What is Sales Prospecting- Dos and Don’ts

Sales prospecting

With sales conversions becoming more buyer-focused, you’ve got to get more creative when it comes to prospecting.

All About Sales Prospecting

It’s no secret that prospecting is one of the biggest challenges that marketers face today. More than 40% of marketers say this is the most challenging part of the sales process, followed by closing (36%) and qualifying (22%)

As much as you’d like to believe that your product is top-notch and new customers will magically flow into the pipeline, it’s true that prospecting requires some extra efforts and investments in the right processes, activities, and skills.

So, let’s get started.

What is Sales Prospecting? 

Sales prospecting is all about identifying potential customers for your business. But how is this different from marketing, you ask?

The main difference between prospecting and marketing is the one-to-one as opposed to the one-to-many approach. 

Most marketing activities are like fishing- you put your bait out, and you wait for interested folks to come to you. 

Sales prospectors, on the other hand, are hunters. They don’t wait for the magic to happen; they chase after it. 

Sales Prospecting is particularly important during the early stages of your business. You’re the new kid on the block. No one has ever heard of you. It’s up to you to go out of your way and make an effort to get people to know you and convince them to give you a chance. 

Leads vs Prospects 

Leads come first, sale prospects second. 

Simply put, a prospect is a qualified lead.

A lead is like raw, unprocessed data. It represents every visitor who ever showed the slightest interest in your business. They might have just come across your website and visited a few pages. They’re not stable prospects yet.

A prospect, on the other hand, is a lead that has qualified as a potential customer. They align with your targeted buyer persona. Prospects are the leads you should spend your time nurturing. They have higher chances of making a purchase and recommending you to others.

Prospecting techniques to boost your performance

At first glance, it may seem like a simple three-step process: 

  • Search for prospects
  • Reach out to them in multiple appropriate ways
  • Lastly, nurture them till you’ve convinced them to close the deal

But, when you look at these steps closely, you realize it’s not as simple.

Not all prospecting activities lead to a jackpot. Some will require you to invest a lot of time, money and energy and still leave you with an empty sales funnel.

So, when old ways of doing things no longer move the needle, it’s time to embrace the new!

So what are the rules of the game?

DOs

Define a buyer persona 

Identifying your customer persona is the ideal way to begin. Once you have a list of traits that you want your target audience to possess, it’s easier to identify & pursue leads.

You can start identifying prospects by prioritizing traits based on:

  • the size of the company you’d like to target.
  • the pain points your product can solve.
  • the industry that needs these issues solved.
  • the designation of the decision-maker that you’d like to get in touch with. 
  • the company location etc. 

Most often marketers waste a lot of time chasing unqualified leads. Thus, it is essential to build an ideal buyer persona as this will help give direction to your prospecting activities.

Get social (pays to be friendly)

More than 90% of executives admit they won’t even respond to cold calls, according to research by Hubspot. But, 78% of them make buying decisions through social media.

You want to be where trigger- ready prospects are present. 

Leverage social media to build meaningful and transparent relationships with potential customers. Refrain from hard selling. Instead, build a presence that engages followers with stories that intrigue and provide value.

Sales Prospecting social media
Make Marketing Automation your best friend

Marketing automation is the answer to the new buyer’s journey. Without it, you’re shooting aimlessly.

Automation tools that link social, content distribution, email campaigns and customer relationship management (CRM) are important in getting the right message to the right people, at the right time.

It allows marketers to implement an integrated approach to generating, nurturing and converting leads into prospects and finally into customers by automating different marketing activities to optimize the sales funnel.

DON’Ts

Overlook Personalization in Emails

Don’t assume that email, as a sales tool, is dead.

Quite the opposite. It’s alive and kicking. Email, even today, is regarded as the most effective means of communication by most of the top marketing professionals.

But, there’s one thing that’s hard to find – Personalization in emails.

Knowing your audience is important when it comes to sending emails to prospective customers. Generic emails are doomed to user’s spam folders. Personalized ones, however, improve click-through rates and have a higher chance of driving a user to take action.

It’s tempting to send out a list of your products best features, but a unique email that matches each prospect’s needs gives you a much better chance of standing out. 

Make prospecting a one-off event

If you negotiate on daily prospecting activities, closing deals will turn into a one-off event and that’s not what you want. 

It needs to be a priority. On average, salespeople make far more calls in the last month of the quarter than the first two. And the success rate of those “eleventh-hour” calls are usually lower than any other month. 

Be consistent, set aside time each day for prospecting and stick to it. Prospecting then becomes “structured” time versus something you do when you get around to it. 

Conclusion

Prospecting doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, it can be a positive experience for both marketers and prospects. Adopt the above strategies with different tools and techniques to see what works best for your team and get the most out of your prospecting time. 



Social Media for lead generation 

social media leads

How’re you expecting to generate leads on platforms where everyone’s posting about food… and dogs…and dogs eating food?

Here’s a guide to help you stand out from the crowd.

How to generate Social Media leads

Social Media leads convert at a 13% higher rate than leads on other media. But you need to do more than your average post in order to make a real difference. Experiment with different strategies, test out different kinds of posts and formats and watch the magic happen.

Strategies for generating social media leads

The most beautiful part of social media is the flexibility that it offers. There’re a million and one ways to engage with your audience. Don’t constrain yourself to the basic post that literally every one of FaceBook’s 2.4 billion monthly users is uploading (without even considering the users on all the other platforms).

Here’s a breakdown on some of the most effective steps you can take to leverage social media for lead generation:

Go beyond LinkedIn

LinkedIn isn’t the only place where your social content should live. Sure, it’s a great pool of opportunity, but make sure your content gets to explore the rest of the social media world. Experimenting with new platforms can get you a wider audience. Even though there may be a slight overlap, not everyone who follows you on other social media will be a part of your LinkedIn audience.

Switch up those CTAs

They’re not working out for you, you wouldn’t be here if they were. It’s time to move on and implement some new CTAs. Experiment a bit, have some fun and figure out what works best for you.

Here’s a quick rundown on how you can revamp your CTAs:

Viva La Revolution

Make your CTAs sound revolutionary. The world doesn’t want the same old stuff, and if they do, you don’t want to target them. After all, why would anyone satisfied with their current state want to do business with you?

Use CTAs that sound like you’re doing something radical, something visionary. People love something novel, here’s your chance to give it to them.

Let’s be Comedians


Would you rather click on something that bores you to sleep or something funny enough to get you falling out of your seat? I thought so too. Make them laugh, they’ll thank you for it.

My Precious

Like Gollum, we all want something valuable. Make the value clear in your CTA and they’ll line up to give you their information.

Run Forrest, Run!

If you give them a chance to casually stroll around, that’s exactly what they’re going to do. To get them to hurry up, you’ll need to create urgency. We humans love saving our energy, we’re not going to take action unless we have to. Make your audience feel like they have to take action right away. Use words like ‘Now’ to make them take action, instead of postponing it indefinitely.

Let The Games Begin

We all want some fun in our lives. And we definitely love prizes. Hosting competitions on social media is a great way of generating leads. Allow the would-be participants to compete only after they furnish their contact details. Now you’ve got yourself a readymade group of people who’re genuinely interested in what you have to offer.

Make it better by offering a product or service of your own as the prize. There’s ample evidence suggesting that some of those who don’t win will actually purchase your product/ service to placate themselves.

Stay Active

When you keep your self active, you’re strengthening yourself. When you write in the active voice, you’re strengthening your copy. Sure, the passive voice can be appropriate in some places, but that lies to a greater extent in the world of literature. Creating social content that facilitates lead generation is a task much better done using the active voice.

FREE, FREE, FREE

Don’t you just LOVE free stuff? So does your audience. When you offer them a free trial, they’re more likely to trust your organization. When trust enters the equation, it blazes a path for sales to follow.

Software companies have experienced a 60% conversion rate after offering free trials. Free trials get your leads into the door; once they’re in, it’s fairly easy to convert them into customers, especially if you’re selling a high-quality product.

Big Brother’s Watchin’

Keep your eyes peeled at all times, never know what you may see. Through social listening and monitoring, you can observe the market. See what everyone is talking about with regard to your keywords and topics of interest and even about your competitors.

Imagine this scenario, someone’s talking about the problems they’re facing and since you’ve been listening, you can offer to solve their problem. Here’s another situation; your competitor’s customer is talking negatively about her experience with them, you can swoop in and pitch your product to her.

Without social listening and monitoring tools, you wouldn’t be able to do this at scale. Don’t miss out on these easy targets, start employing a social listening and monitoring tool today.

To Gate Or Not To Gate, That Is The Question

Creating gated content is the easiest way to generate leads. After all, the viewer has to enter her contact details in order to view the content. But complicating the process could very easily deter the viewer from trying to consume the content in the first place, significantly reducing engagement.

Here’s how you go around this.

Segregate your content into ‘Top of Funnel’ and ‘Bottom of Funnel’ content. 

Top of Funnel Content

Customers at the top of the funnel are essentially searching for answers and solutions rather than specific brands. They’re curious, but not ready to make a purchase.

Content like blog posts and awareness stage videos work really well here. The point of such content is to reel the audience in and get them to start engaging with your content. Gating such content would be a horrible idea since they haven’t gotten a taste of your content yet and would not be inclined to make the effort to provide their details. If this content is gated, they may just ignore your content altogether and instead of gaining leads, you’ll lose engagement.

Bottom of Funnel Content

By the time they reach the bottom of the funnel, your potential customers are hooked. They know for a fact that your content brings value to them, and they may even be considering making a purchase.

Here’s where you could experiment with gating your content. Create high-value content in the form of seminars, E-Books, etc. and ask the viewers to provide the contact details before granting access to the content. You’re essentially making their contact information their ticket to consume that content. Now you have a list of leads who are highly interested in what you have to offer and should be easier to convert into customers.

social media leads sales funnel content

So Emotional

Emotions drive us. Two in particular work better than the others; Fear and Greed. Greed’s pretty good on its own. Fear’s even better. But a marriage of greed and fear is content that can really cause the readers to take action.

Arousing these two emotions can cause a stir in the hearts and minds of your readers. And when you have both their hearts and their minds, selling becomes an easy task.

Make them fear missing out on your revolutionary product/ service. Show them how much they stand to benefit from using it. Take them on an emotional rollercoaster in your content, and they’ll be hooked. Generating social media leads becomes the easiest thing once you figure out how to thrill your audience with this emotional ride.

Don’t treat them the same

All social media are not built the same. It’s similar to TV channels. You go to different channels to consume different content, likewise, you go to different social media platforms to consume different types of content. 

Just like you wouldn’t switch to HBO if you want to catch up on the news, you wouldn’t go to LinkedIn if you want to consume some lighthearted, amusing content.

Keep the audience’s objective in mind when it comes to different platforms and curate your content to cater to those objectives.

Make it scarce

People naturally want what’s hard to get. If something’s not easily available, it’s demand goes up exponentially. You can very easily create the illusion of scarcity by mentioning a limit within your CTA.

When you know that something’s going to be unavailable soon, you’re going to make the effort to purchase as much as you can, as soon as you can. When your customers know that registrations are going to close soon, they’ll register right then instead of putting it off to a later time.

Try something new

Push out of your comfort zone. You only grow when you’re uncomfortable. Experiment with different forms of content. If you’ve only been using still images, use gifs and videos. Do something new, there’s always scope for improvement.

Conclusion

Social media can be an invaluable source for lead generation. In fact, it has a lead-to-close rate that’s almost double that of outbound marketing. For better lead generation, supplement your social media efforts with a marketing automation tool. LeadMi crawls the internet, finding high quality leads for you to convert into customers. Try it out today.

How To Build The Perfect Lead Generation Funnel?

Sales Generation Funnel

Lead Generation is an important aspect for businesses. But what is it?

The process of stimulating and capturing interest in the process of developing a sales pipeline with the use of digital channels. However, this involves a careful process that if done right can deliver a huge ROI at the fastest possible time. 

This process is called a Lead Generation Funnel.

What Is A Lead Generation Funnel?

A lead generation funnel is a tool that helps define who your best leads are, understanding where they are in the lead generation process, and outlining how your business will move leads down the funnel as paying customers. It is the pipeline that feeds your business. 

Lead generation funnel

Setting up a sales funnel is crucial for your sales and marketing teams to effortlessly optimize campaigns and ensure the leads convert into customers. 

Your funnel will perform a lot better if you have a profound understanding of your clients’ needs right from the lead phase to the point where they become customers. 

Your lead generation funnel should help drive and nurture potential customers. 

It would, however, be important to note that each business has its unique processes and sales situations. This would result in each of them having a different lead generation funnel. 

But if you’re trying to improve sales for your business and things aren’t shaping up, then follow these steps and you should end up with a great lead generation funnel:

Raise Awareness

The first step for lead generation is awareness. At this stage, your goal is to pique their interest. Anything beyond this could scare off your potential leads.

This initial stage is to set off a wide net of awareness, and drive traffic. This can be done via:

  • Email Marketing
  • SEO 
  • Content Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Cold calls, and more.

Identify Your Prospects

What comes next? You identify your prospects and collect the following data with the help of an automation lead generation platform like LeadMi

It can help define your buyer persona and can also give you the following:

  • Contact Details
  • Size
  • Revenue
  • Position, and more.

LeadMi helps form a database of potential leads instantly, which your sales team will then engage with.

Engage Your Targeted Leads

The key to engaging with your prospects is personalizing your campaign, and paying attention to what their needs are. This is where engaging your targeted leads really helps. 

Since engaging is such an essential aspect of the lead generation funnel, there are various channels you can utilize:

  • Video Content
  • Events
  • Advertisements
  • Emails, and more.

Lead Scoring

When your prospect passes through this stage of the funnel and engages with you, it enters the next stage of the lead generation funnel. 
It is at this stage where sales and marketing reps research to establish whether a lead has potential, or is unlikely to proceed any further.  Lead scoring can help determine the proximity of a lead to their target.

Market To The Leads

The next step would be to market to the leads that are worth pursuing. 

How do you determine this? 

The lead may have shown a high level of interest in your products, or business. They also fit the ideal profile of the lead you want to target. 

How do you proceed from here? 

You need to market directly to this lead by using focused marketing materials like emails and/or various other calls to action. 

If done successfully, at the end of the campaign a lead is converted into a customer.

Customer Advocates

The final stage is towards the end of the funnel. Your leads are now your customers, and you have to create customer advocates for your business. 

How?

By delivering strong customer experiences, which in turn will help spread the word about your business organically.

Conclusion

Lead generation is an essential process for any business, regardless of how big or small they are. But until and unless you understand the ecosystem of lead generation, it will be difficult for you to keep your lead generation funnel flowing. 

It may seem a little difficult, but AI automation can ease things up. How’s that? LeadMi is an automated leads generation platform that will efficiently help you through the process of lead generation. From creating a buyer persona to creating a list of potential leads ready for you to pursue, LeadMi does it all.
Leverage the power of automation, sign up for free here!

How To Leverage Lead Generation In Your Outbound Sales Strategy?

Lea

What is an Outbound Sales Strategy? Why should my business use it? Is it going to have a positive impact? Various questions come to mind when you think of Outbound Sales Strategy. 

Regardless of how big or small an organisation is, lead generation is an essential part of your sales strategy. But how to leverage lead generation in your sales strategy? Let’s find out. 

In the B2B world, businesses are constantly exploring solutions for finding better leads, since obtaining sales is of  utmost importance. And while there are several methods to generate leads for your business, we’re going to be focusing on just one of those today.

What is Outbound Sales?

The process where a business instigates customer engagement from their end through a sales representative is called Outbound Sales. The conventional method of reaching out is via “cold calls”, while another method is reaching out to potential buyers through an email campaign (cold emails).

What Is Cold Calling?

Your in-house sales team would be extremely familiar with this method. The sales representative picks up the phone and dials the potential buyer’s number. But how do they find all of this information? 

cold calling for outbound sales

Lead Generation.

The sales team looks for leads by defining a couple of factors, after which they start reaching out via calls, and emails. But in spite of being around forever, cold calling has a particularly bad rep. Inbound sales calls are the preferred method because of how familiar it seems compared to outbound sales calls.

What Is The Difference Between Inbound Sales Calls and Outbound Sales Calls?

The major difference is the familiarity which inbound sales calls hold. Inbound sales cover hot or warm leads, who have already contacted you through your website, social media, or more. 

Most sales representatives prefer this method for two reasons:

  • Warm and Hot leads usually mean leads that intend on converting. 
  • Ease of  conversation  due to prior interaction. 

Cold calls, on the other hand, are the exact opposite. Because there hasn’t been a prior conversation, the lead isn’t expecting a call and tends to give the sales representative a cold shoulder. This would also mean that they wouldn’t be as eager or easy to convert. 

For more outbound sales strategies, you can read the 10 Outbound Sales Strategies For 2020.

Now that we know what Outbound Sales are, let’s dive in!

What Is An Outbound Sales Strategy?

While Inbound Sales might sound enticing and generate leads, it might not be enough. This doesn’t generate revenue or help grow your company. 

Your business needs new customers, and waiting for them to come to you isn’t ideal. What you need to do is get your hands dirty by getting out there and letting your customers know that you exist. But how do you do that? 

Outbound Sales. 

And even though it has a bad rep, Outbound Sales has evolved over the years. It’s not just about calling leads through a list or hastily spamming inboxes with cold emails. 

To obtain the desired result, sales reps create a well-planned outbound sales strategy. But how can you create a successful outbound sales strategy?

There are various factors to consider:

  • Define buyer’s persona
  • Identify what your customers have in common
  • Benefits of purchasing your services
  • An integrated multi-channel approach. 

But what if we tell you that you can  handle most of this on an automated platform instead of manually doing it? 

You can generate quality leads instantly by activating some of these factors on Leadmi – the marketing automation and lead generation platform. All you have to do is register, set up your brand, and generate quality leads instantly. 

There are various ways to leverage outbound lead generation. And each of them has their pros and cons. 

Let’s consider some of the most preferred methods:

  1. Cold Emails

As mentioned multiple times above, cold emails are the conventional way of reaching out via outbound sales and a medium most are familiar with. 

Not only does this require excessive research on your sales reps part, but there are various factors to keep in mind: 

  • Personalise your emails

To ensure your email doesn’t get classified as spam, use some sort of personalisation in the subject line, and body. 

Another reason why personalisation works is that customers love acknowledgement. This is why there is a higher chance of converting them.  

  • Spell your lead’s name or company’s name correctly

There is nothing that would irk your potential buyer more than you misspelling their name or their company’s name. Why? Because they will then realise that you’ve just scraped their information and sent out bulk emails. 

  • Ensure the email addresses aren’t shared

Whenever sending out emails, always make sure you check the email addresses. If it isn’t an individual email address, do not send it anyways because your campaign would just fall flat.

  • Make sure your data has been cleansed

Before sending out any cold emails, always check to make sure you have the correct email addresses. Every email that bounces could hurt your campaign’s success rate.

2. Social Media

Social media can be a very powerful lead generation tool, if used correctly. 

Here’s how you use it to your best potential:

Social Media for Outbound Sales Strategy

  • Prioritise what social media platform to use

Social Media, for the most part, is a cheaper alternative to use. But because of how easily accessible it is, many brands make the mistake of hopping on every single one of them. 

Due to how different each platform is, the audience demographic would differ too. To identify which platform works well with your brand, and solely concentrate just on that. 

Posting on too many different platforms could just hurt your brand’s image while confusing your audience.

  • Gives buyers all the information about your product

The biggest advantage of having a connection with your audience on social media is that you can directly converse with them. 

This way, any content that goes out is as genuine and as true to your brand as possible. Images, GIFs, Videos, everything would be as closely related to your product as possible. 

  • Post at appropriate times

Just like how every platform has an audience demographic, it also has an appropriate time at which you should post your content . It’s performance could vary depending entirely on the time at which  you post it . 

For B2B companies, LinkedIn proves to be the best social media platform. You can even pay for a Sales Navigator license to get more flexibility and control over your prospecting on the platform.

3. Paid Advertisements

Paid advertisements are easier to implement, but can be difficult to optimise correctly. It is easy to set up an ad campaign on your chosen platform and drive traffic, while tracking your campaign to see how well it performs.  

Here’s what you should keep in mind: 

  • Audiences could be using ad blockers

Most people use ad blockers while browsing through the internet. So if you’re paying for an ad, keep in mind that most of your target audience might not even be able to view it. 

  • Lack of trust  in paid advertisements

Due to how misleading paid ads have been, consumers don’t trust them anymore. While this may not seem like a huge issue, this is a disadvantage if that happens to be your target audience. 

  • Be mindful of the platform you’re advertising on

It is always smart to advertise on a platform that is frequented by most of your target audience because that is where you will find your warm leads. 

It would also make sense if you would interact with the audience that is interested in your product more than trying to get someone interested in it. 

  • Relevant ads

Relevancy goes a long way. Creating an ad that your audience relates to will not only help with quicker conversions, but is more effective, and performs better.

Conclusion

When it comes to outbound sales strategy, there are various methods you can use in your marketing efforts. 

Identify a social media platform that works better for your business based on your target audience and goals. By doing this, not only are you putting out content that is available for the right people, but you’re also defining your brand’s identity.  

But you’re not done yet, once you do have leads coming your way you have to ensure that they don’t slip through the cracks by constantly staying on top of it and nurturing them through the funnel. 

To ensure you can fill your pipeline with qualified opportunities, use proper lead generation channels that make sense for your business and execute them well!

Common Mistakes In Lead Nurture Strategy To Be Avoided In 2020

lead nurture strategy

In the initial stages of business you must focus on gathering an audience from which you can fetch quality leads. It’s essential that you turn that audience into quality leads through smart lead generation. But there are quite a few mistakes that seem to come up along the way. These mistakes can cause problems getting you the results you want for your business. Before you watch all your traffic go on by without turning into a lead, take a look at a few mistakes in lead nurture strategy you should be avoiding.

Missing or non-existent landing pages

When your web page receives traffic because of a promotion or ad, you must have a landing page that is related directly to what your audience clicked on. If you make them land on a full-content web page then there is a huge chance that they will leave and go somewhere else. The landing page should be the one that directs your audience and doesn’t misguide them. That’s how they go from traffic to a lead because you are gathering information.

Want to know more about getting high quality leads? Read our blog

Performing too generic tasks

You want to have information and details that can attract a plethora of types of businesses to yours. It’s somewhat of a two-way street though, because you don’t want to be too generic in hopes of attracting everyone.

It’s up to you to narrow down your audience a bit and figure out exactly what kind of information they are interested in. By producing more personalized content, you will find better matches for your company.

Investing too much or too little on Social Media campaigns

Customers are driven by social media today. In fact, the entire world is. Everyone is on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and other platforms. This makes companies invest more on social media marketing.

However, they do happen to make some mistakes that drive their audience away. Either they are not putting out enough information, or basically, they start up a page and leave it. Or, they are dumping too much information out and overloading their visitors. What works best is when companies distribute quality content at decent intervals to catch and keep the attention of the audience.

Unable to nurture leads

Many marketing teams think that when they get a lead to land on their page and complete the campaign, they are done with the process. That’s not exactly true. Only a little over 10% are ready to make a purchase when they respond to campaigns. To get the remaining traffic to commit to something, you have to nurture the leads and give them some personalized and focused attention to keep them interested. And marketing automation is of great help here.

Marketing automation is all about timing. A great follow up strategy would be to find out whenever a prospect’s timing is changing to your advantage and to build a relationship with prospects whose timing isn’t quite right yet.

Marketing teams struggle to figure out the perfect and most nurturing message to send out to their leads. But a smart marketer knows how to control emotions through email copywriting, social media messaging, etc, which is an aspect often overlooked.

Nail social media marketing with these hot and trending tips!

Irregular monitoring and updates

In B2B lead generation, you can’t just set and forget about your campaign. You might be getting a good number of leads, so you think your job is done and you can keep doing the same thing. Well, what works at one time isn’t necessarily going to work later on.

In order to build successful campaigns, you must keep a close eye on what’s working and what isn’t. The methods that aren’t working need to be tweaked and updated so that they can start getting results again.

Quitting too soon

Once you try and make contact with a potential quality lead, there is a good chance that they aren’t going to respond. In fact, it takes about 5 attempts at reaching someone through a lead generation before it is successful.

This means you can’t email them once and when they fail to answer you, forget about them. It’s only going to work if you keep working at it with consistency. Stick with them remaining consistent with your nurturing until they are ready to make a decision in your favor for an effective lead nurture strategy.

Ineffective or missing CTA

Your CTA is the most crucial part of the whole process of lead generation. It informs and educates your visitors what to do next. It’s when they click through on a free trial, email list, or download something from your site that you gather their information.

If an effective CTA is missing, there is no other way to collect the details you need to try and convert those leads. Make sure that your CTA is noticeable and easy to proceed with. If you put an overly complicated CTA, your traffic isn’t going to bother with it. Keep it clear and simple, you will see how well your CTAs work that way!

If you would like to know more about lead nurture strategy and marketing automation, please visit LeadMi!

***

Blog Cover Photo by Oli Dale on Unsplash

 

6 Best Practices For Linkedin Lead Generation

linkedin lead generation

Let’s understand LinkedIn lead generation by starting with a few interesting stats – 

linkedin lead generation

These compelling stats prove that for most businesses, especially B2B, Linkedin is the most effective social media channel which gives its users the ability to build and grow professional networks to reach their potential buyers just with the tap of one button “Connect”.

Lead generation via Linkedin is an integral part of any digital marketing strategy and today we will be discussing – How can it be leveraged to its maximum?

Read on….

LinkedIn lead generation best practices

1. Identifying your buyer persona

It might sound basic, but according to Hubspot’s report in 2018, 52% of marketers say that they provide salespeople with their best quality leads, while salespeople rank marketing-sourced leads last.

Hence, it is very important for marketing and sales teams to answer the question – “Who is your buyer?” collectively to reach common ground and minimise wastage of efforts.

Always remember, that having a very broad target audience or a very narrow one – can drive ambiguous and unreliable results. Before defining your target audience using hundreds of filters, always keep one thought in mind – When your potential buyer reads about you and your brand/product, they should think that your existence in the market is to be of service to them and you are exactly what they need, right now. Segmentation of this intricacy drives the maximum results.

Read more about buyer persona here

2. Linkedin Sales Navigator

With most of the users using Linkedin for marketing or selling their products, Linkedin introduced Sales Navigator back in 2014. However, only since 2018, salespeople have started relying on Sales Navigator as a viable resource for expanding customer relationships, acquiring new businesses and improving productivity.

However, till date, Sales Navigator cannot be used as an only tool for lead generation via Linkedin due to multiple limitations – like outdated information, limited user-base, availability of only personal email IDs as contact information and more. Also, the problem of being able to generate only a small chunk of leads on a day-to-day basis makes it even more difficult to scale.

In such scenarios, using platforms like LeadMi.io helps you leverage all the features available in Sales Navigator and multiple other social media channels. Avail validated contact information and without any audience limitations.

3. Linkedin Lead Gen Forms

In case you are doing Linkedin ads, then the best way to do lead generation would be via Linkedin Lead Gen Forms.

As soon as a person clicks on your Linkedin Ad for downloading your lead magnet, Linkedin Lead Gen Forms take them to an auto-filled form with all the required professional information from their Linkedin profile. The key here is that without any manual efforts from your lead’s end, a validated lead is created in your CRM automatically.

For these forms, Linkedin displays large and dynamic CTA buttons, mostly to make it mobile-friendly. Hence, designing your Ad accordingly will help in deriving the maximum results.

4. Prepare the end-to-end Sales process before beginning

Once you start leveraging Linkedin for lead generation, you get access to potential leads for your business, in abundance. For most of the companies, this becomes a big issue because the sales process is not aligned to its entirety.

The cost of getting back a customer who is already lost, is very high as compared to retaining them. So, plan out your entire sales journey and also the marketing around it for maximum engagement and conversions.

5. Clear and convincing messaging

In today’s social media world, user attention is a scarce resource, making it extremely complicated to get your message noticed. Hence, you have to focus on multiple aspects of your messaging to connect instantly with your buyers and enabling them to relate to your product and showing true value.

An ideal way of doing this is classifying your messages as answers to questions like –
What do you do?
Why do you do it?
How do you do it?
How much does it cost?

If your messaging is answering more than 2 questions at once, then there are very high chances for the potential buyers to not show any interest.

However, if your messaging is answering questions like –

What is in it for your customers?
Why is it better than your competitor?
What results have you produced?

Then the chances of getting an immediate response showing interest are higher.

6. A/B Testing

Test, test and test!

You will never know if your lead generation strategy is providing you with the best results unless you perform multiple A/B tests to find the ideal combination of tools, methods and messaging. Hence, it is always suggested to do A/B testing before finalising your Linkedin Lead Generation Strategy.

Conclusion

If you’re a B2B company, then data and research suggest that you’re most likely to find your potential buyers on LinkedIn. There are several paid and free strategies that will help you find them. Some of these strategies can be tedious and time-consuming. But they help you find hot leads so you can nurture them better.

The key is to push maximum relevant content and measure the ROI with the help of your lead generation tool. This strategy takes all the guesswork out of the box. As a result, you can contact your potential buyers with confidence.

Reach out to LeadMi if you would like to know more!

How Does A Lead Generation Software Improve Your Sales Velocity?

lead generation software

Sales is what makes the B2B world go round. The more sales you make the more successful you are. The faster you make these sales the faster is the growth that you ensure for your business. With such a fast-paced trend in the market ‘sales velocity’ has, as a result, become the new buzzword in town. Therefore, a lead generation software is now more important than ever because the technology offers speed, accuracy and ways to measure ROI and growth.

What is a lead generation software?

A lead generation software is a tool that helps sales and marketing teams generate leads through digital channels. It streamlines the process of identifying potential customers, also known as leads, and targeting them through smart activities.

A software, in this case, will expedite the process and facilitate:

  1. Acquisition 
  2. Nurturing 
  3. Scoring 
  4. Management 
  5. Lead Generation Process Evaluation 

Read more about lead generation and how it is useful for your business

What is sales velocity?

Sales velocity measures how fast your business is making sales conversions and generating revenue. In simpler words, sales velocity accurately calculates how fast your business is making money. You get to keep a close eye on how your sales team is performing. You can measure the impact of existing strategies and 

If you want to measure the productivity and ROI of your sales team then keeping tabs on sales velocity will help you improve and grow.

Read more about sales velocity in detail here

How does a lead generation software improve sales velocity?

A lead generation software can improve sales velocity in a number of ways.

  1. Find leads faster

Since sales velocity is all about measuring how fast your company is getting sales conversions it is important to ensure that you acquire leads at an equally fast pace.

A lead generation tool will help you acquire interested leads and engage with them. The faster you find these leads with the help of a lead generation tool the faster you will be able to segment them. If they seem interested you go ahead with them. If they don’t seem interested, they drop off and you get to focus on the next potential customer.

  1. Track leads status for better engagement

A lead generation software will help you engage with leads in a personalised manner.

If you really want to convert leads into customers at a faster pace then you must be aware of the stage at which they are in your pipeline.

When you engage with these leads you ensure that the interested ones don’t drop off.

  1. Focus on retention

Sales velocity is not only about generating sales and filling in your sales bucket. What if the sales bucket is leaky and you have to find a fix for it?

A solid lead generation software helps you identify pain points, faults or errors in the customer journey right on time. So, you get ample opportunity to find a fix for those errors, correct them and increase customer retention.

This way, your sales velocity doesn’t get a hit. You win customers by acquiring them and at the same time retain them with personalised engagement.

  1. Measure results for improvement

A lead generation tool will help you fill the gaps in your lead/customer journey so that you can focus on improvement. When you work towards improvement you plan the correct growth strategy.

Further, you get the chance to review how you guide prospects through the sales pipeline. You would not want your prospects to go silent. So, focus on personalising and improving leads and customer journey to keep up the sales velocity. And, of course, this is easier with a lead generation tool.

Conclusion

Keep up the sales velocity in your company with the help of an effective lead generation tool. The key is to look for ways to improve and the best way to ensure improvement is constant growth measurement through a lead generation tool.

To know more about sales velocity, lead generation and growth, visit LeadMi

What Is Sales Velocity And Why Should Your Business Track It?

increase your sales velocity

The internet, and along with it technology keeps growing and evolving. A prime example of that would be marketing. It happens to be one of the most data-driven activities in the business. Sales, on the other hand, hasn’t changed as much. The same processes while do help with calculating commissions, doesn’t do much to improve overall sales productivity. What will truly help is Sales Velocity, a management metric that has recently gained popularity. But before we proceed any further.

How Do We Define Sales Velocity?

Sales Velocity is a measurement of how fast you’re making money. This management metric is a prominent aspect of sales, yet we don’t give it too much attention. Due to it considering other aspects like trial length, features to measure sales productivity, and pricing is a valuable part of sales.

In simpler words, it is a measure of how quickly business deals are closed, after a customer shows interest in the form of a lead generation. But how do we use it to it’s best potential?

Why Should You Track It?

  • It is quite evident that sales velocity is essential for the growth of your business. 
  • The higher the sales velocity is, the more revenue you’re bringing in.
  • Keeping track of this will help you understand how the sales process impacts your business over time. 
  • It also helps you determine whether your sales process can be optimized.

Accurately Calculating Your Sales Velocity

With how important sales velocity is for, correctly calculating it is extremely crucial.

You first multiply your opportunities created in a period, then divide all that by your sales cycle. Once you do, run each of them through the equation. 

Sales Velocity = Number of Opportunities x Deal Value x Win Rate / Length of Sales Cycle

What Are Its Four Variables?

1. Number of Opportunities

Your pipeline contains a certain number of opportunities(leads). You have to ensure that the opportunities it does contain are qualified, since anything under wouldn’t be good. If it is packed with bad opportunities, there is a slight chance that some of them will convert.

2. Deal Value

Sometimes to referred to as the Average Purchase Value, is simply the average selling price for the deals you close in a month. 

3. Win Rate

The average win rate depends on the number of quality leads you have. How do you identify your win rate? You divide your number of sales win by the total number of opportunities.

4. Length Of Sales Cycle

You measure the length of sales cycle in months, which is why this is the only factor you wouldn’t want to increase. It is also often referred to as an Average Sales Cycle Length.

How Do You Increase Your Sales Velocity?

Now that we know how tracking works, let’s recognize how we can increase and improve it. 

The prime factor that affects your sales velocity is lead generation. The lesser time a lead spends in the pipeline, the higher its chances of making a deal with you. 

But how do you find the best leads? 

A lead is a person who is interested in your brand or the services you offer. Leads are the most important aspect for sales velocity. But how do we find said leads? That is where lead generation comes into play. 

The process of finding potential customers is called lead generation. It is also a method of funnelling in your potential buyers.

Now that we know what lead generation is, does it play an integral part for your business?

The obvious answer is that lead generation is extremely important for the growth of your business. LeadMi can help by generating quality leads that have a higher chance of converting. 

An extremely efficient way is to add more opportunities to your pipeline. While maintaining a healthy pipeline should be your prime focus, learning about your prospective buyers/companies could always give you an upperhand.

Data – driven sales can also give you that much needed edge. Why? The sales velocity is inversely proportional to the sales cycle value. This and many other methods can give your sales velocity that much needed push. 

To learn more, read our blog on What Is Lead Generation And How Is It Useful For Your Business?

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5 Different Stages Of The Sales Pipeline

sales pipeline

To understand the different stages of a sales pipeline it is important for us to be able to visualise the entire process end-to-end. A visual representation may not exactly help employees understand it but it definitely helps give a better and clear picture of how individual teams proceed with the sales process.

According to data, 63% of executives believe that their teams can perform more efficiently if they put in greater efforts to streamline their sales pipelines. Inside story, if you really want to save thousands of dollars by increasing your team’s efficiency then you must work to analyse your sales pipeline and efforts.

Understanding the different stages of a sales pipeline

What does a sales pipeline look like?

A sales pipeline is a step-by-step representation of the path that you make your customers take so that you can close a deal. There is no generic representation since different organizations will have different requirements and a unique set of target market. However, the flows remain similar and the ultimate goal is to achieve a successful sales deal.

Let’s look at the 4 crucial stages of a sales pipeline.

Prospecting

Prospecting or lead generation, how we would usually like to call it, is the first step in the sales pipeline.

 

When you are prospecting, you are looking for prospects and identifying the people who may have an interest in your product. After which you make efforts to ensure that your offerings are visible to these prospects.

 

There are different ways in which you can approach prospecting. Every sales prospect will not turn out to be a good fit. A very small percentage of initial prospects fit the journey. Therefore, marketers need to generate more than just 1 prospect so that the sales teams can pursue them to make a sell.

Get your first 100 leads with these 12 effective ways

 

There are subcategories in prospecting.

Cold prospecting

For cold prospecting, your team reaches out to potential clients through various channels. Some of these methods include cold calling, emails and social media reach out.

This is slightly different and difficult to crack than digital marketing because the lead has not interacted with your product industry before. So, sales teams conduct brainstorming sessions to create the perfect script that works with such leads.

 

Here’s how you can write the perfect cold calling script for your business

Warm prospecting

This method of prospecting is focused on making a connection with potential clients who’ve shown interest in your product or service.

 

For example, if you run social media ad campaigns or grow online visibility of your website organically then prospective buyers can reach out to you through various mediums.

Qualification

After you identify a prospect, the next goal is to determine the prospect’s actual level of interest and continue to move them forward through the pipeline. At this point if the prospect seems interested then you carry them forward and assign them as a lead.

 

Typically, sales teams have a casual or in-depth conversation with the prospect before marking them as a lead. Depending upon their interest level and how much they already know about your product, sales teams pursue them further.

Consideration

When you determine that a lead fits your criteria, you can continue targeted and personalized outreach to them through intelligent content distribution, marketing automation, etc.

 

You can give them information about how you have solved specific problems that are similar to theirs. You can also tell them about how you have helped other companies improve their processes and increase efficiency.

Purchase/Decision

The purchase step seems like it could be an easy one to negotiate. After all, if you’ve kept your prospect loyal through all the preceding steps, it should be a piece of cake to get the documents signed and make it official, right?

 

As much as closing a deal seems easy at this stage it is important to keep up the persistence.

 

Don’t let your leads lose interest or go lukewarm and miss the connection altogether. You must make them believe that they are investing and not wasting their time and money. Show them value in this investment.

Sale

With all your hardwork and a little bit of luck, you will be able to close the deal and make a sale. However, you are still not finished at this stage.

 

If you have made promises to the lead then you must ensure that you fulfil them without fail. You can create a smooth transition for the client. Move them from working directly with sales to partnering with your customer success professionals. Thereon, focus on customer success to work with them on integrating the product, maximizing its effectiveness, and ensuring both renewals and upsells.

Additional Tips for Building and Managing Your Sales Pipeline

The steps listed above will give you an idea of how you can get started with building your own sales pipeline. At the same time, you should also look for additional opportunities specifically suited to your industry. It will help you find and win through competitive edge.

Find Options to Differentiate

Do extensive research on what kind of business propositions your competitors are providing to their leads and customers. If you have an upper hand in showing comparisons and how you are better than your competitors, you will surely win the sales deals.

Use Automation to Move Things Forward Where Possible

Incorporating automation into your marketing strategy can greatly increase the number of your qualified leads.

 

As per research, businesses that use automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads. By using automated omnichannel prospecting outreach tools can guide you to build campaigns and support your pipeline goals.

 

Learn more about Marketing Qualified Leads and Sales Qualified Leads

Make Data Analysis a Valuable Part of Refining Your Sales Pipeline

Take advantage of reporting data, and look for opportunities you can create from it. For example, if you see a lot of leads falling out or going dark at a certain step within your pipeline, it means that there is a problem and you must solve it with immediate effect.

 

Once you have the numbers, you can determine a proper solution to shore up sagging sales.

 

Your sales pipeline is at the core of your sales success. Refine and create a pipeline that fits your business. Therefore, tou will continue to improve your efforts and make your sales team better.

 

To know more about sales pipeline and lead generation, visit LeadMi

Read more articles from LeadMi-

 

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10 Outbound Sales Strategies For 2020

outbound sales strategies

Every business wants to increase its overall revenue. For this, they mainly put their major focus on inbound sales strategies. But believe it or not, outbound sales gets them high returns when planned strategically.

All the talk about inbound methods sometimes makes us think that cold emails and cold calling aren’t effective sources of lead generation. However these 2, and other means of outbound sales strategies, are amongst the most popular and widely used strategies. When done right, they don’t just ensure high quality leads but help increase sales conversions too.

Learn how to write the perfect cold calling script

outbound sales strategies

Source

Here Are 10 Outbound Sales Strategies To Help You Get Started

Identify your most attractive markets

Outbound sales strategies work the best when you reach out to leads who are most likely to buy from you. Or for that matter, hear out your proposition.

The process of market segmentation will help you clearly divide the market into identifiable customer groups. You will get valuable results as long as you maintain consistency, discipline and regular iterations.

The key here is to identify a broad market and then fragment it into subdivisions that have common needs and interests. Value-based segmentation will help you figure out the most lucrative market and implement specially crafted strategies to target them.

Build your ideal customer profile list

Your ideal customer profiles are those companies which you think will benefit from your services.

Try to identify the characteristics that are similar to your existing customers who have found value from your offerings. You can make a list of questions to make the targeting easier.

  1. What is the size of the company?
  2. How much revenue does the company generate?
  3. How many employees does the company have?
  4. What is the company’s location?
  5. What is the industry or vertical of the company?
  6. Which department of the company uses your service?
  7. How many employees work in that department?
  8. Do they use any other software?

Research and qualify your prospects

Your research to qualify leads will help you narrow down your list and target a specific audience.

You can find out a lot about your prospects through their website, blog, social media and online portals that lists information about them.

Ultimate sales guide to get high quality leads

Set tangible sales goals

In order to set tangible sales goals you must first and foremost realise what your end goal is. You can identify an initial strategy by planning from the beginning, making adjustments and set initial benchmarks to identify results.

Start small but aim big, or vice versa.

Generate customer data and insights

Develop a set of accounts to use as a data set. This list must be comprehensive and include all customers with minor exceptions of trial and proof of concept accounts.

Additionally, don’t include those accounts that are outliers, they may erroneously influence your analysis. The overall goal here is to determine basic criteria that will create segmentations between different groups of customers.

Build outreach plans

Build a workflow, and outline what your sales team should cover in each of those connections.

You can start with the following-

  1. Build a script for your cold call but don’t neglect flexibility.
  2. Trust in your team and guide them to pursue leads with ease.
  3. In certain circumstances, let the potential customer lead and direct the call.
  4. Make an agenda for your call, review it with the customer, and ask if they’d like to include any points.

Make connections through social media

Be social, and use the information you learn on social media to your advantage. Don’t just connect with someone on LinkedIn to sell to them. Build connections in a subtle manner by sharing a post, commenting on other posts, and also through Likes and other engagement activities.

Use social media to research about decision-makers and learn about companies. Incorporate this information into your emails and calls for personalisation.

Offer credible value

You may create a cold calling script but don’t adhere to or fixate on it. Go with the flow of the conversation and offer credible value to your customers.

If you don’t promote something, don’t discuss it. If you cannot offer something, don’t promise it. On the other hand, if you think that you have a competitive edge then don’t shy away from discussing it till full length.

Measure results from outbound sales strategy

How do you know if your strategy is bringing in the desired results?

It’s simple, you need to first understand the end goal of your outbound sales campaign. Based on your end goal, you can track the key metrics to gauge the success of your outbound sales strategy.

Work around an improvement strategy

Once you start measuring results you will be able to identify the problem areas and figure out solutions to work around for improvement.

Keep an open mind, remember your end goal and make adjustments in the plan that lead to your end goal.

Conclusion

If you are running a small company then building an intelligent and smart outbound sales strategy is the way to go not just in 2020 but always.

If you’d like to know more about outbound sales and lead generation, please visit LeadMi

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