The Ultimate Guide To Sales Prospecting To Get Higher Quality Leads In 2020

sales prospecting for increased revenue

A new decade. A new time. And a new strategy. Welcome 2020! In these past years we have figured out various effective and successful ways to do business. We have maintained call calling, outbound emails to prospective clients, networking, referrals, social media reach outs and other sales tactics. It is now time to reprocess and rethink how you approach leads and define sales prospecting for your business.

What Is Sales Prospecting?

Sales prospecting is the active process of searching for potential customers via calls, emails, social messaging, etc, to drive your business and generate more revenue.

Businesses focus on sales prospecting with the aim to guide their target audience through the sales process to eventually bring to sales closures.

There are 2 major techniques that companies widely use to incorporate sales prospecting within their business strategy.

One is outbound marketing.

Outbound marketing covers email marketing, cold calling, networking, and social media. This means that in this process sales representatives reach out to prospective buyers depending upon the persona that they create.

Second is inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is when customers themselves come to you. Inbound marketing can be achieved by having a call to action on your website or creating a persuading landing page. Visitors who are interested in your product or service, therefore, can submit their contact information.

Other way is to maintain an active blog on your website to educate and hook the readers.

Inbound and outbound marketing efforts are most effective when backed by detailed research and analysis. As a business you must be fully aware of what your potential buyers are looking for. When you keep tabs, you ensure that you are collecting relevant information. This helps you plan future campaigns as well.

Building a Prospecting Strategy

When you create a strategy you must keep in mind that your end goal is to ensure that the potential customer makes a positive buying decision. Moving a potential buyer down the sales funnel is a long process. So, the key feature in this is to make the process as seamless as possible.

Let’s breakdown the framework of sales prospecting and see how your strategy will fit into it.

1. Do your research

The top of the sales funnel, or how we famously know it – TOFU, requires research. At this particular stage, you would be evaluating the quality of a lead. This means that you must work around a set of criteria to evaluate how interested the lead is or will be in your offering.

So, basically, you must analyse what kind of content you must push to make the receiver interested in your offer. You must work out and qualify the dimensions at the very beginning.

Familiarity Level

This shows how well you and your sales team know the prospect’s industry, market, services offerings. etc. The greater the familiarity, the greater the potential.

Therefore, you and your sales team must focus on these leads for faster conversions.

Awareness Level

This shows how aware your prospect is with your company and your offerings. If they are significantly aware then their chances of becoming a paid customer are higher than if they are not fully aware.

Organizational Fit 

Based on demographics, for example the prospect’s industry or buyer persona, it will reveal the overall size of the opportunity that exists for a successful business transaction to take place and their potential lifetime value.

Deal Breakers

Yeah, they too exist in the middle of all the pitch, prospecting and sales. Deal breakers define any budget constraints or lack of time that can influence the buying decision of a potential customer.

2. Prioritize to meet deadlines

This step will help you organize the list of prospects into high, medium, and low categories. So, you reach out to them on the basis of level of urgency and priority.

You can use lead management software to automate parts of this process, like calculating lead scores.

Want to find out more about lead scoring? Read this!

3. Reaching out

Learn about your prospects before reaching out to them. Know what is it that they care about because once they know that you care, they will be all interested in at least hearing you out.

At the later stage, you can work out the pitch that you want to use with them to ensure a guaranteed conversion.

In fact, many marketers and sales professionals reach out to the next best person to talk to so that they can know more about the prospect. For example, the receptionist, personal assistant, colleague, friends, acquaintances, or others.

Once you know who is in what role and what they like and dislike, you can use your research to personalize the outreach messaging and other campaigns..

You can analyze your competitors and see how you can better position yourself to the prospect.

4. Build the connection

When you determine how you want to conduct your first outreach, whether that be email or phone, keep a few best practices in mind:

  • Personalise it: Call them by their first name. Build a rapport. Speak in a way that shows how much you understand them and their needs.
  • Be a helper, not a pusher: Remember that your potential buyers are looking for value and not just unkept promises. Offer to be a motivator and ensure that you fulfil what your promised.
  • Be on time and be consistent: Time is money and wasting it is not just cost inefficient but disrespectful too.
  • Stay casual: Take a deep breath and then initiate your conversations with prospective clients. It is definitely about making the sale but before that, it is about meeting the needs of a potential buyer who is looking for long-term investment in your company.

A positive first impression should then lead to a discovery call that will lead to further enhanced interactions.

5. Education and Assessment

Here, sales teams should focus on the pain points and assess a prospect’s objections. Such objections often stand in the way of a buying decision.

Address their concerns when you follow up after the discovery call. Offer all the necessary information about your brand, company and offerings that can remove any form of hesitation.

6. Closure

Finally, this is your chance to score the goal and bring it home for the team. You’re ready to turn this opportunity into a customer. It can go in one of the two ways:

  • Closed-won: The potential buyer is willing to make the purchase from you.
  • Closed-lost: The potential buyer is not willing to make the purchase from you.

No matter what the result it, see value in the winning situation and learn from your mistakes from the lost ones.

Sales Prospecting Techniques

You can break down prospecting into two groups, namely inbound techniques and outbound techniques.

Inbound Prospecting

Inbound leads are easier to target as compared to outbound leads. This is because inbound leads have already taken an action and want to pursue your offerings. Or at least know about them so that they can come some time later in the future whenever they are ready.

Inbound prospecting includes:

  • Social selling: Through social media, you can easily build a relationship with a lead who is familiar with your services. As a sales rep, you can offer value over the same social channels with the help of useful content and interacting directly through comments and questions.
  • Warm email: Interacting with prospects over email rather than social media is more professional and reliable. It’s a more direct form of contact where you have space to be warm, engaging, and start the relationship off strong. On the other hand, social media is a more relaxed platform where you can discuss topics casually.

Outbound Prospecting

These practices require you to reach out to leads and prospects who are not completely aware and are still in the dark.

Outbound prospecting includes:

  • Cold calling: These are unsolicited calls to sell your product or service. More like spray and pray or shooting in the dark. No doubt, these calls can pose awkward situations at times but you never know you might as well find a genuine lead who may not have any other source to find you.
  • Social connections: This is basically social media reach outs where you reach out to potential buyers through social media messaging. You can either send them a request to connect with or without a message. If they seem interested, go ahead and make that connection!

Want to know more?

Or you could simply visit leadmi.io to know more about marketing automation.

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How To Create Buyer Persona – 3 Detailed Ways To Do It For Your Business

how to create buyer persona

Ever wonder who is your ideal customer and how to create buyer persona around it?

Understanding customer and buyer behaviour is crucial for the success of your business. What’s also crucial is how to create buyer persona that best describes your potential customer.

There is no point in talking butterfly to cocoons. You have to understand who you are selling a message or product to and then curate it accordingly. 

It is important to understand how to create buyer persona because it helps you understand your customers.  

Let us look at the importance of creating a buyer persona.

  • Easier to curate content according to the interests of the buyer
  • Easy to understand their specific areas of interest
  • Better chances of getting a conversion
  • Personalized messages and content
  • Helps to understand the negative persona or exclusionary persona

While buyer personas are the ideal customers of a product or service, exclusionary personas or negative personas are the ones who are highly unlikely to use your product or service.

Want to learn more about buyer persona? Read our blog!

Creating a buyer persona is important because sending the same email or message to all the contacts in your database is like searching for a needle in the hay. Moreover, it increases the chances of appearing spam.

Creating a buyer persona will help you segment your audience and cater to them according to their needs. We have already spoken about the importance of defining your target audience in our previous blog and had promised you that we will detail about creating a buyer persona. So, let’s look at how to create a buyer persona.

How to create buyer persona?

It goes without saying that creating a buyer persona starts with research. Surveys, interviews, and analysis must be done in order to create an apt buyer persona.

Research Your Target Audience

You must do a thorough analysis of the target audience. You must look for patterns and behaviours.

Look through the database of your contacts. It will help you uncover trends about how certain leads or customers find and consume the business content that you produce. When you create forms, which you use on your website, ensure that you are using the form fields that capture important persona information.

For example, if all personas vary from each other based on the company size then ask each lead for information about company size through these forms.

Also, always consider your sales team’s feedback on the leads they’re interacting with the most. What generalisations can they make about the different types of customers you serve the best?

To gather this information, try setting up a phone call or in-person interview with someone you like doing business with. Or are at least comfortable doing business with. This allows you to ask follow-up questions based on their previous answers to get detailed information.

Additionally, you can research customers you’ve had a bad experience with to learn which kind of people aren’t the right fit for your product or service.

You can quickly gather information from multiple people by creating and sending a survey email to the current subscribers.

The survey could ask questions

When do you open your email?

What kind of questions do you have about [Insert your industry name]?

What type of content do you want to receive from us?

And what challenges do you have to suggest?

After a year or two of using this research, conduct new research to refresh your buyer persona with updated information. This helps you stay updated with the latest trends and know the current status of the mindset of your potential buyers.

Whom To Interview?

  • Customers
  • Prospects
  • Referrals
  • Networks
  • Database

Once you’ve finished your research, narrow down the results that you collect by finding the most common answers you receive from customers and subscribers.

Then search through the results to determine the most important details that will affect how you communicate with your target audience.

For example, if a majority of people face the same challenge then this should be an important detail to include in your persona.

Here is some of the information you should determine in this step.

  1. Demographics (age, occupation, etc.)
  2. Behaviours (skill level, interest in your product offering, how they use your product or service, what they read and watch, etc.)
  3. Challenges and interests
  4. Email preferences (how often they want to receive emails, when they open their emails, etc.)

Name them 

The best way to write for and think about your buyer persona is to give them a name!

Assigning a name to your persona will remind you that you’re speaking to an actual person when you write emails and not just writing for the mass. This can help you create personalized content for each persona.

You can even take it one step further and find an image or photo to represent your buyer persona! This will help you ease the process.

 Conclusion

Creating a buyer persona is crucial to make your selling game on point. It helps in ensuring that the content given out is relevant and helps in boosting the effectiveness of the message. It can also help in more conversion rates.

If you’d like to know more, please visit LeadMi!

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How To Nail Brand Marketing In 2020

brand marketing

The concept of ‘Brand’ and ‘Brand Marketing’ has changed a lot over the past few decades. Brand marketing isn’t just putting up a logo on each and every marketing material related to your product/service.

Brand marketing is now all about communicating one single message as the brand value to establish a personal connection with your target audience. Running a successful brand can only be defined when you can measure using quantitative metrics on how much your customers love your product/service. Even with one negative feedback or social media post, all your hard work can go into vain. 

So, here are a few tried and tested hacks by marketeers from all over the world which have helped them establish successful brand marketing campaigns and brand images.

Nail Brand Marketing In 2020

Key to brand marketing is establishing a clear brand message 

Over the past 5 years, we have seen that putting out promotional messages isn’t going to help you much in engaging with your audience. And with so many changing social media algorithms, engagement is the only way to reach more and more people. 

Hence, establishing a clear brand message and vision will help you relate with your potential customers and develop a sensitive relationship showing how much you care about them. 

For example, Hubspot’s Grow Better campaign.

brand marketing

Identify your exact target audience 

Marketeers often make mistakes in identifying their target audience. Some brands choose a very broad target audience, most of the times with the psychology of “sell my product to everyone who wants to buy it”. 

However, while defining your target audience and curating content for them, you should always keep the following points in mind – 

  • Understand the psychographics of your target audience
  • Segment your audience into smaller units exhibiting similar attributes
  • Check out your competition’s target audience 
  • Analyze the data and results

Learn more about buyer persona here in our blog

Develop high-quality content and always optimise it

Creating content isn’t a one-step process. Your customers will engage with your brand and remember it only if your content is high-quality and provides something of value. Or else you will become internet noise, any brand’s worst nightmare. 

Tip: Before creating content, always check what others have already done or written about. DO NOT copy the same idea, instead, add all the extra value you can provide along with it to make it worth the attention. 

Even after curating high-quality content, you have to focus on its deliverability to make sure it reaches the target audience you have defined in Step 2. If you have a website, then make sure it is SEO friendly and there isn’t even one single issue that Google or any search engine algorithm can penalise you for. If you are doing a social media post, make sure you have checked out all the features of the particular platform and utilising them to its optimum value. 

Tip: What works on Instagram mostly never works on Linkedin. Not only because of the different social media objectives that the two platforms cater to, but also because of the algorithms. Keep this in mind before creating your content. 

And one underwritten rule: Be Original! 

Maintain your social presence

Maintaining your social presence and engaging while encouraging your audience to engage with your social media posts plays a major role in any brand marketing campaign. When people look up for a brand, no doubt, Google search is the first thing that pops up into their brains. In most of the cases, your brand’s social media profiles will show up on the first page. Thus, it is very important to have active conversations and discussions on social media. It is the best way to show your audience what the brand has to offer.

A very frequent mistake most marketers make is delivering the same type of content over and over again. It can be helpful in pushing out the brand’s image in the beginning. However, it can also become redundant over a period of time. Worst-case scenario would be losing major chunks of your old followers in exchange of a few new ones. 

Social media should never be too informative, too promotional, too casual or too serious. Though it is completely upto you what you want the “voice of your brand” to sound like, it is always better to maintain a good balance between various types of content to keep the audience hooked. Moreover, as this opens up a direct communication channel between you and your customers, it is always the quickest way to build relationships. 

Tip: Always Respond. No matter if it is a positive or a negative comment, always respond to your customers’ feedback. No one likes leaving a comment without any acknowledgement. Show your audience, you care and appreciate the time they are taking out for your brand. Only this way, you can build brand loyalty. 

Consistency is the key in brand marketing

Building a brand and marketing it, isn’t possible in one day. You have to be consistent in the basic elements used in all your marketing messages. Be consistent with the marketing material to keep your brand image imprinted in the minds of your audience. Elements like logo, colours, domain name, branded links help people identify brands. If you want your brand name to strike at once, make sure you are consistent. 

Tip: Customer interaction and visual aesthetics are two key differentiators where consistency plays a huge role in defining the future of your brand. 

Also, be consistent with the routine in which you are pushing out your marketing messages. Be it emails, social media posts or something else. You should be experimenting all the time to figure out which day, which platform, what time works the best. In this process, make sure that you don’t make your audience wait a lot. Because while waiting they will be losing interest.

Conclusion

Brand marketing is all about ideas, innovation and how well your ideal customer relates to your products and/or services.

Be careful about the ideas, think deep into it.

To know more about brand marketing or marketing automation, visit LeadMi

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How To Create The Best Holiday Marketing Campaigns For Your Clients?

holiday marketing campaigns

Ready for the holiday marketing season?

While we cannot say no to last minutes plans, we can always stay prepared in advance.

Here’s what businesses consider when their teams get together and craft a holiday marketing plan to woo their customers.

  1. Creativity is key but intelligent channel distribution wins sales.
  2. Returning and net-new customers have different purchasing behaviour. Simplicity makes it easier for retailers to quickly adapt.
  3. Visiting the store for shopping is common during holidays but it shouldn’t stop you from branding through online promotions.

Marketing Strategies to Consider This Holiday Season

These ideas will help you refine your holiday marketing efforts to improve sales during the most profitable time of the year.

Plan in advance and put more thought in your plan.

There is enormous competition in the market today. If you want to stay ahead of the curve then you must start early.

Choose the right words. Think through how all channels work together. Take a step back and walk through the customer journey and ensure everything works fine.

Pre-plan your campaign and how you want to measure results and impact. Starting January 1st, all of your wins and losses will be fresh in your mind. So, take the opportunity to document them and come up with quick measures for the next holiday.

Successful holiday marketing campaigns start their initial planning in Q2. It’s really easy for that breath of fresh air in January to turn into getting distracted with summer hours. Then all of the sudden it’s the end of October and you are finally making time for holiday marketing planning.

Work on simplicity.

There is too much hustle and bustle at the time of holiday planning already. But it’s better in the long run to start small with your holiday campaigns. Especially if it is the first holiday season for your brand.

Even the large retailers who have been around for decades refer back to the basics during the holidays.

With this tactic, you build trust among your customers. You focus on building long-term relations with them. As a result, when they have to make a purchasing decision they will remember your brand. This will further help you you improve customer retention in the long run.

Learn how to improve customer retention with marketing automation.

Be prepared to react, adapt and act quickly.

During Black Friday 2018, customers grew frustrated when their orders on J.Crew were not going through.

The tech problems lasted almost all day. As a result, a majority of customers simply shopped elsewhere.

At times, situations beyond digital and content preparations and you must be prepared to take action.

Since it is the holiday season expect a little bit of chaos. Rather than fixating on the chaos, focus on finding a solution to clear the clutter. Bring in more people, encourage unrelated teams to participate and focus on collaboration.

Use a smart content-driven approach.

Online shopping has been around for the past quarter of a century. So, customers are more familiar with holiday campaigns than ever before.

The same themes that emerged during the 2019 year in e-commerce will apply to the holiday marketing strategies as well.

The main theme that will stay true during the holidays is the “content-first” approach. You must personalise the content as it will act as a holiday assistant for your customers.

Adding a content strategy element to your holiday marketing ideas can reap big rewards, especially if you keep search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. This will help drive organic traffic to your website.

Prepare for competition.

Email marketing will be more important than ever in drawing customers to your online store. So, communicate the benefits of shopping with you over your competitors.

The existing loyal customers will rest assured and come to you. The message will also attract new customers to reach out to your brand.

Keep a close look at what your customers do. If they do something different, improvise and woo your customers. You will surely get a huge response and it will help you measure growth for improved results.

Know more about holiday marketing emails and automation with LeadMi!

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6 Tips To Improve Your Customer Retention With A Marketing Automation Platform

marketing automation platform to improve customer retention

When it comes to improving customer retention, marketing automation emerges as the King. It involves customer experience management, streamlining customer journeys, collecting feedback and measuring customer satisfaction. Of course there’s more and managing it altogether manually is not just difficult. But it is highly inefficient. So, businesses are now trusting marketing automation platforms to improve customer retention.

Marketing Automation Platforms To Improve Customer Retention

marketing automation platform

Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

Ensure better customer relationships

In today’s era of increasing competition, it is the best time to be a customer. You have ample choices and options to choose from.

Therefore, a robust marketing automation platform helps you ace this competition.  Also, in building better and stronger relationships with your customers.

You can automate email journeys, send messages on special days like birthdays, anniversaries, etc. This is to show how much you care for your customers.

Even the smallest communication such as a ‘thank you’ for being a loyal customer’ helps. This is something that earns a lifelong loyal customer.

A marketing automation tool can help you study existing user behaviour. Therefore, you can push emails based on what they are looking for or aspire to own.

Share a thank you email to new customers. Tell them how grateful you are to have them come on board.

Improve the sales process

Automation can improve the sales process by automating emails that you send to potential customers. You can share offers, deals, discounts, and early-bird notifications to increase engagement and improve conversions. This will help you boost retention in the long run.

Simultaneously, you can share resources with them that push them further down the sales funnel. This will create an exemplary experience they increasingly become accustomed to. This will further help you note emotional customer touch points and improvise.

You can use this data to improve the overall customer retention. Know more here

On-board customers with a seamless experience

Marketing automation helps in seamless customer on-boarding and presenting ways to get started. This can include-

> Completing account profile

> Setting up goals and triggers

> Creating email templates for faster follow-ups

In fact, an efficient marketing automation tool will know the right time to trigger important information. This helps ensure greater efficiency.

Determine readiness with lead scoring

Lead scoring is one of the finest ways to cater to the most promising potential customers. So, they come on-board with your business and decide to stay.

With a marketing automation platform you can determine how active or passive a particular lead is. You can keep a track of this score and determine the journey for a particular set of customers. This will help you follow up with them and engage them better.

Use lead scoring for existing customers as well because it will show the engagement level of each customer. You can figure out whether you need to take additional initiatives or not. In the long run. This turns out to be an apt strategy to increase customer retention.

Learn more about the ROI of lead scoring

Ask for feedback and create strategies for improvement

Marketing automation allows you to push regular automated feedback and survey forms.

This will help you note the pulse of your customers. Also, you will find out ways to improve their experience.

Push personalised content for continued engagement

Customer delight and customer loyalty are important for any business. With the help of personalised content you can ensure continued engagement for a longer period.

A marketing automation tool will gather relevant customer data. Then, it will give you insights about the kind of content that a particular customer is seeking.

Are they looking for a better experience? Are they looking to purchase other than what they already have? You can get all such insights at one particular platform.

So, it’s a complete win-win for your customer as well as your business.

For more on marketing automation platforms please visit leadmi.io

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How To Speak The B2B Marketing Language With Prospecting Tools For Sales?

prospecting tools for sales

We have all heard it enough but we will stay say it again. “It’s not about what you say but how you say it”, and this is going to be the theme of this blog. With the increasing number of prospecting tools for sales available today, businesses ought to become careful about their marketing language to avoid imminent marketing mishap. So, you need the right marketing words to grow online.

Create your brand and then tell your story

Many B2B marketing companies do not fathom the importance of stories but customers trust brands because they like stories. They look forward to hearing every interesting story that relates to the brand.

Also, create your brand story by keeping the end user in mind. This way you tell them what they want to hear without compromising on your business aesthetics.

Here, defining a definite buyer persona comes handy for marketers. Distribute these stories through effective prospecting tools for sales. This is how sales representatives will benefit through this.

Learn how to define a buyer persona as a part of B2B marketing strategies for your business

Engage users with corporate newsletter

Corporate newsletters are genuine, trustworthy and authentic. They work the best with hot leads who know about your business and would like to gather more information right before making a buyer decision.

Keep the language consistent and frequency regular. Customers crave regularity and consistency.

Tell you a secret. As much as businesses want to sound professional and astute, customers would only be interested when they see value in your content. Have a sophisticated conversation with them like a friend. Then only they would want to listen and communicate further.

Check out how CB Insights does it. They are simple yet elegant, professional yet friendly, and informative yet exciting.

Educate your buyers through examples

Persuasion is key to marketing. Educate your audience with your marketing material just enough so that you are able to provoke, challenge and excite them.

Just remember what the end product is that your buyer is looking at. Communicate according to the end goal of your user.

Guide through examples. Testimonials, customer feedback, reviews, etc, work the best in this case.

Intelligent content strategy for different buyer persona

We have already discussed the importance of defining a buyer persona in one of the pointers above. We have also discussed how targeted content guarantees increased ROI.

Plan your content strategy and focus on the right prospecting tools for sales to increase efficiency.

You don’t have to use big words rich in vocabulary. B2B marketing doesn’t run on fancy words, it runs on the right words. Smart words, basically.

Once you define the buyer persona, create a category of words that your customer would relate to with the most. Study their behaviour through social listening and other channels to deliver what they are looking for.

Invest on visual content and design

The web is flooded with content and growth hackers find out ways to engage their audience via other mediums. That’s why and how visual content and design plays a crucial role in inviting more readers and engage with them.

Today, an authentic design captures all the customer attention before you get an opportunity to talk about your offerings.

Therefore, while you invest time and resources to formulate the right branding and marketing language, focus on visual content and design too!

Talk like a thought leader but with data

We are deluged with leaders, visionaries, evangelist and entrepreneurs sharing their thoughts and vision with the audience. However as a B2B marketer, aspirations and ideas are just opinions if you cannot back them with data.

Businesses don’t run on aspirations, thoughts or ideas. They run on numbers, data, analysis, and true and honest customer service.

Therefore, talk as a thought leader. Act as a thought leader. Let your customers believe that they are believing the right business when they partner with you.

Want to learn what is B2B marketing and lead generation? Read it all in our blog here

 

For everything else about marketing automation, visit LeadMi

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Top 10 Marketing Technology Bloggers of 2019

marketing technology bloggers

Marketing technology is the lynchpin of marketing and sales strategies explaining how the new world of buying is transforming the role of offline and online marketers. When leveraged to its best, it can outline the entire framework required for buying cycles which also establish brand loyalty and affinity for the benefit of businesses and customers. Here’s a list of Top 10 marketing technology bloggers whom we really look up to in the year 2019 to understand how they are transforming the current industry scenario.

  1. Neil Patel
  2. Scott Brinker
  3. Rena Gadimova
  4. David Raab
  5. Douglas Karr
  6. John Koetsier
  7. Robert Rose
  8. Sophia Bernazzani
  9. Kristin Tynski
  10. Justin Pot 

Let’s read more about these technology bloggers and their work

Neil Patel 

Neil Patel is a digital marketing entrepreneur and technology blogger who provides a holistic view of digital marketing and marketing technology to help small and medium businesses grow with the help of his content. His videos and blogs are a source of immense amount of information, tips and tricks, do’s and don’ts, etc, which are required to get an edge over the market competition.

Scott Brinker 

Scott Brinker has undoubtedly written the most number of inspiring and insightful marketing automation blogs providing visibility into technology and its impact on modern-day marketing. He explains why it is necessary to adopt technology in order to not get left behind. He has always been keen and successful in identifying trends before other industry experts and explains their contributions to marketing strategies.

Rena Gadimova 

Rena Gadimova runs the Marketo Blog and writes about everything from Customer Experience to Marketing Metrics to Professional Development. Her blogs comprise an entire package of useful content which can drill down into the details of analyzing user behaviour and how it should be interpreted to establish essential insights for devising new marketing strategies. 

David Raab

David Raab is the founder of the Customer Data Platform Institute and a marketing technology blogger, specialising in evaluation and analytics. He has written hundreds of blogs as industry publications and every blog piece is a plethora of useful information which explains the core competencies of marketing as well as the benefits of implementing automation technology as part of business structures. 

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of the Martech Zone and a recognized Marketing Technology expert. Douglas is also a Keynote and Marketing Public Speaker. He’s the CEO of DK New Media, an agency specializing in assisting marketing technology companies with their inbound marketing – leveraging social media, blogging, search engine optimization, pay per click and public relations. 

He outlines the foundational element of successful marketing technology practices and helps his readers identify missing attributes in marketing strategies crucial for buyer decision. 

John Koetsier

John Koetsier is Singular’s VP of Insights and has written multiple blogs to optimize the value of new marketing technologies and identifying the reality of marketing detriments which can impact marketing strategies extensively. His blogs resonate the typical thinking of a marketer and how it has to be challenged to accept all the new significant events happening in the industry to improve marketing communication. 

Robert Rose

Robert is the founder and chief strategy officer of The Content Advisory, the education and consulting group for The Content Marketing Institute. He has provided content marketing and strategy advice for global brands such as Capital One, NASA, Dell, McCormick Spices, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. His blogs cover every nook and cranny of marketing technology for businesses. 

Sophia Bernazzani

Sophia started and managed the HubSpot Service Blog, and she has written for the HubSpot Marketing Blog. Her blogs have been a constant source of deriving bodacious correlations between buyer personas, user behaviour and latest developments of marketing technology which can be implemented by marketers to improve marketing. As one of the most respected technology bloggers his ideas assist sales teams as well.

Kristin Tynski

Kristin Tynski is the VP of Creative at Fractl and heads a team of talented and inspiring designers, programmers and journalists. Her goal is to write the most viral content pieces which exceed her customer expectations. Her blog is a hub of it all from content marketing, link building, social media marketing, paid search marketing, online advertising and more. Making all the content pieces a constant flow of information on how technology assists marketing and vice versa. 

Justin Pot

Justin Pot is a staff writer at Zapier and citizen journalist at HillsboroSignal. His unique writing style triggers the visceral feeling in marketers which requires them to try out something new with their strategies and not stick to the traditional. His every blog is not going to be exactly like that of other technology bloggers. Or about how technology and marketing need to blend together to make strategies work or which tools have to be leveraged and how. His blogs provoke the creativity required in marketing to distinguish the profession from all the others available in the market.

If you’d like to know more about marketing technology and automation, stay tuned to leadmi blog and get all the latest updates.

Feel free to visit the leadmi website for more.

How Important Is Marketing Automation For Your Business In 2020?

marketing automation for business

2019 has almost come to an end, and it was definitely a year of growth. With the rising business opportunities, there came about a considerable boost in the Marketing automation industry as well. There’s an increasing demand for Marketing Automation from business all over the globe, because who wouldn’t opt for automating their marketing workflows and be able to engage and retain their customers better? 

However, getting into 2020, the demand for marketing automation technology is expected to continue to expand at 8.55%, reaching a US$ 6.4 billion market capitalization by 2024. More than 51 % of companies already use Marketing Automation, according to Email Monday. This is expected to be adopted by over 58 percent of companies. 

2020 will work on developing distinctive, engaging experiences that create value to the advanced, super-connected, ever-online consumer, and Marketing Automation will help pave the way to make everything happen.

2020’s marketing automation industry will be influenced and dominated by these top trends. But before we start, let’s capture some knowledge on what marketing automation is.

marketing automation for business

Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

How do you explain Marketing Automation? 

So you’ve built a stunningly optimized website for your business. Let’s guess how it works- your marketing team devotes everyday driving visitors and turning them into leads, and your sales team spends its time collecting, qualifying, organizing and chasing those leads. Is that really effective? Probably not. 

Marketing wants to get on with what they do best – building and executing creative campaigns, and the sales team wants to focus on what they best, i.e selling your product. So, how do you make both teams happy? Well, the solution is Marketing Automation. 

By automating all the repetitive processes, you enable your team to focus on what they do best- bringing new customers and making new sales. Aligning marketing with sales, you empower both the teams to increase hour-line routine time on manual drudgery.

Read more about marketing automation here

How does it work? 

Imagine you’re selling a fitness plan package. Thousands of visitors visit your website with different levels of interest. Unfortunately, 90% of those visitors won’t be willing to buy right away. So how do you capture their interest? – with Lead Generation. 

When someone visits your website, you offer them a free download of your top 10-morning exercise routine. To download, all they have to do is give you their email address and a few other bits of personal information. And that’s it! You’ve just captured yourself a new lead! Once you generate a lead and they match your specific conditions, they’re added to a personalized email drip campaign designed to gradually warm them up from cold lead- someone that’s uninterested in your business to warm leads- someone who’s sales-ready. 

Here’s how you can set it up- After downloading your exercise routines, your workflow will automatically send them emails with your say “10 minutes to killer abs” video. Two days later it sends them your “top 10 healthy fitness recipes” blog post, and a few days later it will again send them something to keep them engaged in your brand. By nurturing your customers in this way, you develop a relationship with them, as well as engage with your business and your product, gradually heating them up as leads. Then you strike when the lead is warm, offering them what you know would be the key to conversion. 

For instance

You know that most people purchase your workout package after attending a webinar. So at this stage of the workflow, your leads are invited to register for your next webinar, eg., “how to plan your best workout routine?”. After attending the webinar, these leads are now tagged in a database as people who watched your fit planned webinar and can automatically be sent the website content, that is even more personalized to them. So by now, your lead must be sizzling and it’s the best time for the system to automatically import them into a CRM. 

Congratulations, with the invaluable help of marketing automation workflows, you’ve successfully sold your product.

The technology has more to offer.

Why not turn this one-time customer to a loyal brand ambassador? Firstly, you can upsell on their first purchase by using email automation to promote the next version up. Then you can cross-sell the necessary or optional accessories or by-products. Finally, you can offer them a cycle-based sell, for example, promote another fitness plan to a specific target audience. Now your ROI has shot through the roof by automatically up-selling, cross-selling and cycle-selling, you’ve turned a one-time purchase to a lifelong customer. 

Hence, this is how marketing automation workflows nurture, warm and ready your leads sales, as well as enable you to try to one-up purchases to a lifelong customer. The best part of all- they do all of this while saving your team time and boosting customer happiness, and not to forget, increase your revenue!

Ideal Marketing Automation trends that will help your business in 2020. 

Now that you know how Marketing Automation works, let’s get onto listing down a few trends to look out for in 2020.

1. Automation is predicted to expand on a massive scale in 2020 

Marketing automation is going to continue into 2020. The main reason being an increasing number of marketers are beginning to realize the value and potential of marketing automation, which is apparently increasing their investment in MarTech. Marketers are expected to spend as much as 32 billion US dollars on marketing automation technology in 2020 based on predictive data analysis. 

  • The number of marketing automation vendors had grown up to 27% in 2018, a clear indicator of the market demand. 
  • The report has also claimed that 75% of the marketers are already using some type of marketing automation tool in their strategy. 
  • Marketing automation has come to recognize as the essential tool for improvising on the bottom-line growth. 

2. Personalized content is making a comeback

The need for personalization is standard in most businesses today. But you would still find a lack of personalization in most of the messages you get from other brands. In 2020, the context will increasingly be driving business growth. Consumers are demanding a relevant experience from the brands they choose to interact with. They expect the brand to know their preferences, and come up with the ideal product recommendations that are worth their while.  

3. AI and Machine Learning 

Predictive personalization is the future of marketing automation for business. Many businesses have started to use AI and Machine learning in their tools to make the overall experience with their brand smarter and better. AI and machine learning together can contribute to better engagement. Some stats for AI and machine learning in marketing automation are: 

  • In 2020, marketers will start using AI and machine learning for a certain extent of content creation. This will help boost engagement efficiency. 
  • Once a user clicks on an ad, the underlying data of the user will be stored into the Machine Learning systems and used for future references such as campaigns, progressing the user life-cycle. 
  • Likewise, AI tools such as Natural Language Processing will be able to leverage the automation in cases of behavioral studies, online activity, understanding speech and language patterns to create a better-personalized user experience.

4. Automated social media marketing 

The total time spent on social media has increased to 143 minutes in 2019. Brands are eyeing on being more visible on your social media screens in 2020. The smart automation of social media marketing will be a part of the strategy, as brands try to reach a multitude of an audience through social media, maintaining a high contextual relevance. 

  • Organic traffic will continue to drop on Facebook. To counter this, companies are trying to improve their ROI by rising their marketing budget for social media. 
  • Social media advertising will be targeted mainly on the Google Adwords platform. 
  • There was a 20% increase in the social media marketing budget in 2019, therefore it is safe to say that it will increase at a higher level in 2020. 
  • Video content will dominate social media marketing. 

5. User retention is going to be critical for businesses 

2020 seems to be a promising year for user retention acquisition. Customer experience will evolve into becoming a cross-function of marketing and predict future campaigns based on user engagement and response. Brands are going to push harder to understand the journey of the user, right from being anonymous to real-time customers. Tracking this journey will deliver real value in terms of growth. According to Bain & Company’s report, a 5% increase in retention will positively affect profitability by 75% and over! 

6. Mobile 1st approach 

Mobile marketing will be a major growth driving factor for businesses. It is the primary mode of communication with the online world. Marketers will aim to create a comprehensive plan for mobile interaction for brands, efficiently leveraging resources such as push and internet alerts, SMS, mobile wallet and in-app notifications. Marketing Automation for business will be the tool around these campaigns. Weaving an intricate network and ensuring that they operate on a consistent scale.

7. Integrated cross-channel marketing will dominate 

Compared to working in separate silos, marketers will be more likely to succeed with a multi-channel marketing strategy in 2020. The use of 2 or more communication channels improves participation rates by more than 166%. As compared to single-channel outreach models, according to a study. Marketers will want to take advantage of this factor to keep their customers engaged at multiple points of contact. 

There will be several layers of user engagement and action in a multi-channel campaign. This will require data intelligence to identify key insights that positively affect conversion and commitment. You must sew these variables seamlessly into these multi-channel promotions. Therefore, this will ensure that the product message remains fresh and adds value to the end-user.

Wrapping up! 

take full advantage of the marketing automation possibilities in 2020 and beyond! Also, to help you look at your journey try Leadmi, the best marketing automation, and lead generation tool!

 

Marketing Qualified Leads vs Sales Qualified Leads

marketing qualified leads vs sales qualified leads

Marketing qualified leads (MQL) and sales qualified leads (SQL) are different from each other but can easily be confused. Whether you are into B2B sales or B2C sales, it is important to clearly demarcate the two. This helps keep up with the sales process to simplify large and complex sales funnels.

Let’s understand the difference between a marketing qualified lead and a sales qualified lead. So, you can invest your marketing budget in the right way for easier and faster conversions.

Not sure what a lead is? Learn more in our blog here

What is a marketing qualified lead?

MQL or marketing qualified lead refers to the lead who is more likely to become a customer as compared to other leads. This information is based on lead intelligence and usually conveyed by closed-loop analytics.

An MQL is a part of your marketing funnel. This is the first stage where you advertise your product and let the market know that you exist. Basically, you educate the audience about your services and create a content marketing strategy based on the stage at which a lead belongs.

You can identify MQL in either of the two ways-

One. You define an ideal buyer persona and target that particular audience with relevant information. These leads belong to a certain desired category and are most likely to promise greater conversions.

This is called target marketing.

Two. You distribute your content across all marketing channels and then identify who would fit well in your leads funnel. This is quite opposite to target marketing because basically you are trying to attract anyone and everyone into your marketing funnel.

marketing qualified leads

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

Once this is done, you have to segregate the ‘prospects’ from ‘suspects’.

A prospect is the one who shows interest in your product or service. Someone who is willing to make a buying decision after going through your marketing material.

They have been educated enough to move to the next step, that is to interact with your sales team and figure out the best plan for their business to generate sales.

A suspect is the one who may have gathered the education material from your marketing content. However, they may or may not be ready yet to make a buyer decision. Worst case scenario, they were simply bored and that’s why downloaded your presentation or clicked on the CTA button.

All you have to do is segregate prospects from suspects and move on to the next stage.

SQL is the next stage and we have discussed this below in detail.

What is a sales qualified lead?

SQL or sales qualified lead refers to the lead who is qualified by the sales team as a potential customer.

Therefore, an SQL is a part of your sales funnel. These are the leads who are sales-ready and are in a comfortable position to take a buying decision.

The MQL process can take some time but when the sales team takes action, things speed up. It’s this faster pace that necessitates the need for a great system of identifying when a lead is ready and can be transferred to the sales team.

So, when is a marketing qualified lead ready to become a sales qualified lead?

The bridge between marketing and sales is critical. This way you can identify the difference in an easier manner.

Lead Scoring

They key is to work with an intelligent and efficient CRM that provides authentic lead scores. The purpose of putting a number on each lead is to figure out their perceived value. Once these leads hit the threshold the sales team takes them up to process them further.

At this stage, you cannot be as pushy as you were before at the marketing stage. Now you have to take a more sophisticated approach because the situation is a mixture of sensitive, complex and fragile.

Different leads at this same particular stage will have different conversion rates. So, you have to play smart with content and interaction.

Know more about lead scoring in our blog here

Fill the Missing Link

The marketing team can easily see the shift of the lead towards becoming sales qualified. However, many companies tend to miss that and lose a lot of money.

Therefore, proper segregation and intelligent content marketing helps.

Conclusion. Ensure a successful transition from Marketing Qualified Leads to Sales Qualified Leads.

It is exciting to see your sales conversions increase with the help of an effective CRM. Seamless demarcation between MQL and SQL definitely helps.

An effective content strategy also plays a crucial role in sales conversions. So, keep experimenting, analyse data diligently and track lead and campaigns in a personalised way that improves experience for faster conversions.

For more on MQL, SQL and sales lead generation, please visit leadmi.io!

Launching LeadMi: AI Native Lead Generation & Marketing Automation Platform

Across the world, marketing budgets for organizations account for over 11% of their revenue. For B2C organizations this statistic is higher, at over 14%, and for B2B it is relatively lower, at 9%. B2C organizations are constantly reaching out to their customers for re-engagement and retargeting whereas B2B organizations are constantly in search of high value leads for their pipeline.  Over the years, marketing strategies have evolved from being fully traditional – print, media, advertising to a current mix approach where an online/digital marketing automation platform is a key enabler for the businesses.

With online marketing, there are several hurdles to driving the effectiveness of the marketing strategy. The hurdles include operational as well as intelligence aspects which constantly question the ROI delivery of the marketing strategy.

LeadMi: Marketing automation platform and AI native lead generation that solves these challenges for marketers

By automating marketing tasks and leveraging native AI-based technologies like NLP, NLU, Intelligent Decision Making, Machine Learning amongst others, LeadMi provides high-quality insights and data allowing you to arrive a custom predefined formula to drive your marketing needs.

LeadMi has been created to drive 3 key marketing pillars

  1. Lead Generation
  2. Social Listening 
  3. Content Distribution

A large number of B2B organizations rely on either inbound marketing or a lead database for lead generation. Having said that, 61% of marketers say that they are still constantly struggling with generating good leads since there is no definite formula or pattern to it as yet.

Inbound marketing is the task of trying to build interest for a product or brand via an Ad or a post on the internet and navigate the user to a landing page to capture their profile details through a form.

A lead database is a set of lead profiles with name, email and possibly other attributes like phone, organization, region, industry etc.

There are 3 fundamental problems with this approach

  1. As per research, organizations are spending up to 50 USD per prospect lead to fill a form and about 30% of data provided while filling forms in incorrect. So, the cost of data gathering is upwards of 50 USD.
  2. Lead databases are traditionally built at a certain point in time based on a single data source like LinkedIn. They are seldom updated with the latest data and are not validated for correctness across multiple data sources.
  3. Even if we were to assume that the lead profile information was accurate, the tougher part is lead qualification. Imagine having a set of 100K leads but not knowing who to go after. It is extremely important to identify the right leads to pursue which ones will result in high returns – high ROI and higher team motivation levels.

LeadMi is true to its play on leading you towards your marketing goals and has built a lead generation engine that

  • Allows you to define a buyer persona using a set of organizational and user attributes like function, region, industry, seniority level etc.
  • Generate leads for your buyer persona at the click of a button. Leads are generated and validated from across multiple data sources on the internet.
  • Computes and provides an intelligent match score for every lead based on buyer persona and other parameters.
  • Displays the status of availability of the key profile information like email ID, contact number and social profile URLs.
  • Allows you to choose the lead profiles that you would like to unlock and view based on the score and the availability of the profile information. Users pay only for the unlocks.

In addition to this, LeadMi also allows you to update your data set with a refresh option. Users can choose to refresh their lead profiles which updates the profile data of the existing unlocked leads and also fetches new leads based on the buyer persona.

Based on one’s appetite and capacity, they could choose to unlock lead profiles and pursue them. It’s really that simple!

leadmi marketing automation platform

A marketing automation platform offers social listening, now an emerging trend

It is primarily for B2C organizations but also very helpful for the B2B ones.

Consumers or users of the brand/product are constantly engaging with the brand either on social media or the internet. Their interactions reflect their emotions for the brand, the product or the service.

As marketers, it is extremely important to identify, understand and nurture these emotions for the growth of the brand.

Social listening is the task of constantly listening to brand engagements or interactions and evaluating them to draw insights and in a few cases act upon them.

Social listening has 4 major benefits for your marketing team

  • Allows you to listen to mentions of your brand or product over social channels. Mentions can be further classified into 3 categories: negative, positive and review based.Consumers complaining about your brand if not acted upon quickly can tarnish your brand’s reputation online. There are several examples of such incidents worldwide. Consumers providing positive feedback about your brand/product or service can act as your influencers and hence it is very important to identify & nurture them.
    As per research, consumers are constantly asking for review or feedback of a brand/product or service online. How about being notified and reaching out to them directly?
  • Builds a brand dashboard which is a mix of trends for sentiment, engagement, ROI and brand index.
  • Allows you to listen to your competitor’s engagement thereby, building a battle plan for your teams.
  • Identifies sales opportunities by profiling prospective leads matching your buyer persona as well as interacting with your brand.

Content creation and distribution with a marketing automation platform

It is the final aspect where automation in marketing can help several teams. Operationalizing marketing communications is a tedious task and with several social channels, the complexity has increased significantly.

LeadMi can automate content distribution across social channels and provide insights on content keywords to communication effectiveness.

AI native Lead Generation is now available for our customers to actively try using our free registration and trial capability. Active pilots are in progress on social listening, content distribution and will be live soon.

Stay tuned to know more about the marketing automation platform. Please connect with us on our social channels or email us at contact@leadmi.io

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Blog Cover Photo by ZMorph Multitool 3D Printer on Unsplash