles online is the most popular content marketing tactic. The articles are published in different directories online and contain keywords related to the business. They are easily searchable and usually contain contact information at the end, so potential consumers can be driven to your website.
Whitepapers provide solution to problems and help people understand complicated procedures. People will be attracted to them and will download them to gain information. A cleverly placed web form can gather every downloader’s contact information for you to use.

LinkedIn is one of the more ‘buttoned up’ social media sites. It keeps a low profile as far as marketing is concerned. But now people are realizing the marketing potential of LinkedIn. For generating leads through content marketing, you can start a group on LinkedIn. They are very easy to setup and when you send an invite through your company’s profile, it will be more legitimate. All the people that accept your invite are potential leads. You can start relevant discussions in the groups to further your cause.

Presentations on Slideshare
Slideshare is that little blip on your content marketing radar, that your thought was a dust mark. You can pick a topic that will surely attract the attention of your target demographic, create a snazzy presentation on it and put it up on Slideshare. With well placed links you can draw potential leads to your own website through your Slideshare presentation.

The content marketing tactics mentioned above can be used to generate quality leads if they are utilized the right way.

Who is your Lead?

A big challenge in lead generation is providing the right offer to the right people. To resolve this issue some companies have started building personas for their leads or buyers. This has led them to develop more targeted marketing campaigns.

By attracting the right people to your content and in turn, your company; you will have a greater chance of converting them into quality leads. Assigning personas to your leads gives you the opportunity to manufacture tailor made strategies to engage the leads that can be turned into consumers with minimal effort.
Building Lead Personas
Personas for leads can be developed with the help of your marketing, product management and sales staff. They can provide details about different aspects of the type of consumers your business has. You can use this information to build different categories for your leads, and the following method can help you do exactly that:

Know your Target Audience
When you have a conversation with your sales personnel, you can learn about the type of customers you already have. This will help your glean what segments of people you should be targeting with your marketing campaign.

When companies develop a lead generation strategy, it is designed to target a specific group of people. By assigning a persona to the people in that group, you can develop content for a specific type of person and not for a group. Content or message created using this methodology will be more comprehensive and relatable to the leads.

Understanding their Needs
To assign the right persona to your leads, you will need to understand their needs and problems. You can talk to existing customers and have your leads fill out surveys, to learn what issues they are faced with. You can offer solution to these problems through your products/services.

Involve the Sales Team
It is crucial that you keep the sales team in the loop in the representation process. They are the ones on the frontline dealing with the customers every day. They know your clientele the best, the can help provide the personas for your leads.

Once you have created personas for your lead, you can develop a marketing campaign which will be effective in attracting and engaging the leads. You will have to keep updating the personas periodically, so you can keep evolving your lead generation campaign for maximum efficiency.