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Industry Insights: What Drives Manufacturing Leads’ Buying Journey?

Your ability to persuade a technical audience, argues one Forbes article, determines your success in B2B marketing. This is especially true when selling to manufacturing leads and industrial companies. To engage and convert these prospects, you need to align with how they arrive at a buying decision.

Like businesses in other B2B industries, manufacturing leads now firmly control the buying cycle and will only reach out to vendors when they’re almost ready to decide.

That means you have little direct influence over what a prospect learns and discovers throughout most of the sales cycle. As much as possible, of course, you want to stay on top of your prospects’ minds during the awareness and consideration stages, so that when decision time comes, it’s your company they’ll do business with, not your competitor.

One way to help ensure this outcome is to become very familiar with how manufacturing leads research and use information about business needs, available solutions, and potential vendors—then build your lead generation strategy according to this behavior.

This blog post talks about the latest trends in content usage and consumption among technical buyers in the manufacturing space. By the end of the entry, you’ll have a better idea on which content types and topics best move manufacturing sales prospects along the buying journey.

 

How Manufacturing Leads Research and Evaluate Solutions

So, how exactly do engineers and industrial professionals research and learn about a potential purchase? According to IEEE GlobalSpec’s 2017 Smart Marketing for Engineers report, ten key findings best describe how today’s technical professionals consume content throughout the buying process:

  • Across the world, engineers prefer case studies (81%), technical eBooks (75%), whitepapers (74%), and books (73%).
  • Technical professionals favor online content sources, especially search engines (43%), vendor websites (43%), and trade publication websites (29%).
  • 50% of engineers subscribe to at least 4 email newsletters.
  • 92% of engineers tend to choose vendors that regularly produce content.
  • Over half of engineers consider a company’s website as a key brand indicator.
  • When filling out a web form, engineers tend to complete four fields: work email, company name, first name, and last name.
  • 42% of engineers expect to be contacted within 24 hours after filling out a form on a website.
  • For most engineers, around 60% of the buying process takes place online.
  • Only 14% of engineers contact sales reps early in the buying process.
  • Most engineers interact with a vendor 3 or 4 times before directly reaching out.

Drilling down on these trends further, the study also uncovers some interesting behavior among technical marketing audiences in the marketing space, including:

  • In the US and Canada, engineers’ most-valued content type are how-to videos that are at least 3 minutes long.
  • Across all age groups, engineers and technical professionals prefer case studies/application notes, but younger audiences tend to gravitate toward how-to videos.
  • Engineers’ top offline content sources include tradeshows (33%) and trade print publications (33%).
  • Engineers and industrial professionals in the survey do not think social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram are valuable sources of work-related information.
  • Engineers rank content written by a technical expert at a vendor company as the most reliable source of information followed by third-party and supplier content.
  • When going over their inbox, 50% of engineers focus on emails with intriguing subject lines and delete the rest.
  • When filling out a web form, only 10% of engineers submit data regarding time to purchase.
  • When viewing search results pages, only 9% stop at the first page, 61% reach page 3, and 25% make it to page 5.

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Here are 7 growth hacking tips for manufacturers’ and distributors’ bottom-line


 

What This Means for Lead Generation

How do all these trends in the manufacturing space impact your lead generation strategy? According to the 2017 Industrial Marketing Trends survey by IEEE GlobalSpec, marketers are trying their best to keep up with the demands of manufacturing leads:

  • 42% ranks customer acquisition as the primary goal.
  • 54% differentiate mainly on the quality of their offerings.
  • 50% use both inbound and outbound marketing tactics.
  • Email marketing, tradeshows, and social media make up the top three channels.
  • A majority of industrial marketers plan to increase spending on their company website, content marketing, social media, and SEO.
  • 39% are increasing their online marketing budget vs. 45% keeping their online budget unchanged.

That’s what your fellow marketers in the manufacturing sector are collectively doing. Your exact lead generation strategy, of course, will depend on your unique goals, situation, and resources.

Drawing lessons from IEEE GlobalSpec’s findings on how manufacturing leads research and study possible purchases, here are a few things to keep in mind when refining your lead generation plan:

 

1. Use emails to educate

We’ve seen that engineers and industrial professionals rely on emails extensively throughout the buying process, especially for educating themselves and learning more about a subject. Technical decision makers spend time in their inbox and won’t hesitate paying attention to emails that help them make informed decisions, even those from vendors.

  • Focus your core newsletter content strategy on a relevant industry problem
  • Present solutions in a way that subtly ties back to your offerings
  • Craft compelling copies and top them off with irresistible subject lines

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How does email marketing automation work? Here are 6 examples of email marketing workflows and how you can automate them for better customer engagements.


 

2. Make your digital presence part of the buying journey

Technical buyers spend the first 60% of the purchase process researching and finding information online. That means where your prospects spend the final 40% will depend on the quality of online experience you deliver.

  • Does your online presence enable prospects to smoothly move from one point in the buying journey to another?
  • Can prospects quickly find the information and resources they need?
  • Does your digital presence consistently reflect your brand?

 

3. Find the right mix of channels

Manufacturing leads consult a number of content sources before directly reaching out to a vendor. In response, half of the marketers in the industry rely on both inbound and outbound channels to capture manufacturing decision makers. To execute a seamless multi-channel marketing strategy, you need to:

  • Keep sight of your core message and differentiators
  • Remove barriers that separate marketing resources
  • Track and measure how each component impacts overall results

Callbox Multi-channel Multi-touch Marketing

Engage your prospects across multiple channels with Callbox Multi-channel Multi-touch Marketing approach.


 

4. Deliver content in context

Without answering this blog article’s question directly, it’s pretty clear that actionable information is the main driver in manufacturing leads’ path to purchase. Prospects gain useful information and insights by consuming content delivered in the buying context that the lead is currently in.

  • Create content that answers a question or teaches a relevant idea
  • Take buying stages and buyer personas into account
  • Segment and personalize your content for different audiences

 

Conclusion:  There are many factors that drive a technical buyer’s purchase decision, but it all boils down to having the right information at the right time. That’s why offering information occupies a central role in lead generation for manufacturing companies.

 

Need help translating marketing goals into an actionable marketing plan? Or turning strategy into results? Contact us today, and find out how Callbox’s lead generation services for manufacturing and distribution companies can work for you.

The 2 Types of B2B Lead Generation Companies

Lead generation forms one of the most important parts of the sales and marketing equation because it forms the liftoff point of the sale. More often than not, many companies suffer from botched strategies in lead generation.

B2B companies can choose from two types of lead generation companies depending on their project requirements and target market. Businesses need a lot of help from lead generation experts to ensure that they are targeting the right audience. In this way, they are able to maximize their time and resources strategically. Getting the right leads also minimizes cost and allows businesses to zero in on targets with guaranteed responses. These responses are expected to close sales and generate profit.

Here are the two types of lead generation companies that many B2B organizations can choose from:

 

Major Account Lead Generation Companies

This type of lead generation company prioritizes businesses who sell intricate B2B products or services. Under normal circumstances. This type of lead generation company targets acquiring vital information and contact details of individuals belonging in upper management such as presidents, vice presidents, CEOs, CFOs, and senior officers to mention a few. Under this type of lead generation company, decision makers and prime movers in other businesses and organizations are being targeted.  

Since the initiatives being created are intended to attract key people in organizations, it can be expected that the sales cycle take more time than those being designed for regular individuals. Most of the time, the lead generation team needs several months in sales calls until they can fully convince their target executives about the product or service. Check out these latest techniques that will help generate quality sales leads for your business.

As this usually entails making major decisions involving the business, the approach being used here by salesmen and marketers alike is providing solutions to different types of needs within the organization such as operational systems, finance, and production to name some. The major selling point is being able to convince executives of the return on investment (ROI) and the long-term contributions that the product or service will provide to their business. At the end of the day, higher management would want to consider something that will help grow their respective businesses exponentially and consistently.

Moreover, it is widely known that the leads being generated by this type of lead generation company is of high value considering the influence they have within their organization or business.

How will a major account lead generation company benefit your business if you are a product or service provider?

  • It can give you high-value connections with decision makers within an organization.
  • You get the opportunity to directly interact with company executives who are in the position to endorse or approve your product or service.
  • Once a deal is closed, there is a high possibility of great returns for your business.
  • You get the opportunity to establish a long-term professional working relationship with your client – something that is very difficult to do when you do not have direct contact with executives.
  • You will not be burdened by having to make sales calls that are never acknowledged or confirmed.

What to look for when scouting for major account lead generation companies:

  • A team made up of individuals who have, more or less, 5 years of sales and marketing experience.
  • It is made up of a program management team with at least 10 years of sound and commendable experience in the area of handling sales leads from beginning to end. The team should be knowledgeable of the details in the sales cycle. They should also be well versed where it concerns lead generation, appointment setting, classifying and qualifying business leads, making the proposal, and closing the sales deal.
  • Should possess advanced calling center technology.
  • The team should have a well-established lead generation process that is able to utilize the benefits of various online platforms.

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Here are the 5 things you should know before outsourcing your lead gen campaign so that you can make informed decisions.

Small Sale Lead Generation Companies

This type of lead generation company, on the other hand, revolves around smaller purchases. Normally, small sale lead generation companies target businesses with potential purchases of under $10,000. B2B businesses are also common targets. The sales cycle, however, is a lot shorter compared to that involved in the major account lead generation.

A lot of the lead generation companies operating today do very well in small sale lead generation. Compared to the major account lead generation process, this is a lot easier and shorter. It also generates faster income, as the target amount involved is a lot smaller compared to the major account lead generation process.

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Here are 5 reasons to outsource part or all of your marketing initiatives, as well as the stats to back them up.

 

Lead generation is one of the most important areas of the overall sales funnel that’s why it is very important that leads are nurtured. Find out more about how we can help you score qualified leads and maintain them as they move to be your clientele.

What Elon Musk Can Teach You About Generating Leads and Closing Deals

Call him what you will: genius, eccentric, business guru, AI-powered humanoid. Elon Musk is definitely a force of nature. He’s the guy you can turn to when you have a problem you think is unsolvable (or if you needed a space vessel just to visit the far reaches of the solar system).

Sure enough, Musk is someone you think has all the answers you need. The South Africa-born entrepreneur who masterminded PayPal and the SpaceX program is a headline grabber, only because he is hot-wired to provide us with innovations that can either help humankind transcend physical boundaries or cause its destruction.

Either way, Musk has a lot to say about anything that has to do with disruption. Come to think of it, the man is known for it. He is able to come up with innovative solutions to complex problems. And being an entrepreneur himself, he’s very much familiar with the issues that continue to hound business owners everywhere.

For one, B2B companies continue to face challenges in their lead generation campaigns. In fact, according to the Rain Group, at least 42.1% of B2B professionals say that they are having a difficult time trying to find the right tactic for generating quality leads. In an article by Entrepreneur, on the other hand, B2B sales teams struggle with understanding their buyers’ needs and initiating authentic conversations that can help close more deals.

One thing’s for sure, Musk has weighed in on these issues (though, indirectly) and provided B2B marketers with an effective guide to generating high-quality B2B leads and getting more sales. So, let’s listen to what Master Musk has to say:

 

#1 Give ample assurances

Musk is well-known for being experimental with every idea he is able to churn out from his complex noggin. However, not many of these ideas are a hundred percent safe. Still, Musk is able to maintain a certain level of honesty that no salesperson can replicate. He is sincere with the fact that not all his innovations work out for the best, so he provides his customers with fire extinguishers as a free contingency plan.

Companies, likewise, should also provide their customers with ways on how to deal with issues. After all, companies that give assurances to their customers are more likely to get repeat sales.

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Learn how to check your marketing campaign’s performance and find out how to correct (un)common problems with the help of this short troubleshooting guide.

 

#2 Try, try, and try!

Being an innovator and a boy genius doesn’t mean that you’re spared from Murphy’s Law. Musk has had bad experiences with the prototypes of his products. But due to his persistence, he was able to give the world a broad portfolio of products that have changed the world of tech forever.

So, what does this have to do with lead generation? Well, getting high-quality leads is pretty much a trial and error process in itself. You will need to determine the right mix of channels for your campaign, which proves to be a difficult part in coming up with a B2B marketing strategy. However, you can overcome this issue by simply doing ample research and A/B testing. If your call scripts prove to be ineffective, by all means, create another draft and see if you can do it right this time.

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#3 Stand your ground

When it comes right down to engaging a possible buyer, the table is pretty much open for anything and everything. It’s only a matter of keeping your feet firmly on the ground and making sure you end up closing the deal. Of course, this doesn’t involve a flamethrower directed to your prospect’s face. Instead, focus on what you can offer and why it matters to a potential customer.

Musk is known for projects that are too out-of-this-world (literally, if we were to consider the SpaceX program). But seeing how persistent he is in everything that he does, he was able to see his visions being realized. In the same way, you should also show the same amount of enthusiasm that Musk is able to pour in.

That being said, you will need to focus on the value that your offers can provide to your customers. In the case of Tesla, for example, Musk was able to defend his idea of an electric car that’s commercially available to just about anyone. His vision of a sustainable future was all that motivated him to provide the automobile market a more eco-friendly alternative to fossil fuels.

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We’re not like Musk, but we also know how important it is for you to increase sales. Contact us today and see how we can help you with your lead generation needs.

 

Reset Your Lead Gen Campaigns: Goodbye DST, Hello Holidays

Winter is coming – not only in Westeros but also in the world of marketing.

In other words, it’s the time of year once again where we set our clocks back an hour in preparation for shorter and colder days. It also signals the end of Daylight Savings Time, the start of the holiday seasons, and most of all, it also means resetting your lead gen campaigns.

When talking about resetting your lead generation strategy, the easiest and also the worst thing to do is reusing your old holiday promotion or pre-designed marketing campaign. That is not just plain laziness but also an insult to your customers.

  • Do you expect them to buy the same gifts they purchased last year?
  • Are they going to use the same style when they buy some clothes for fall and winter?

If you were the customer, you wouldn’t so don’t expect your customers to do anything differently.

Instead of panicking, embrace the new season because it brings new opportunities that can boost your revenue. Here are a few practical marketing tips as you turn back the hands of time before winter comes.

 

Timing and Buyer Persona

Fall and winter are holiday seasons which means they are also busy seasons. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fast approaching; then, Christmas. During this time, timing is very critical – especially in sending emails.

Many factors affect the response rates. That includes the type of offer you have, the subject line you use, the time of day you sent the email, and the type of person who received the mail. Therefore, there’s no telling what time your subscribers will engage with the email you sent.

To remedy that, you have to go back to your buyer persona(s). Who is your target audience? What habits, interests, and dislikes do they have?

If your target audience is entrepreneurs and workaholics, then it doesn’t matter what day and time you send an email because this group is always at the computer working.

An infographic from Propeller showed that if you want people to respond to the emails, the best time to send it is either early in the morning or evening while the best day to send them is on Tuesdays, specifically 10 AM on Tuesdays and 3 PM on Thursdays.

 

How about if your clients are in different locations and time zones?

 

Great question!

 

And the answer is simple – segmentation.

 

Segmentation is simply grouping your clients based on their age, interests, locations, etc. In this case, you segment them based on their time zones. By doing so, you are sure that you deliver your newsletter and product offers on time to your clients no matter where they are.

Aside from segmentation, you can also customize your marketing campaigns based on customer behavior. For example, what time do they open your email or when was the last time they opened an email from you.

By segmenting and customizing your campaign, you increase your open and clickthrough rates.

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Saving Time, Increasing Success

Since we’re talking about Daylight Savings Time, it is just appropriate to talk about how to save time even when you reset your marketing. And the best method to help you save time is through automation.

Instead of just focusing on producing new content, think of expanding your existing content into a series of content. After that, automate it into a sequence of emails. You can either make that a mini-course or a welcome series. By doing that, you save time, money, and effort.

Another time-saving strategy is creating new templates for different people, seasons, and special promotions. By having a template, you can quickly build your content. All you need to do is add or modify it a little to make each of them unique and fresh.

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Check out the top reasons why you should go automated!

 

Timing and Planning

Time is short and precious. As DST ends, your customers will have to deal with winter and the holidays. That means they will be busier than usual, so you need to manage whatever time you have to catch their attention. You can do that through relevant campaigns delivered to the right group of people at the right time.

Aside from planning your holiday marketing campaigns, you can also start strategizing for the next spring. It is never too early to do that. After all, time is short!

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As we enter the holidays season, here are 4 great ideas on what to get your prospects for the holidays

 

ERP Software Leads: Effective Lead Gen for ERP Solutions

If you are in the tech industry and you are selling enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, you know how challenging it is not only to market your products but also to get quality B2B leads. That’s because potential customers are not aware that there are ERP solutions available for various specific needs they have. ERP solutions can help streamline and expedite their processes without compromising the quality.

However, since not a lot of people and businesses are aware of ERP software, firms in this field are hard-pressed to find high-quality ERP software leads. The competition to get a bigger bite of the market is very stiff. More so, they cannot be lax about their lead generation strategy, or they will end up in the dumps.

 

How to Generate Leads Effectively

Generating ERP software leads require precision. You need to focus your time, money, and effort on marketing your product to the right people. To find the right people, you need to understand a few things before you start your ERP software lead gen strategy.

 

1. Identify the Type of Customers Who Will Benefit from Your Product

If you know who you are going to talk to, you will go straight to them, and that saves you a lot of time and effort. It also allows you to create a personalized strategy on how to position and present your product’s features.

When you create your buyer persona, you should also ask what they need your ERP software for. The answer will, of course, vary since no two businesses are alike. For example, a financial establishment has a different need than a healthcare institution. Therefore, they will require different features for their ERP software. You have to find out the industry or segment that will significantly benefit and find value from your ERP software.

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2. Focus on SEO

If you have a website, you can use it as a lead generation tool by using the right SEO practices. To ensure that you fully utilize your site as an effective lead gen tool, you have to use the right keywords and meta tags that well describe your ERP software business.

You can begin by understanding what your target wants (which you already did on the first point), and their online behavior. What keywords do they often use when they search for an ERP software? Which sector or industry do they belong to?

Aside from ‘listening’ to what your prospects are looking for, you need to conduct keyword research. You can use tools, such as SEMRush, Ahrefs, and more to find out what keywords rank high and which ones fo your competitors use.

Another SEO tactic you can use for lead generation is link building and backlinking. These methods allow you to post your link on socially essential sites. You can also ask fellow bloggers if you can backlink to their sites.

Having a lot of links and backlinks from high authority sites increases your ‘link juice.’ Consequently, the more juice you have, the stronger your site becomes. Your ranking will improve when search engines start recognizing that. And as your ranking improves, more people can find you.

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3. Run Paid Campaigns

Using SEO to optimize your website can increase your organic traffic. Couple that with paid campaigns on search engine networks and social media to attract more leads.

  • LinkedIn – Even though LinkedIn removed its SlideShare feature, you can still utilize their Lead Gen forms along with your sponsored content to generate more leads.
  • Facebook – Use Facebook’s Lead Ads to run your lead generation campaign on their platform and Instagram.
  • Display ads on Google – Using Google AdWords enables you to display targeted ads on Google and partner websites.

 

4. Partner with a Lead Gen Firm

As mentioned earlier, the competition in the EPR software market is cutthroat, and relying solely on your inbound marketing team for your lead generation will not suffice. Make your lead generation effort more robust and effective by partnering with a lead gen firm.

Allowing a third party to handle your lead generation is not just cost-effective, but your in-house team can focus more on other important tasks to grow your business. More so, a lead generation firm has professionals with years of lead generation experience under their sleeves.

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Here are the 5 things you need to know before outsourcing your lead gen campaign.

 

Conclusion

Even though generating leads for your ERP software is quite daunting, you can still attract the right people to your sales pipeline. Know what customers you want and find out their wants and desires so you can create an effective lead gen strategy. Also, don’t forget SEO and couple that with both organic and paid ads campaign. If you think the job is too overwhelming, partner with a lead gen firm to help you with your efforts. Use all the tools and resources you have and soon your efforts will pay off.

 

The 6-Day Lead Management Bootcamp (Free Email Course)

We know that all leads aren’t created equal, but most marketers handle prospects like they’re all the same anyway.

  • 68% of marketers still haven’t figured out their funnel.
  • 33% send leads directly to sales upon receipt.
  • 79% don’t have any system in place for ranking and scoring leads.

That’s why a great deal of marketing effort and resources end up falling short:

  • 8 in 10 leads don’t turn into customers
  • 50% of sales time is wasted on unproductive prospecting activities
  • 42% of reps feel they don’t have enough information before engaging leads

Having a solid lead management process is what separates great marketers and sales professionals from the rest of the pack. According to Forrester, 46% of marketers with well-planned lead management programs have sales teams that follow up on 75% of leads.

That’s because proper lead management helps you track leads better, engage them the right way, and improve conversions. It’s an essential component of any modern marketing and sales operations.

To help you develop a solid grasp of this critical area, we recently launched Lead Management Bootcamp, a free email course designed to give marketers the essential knowledge and tools to create and implement an effective lead management program.

The course material is divided into six in-depth lessons, each tackling a key lead management topic.

 

1. Pinpointing Your Target Leads

Lead management relies on exact lead definitions and categories. That’s why the process starts with an identification of what specifically makes up your target leads.

In the course, you’ll learn how to develop ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and buyer personas to help make your lead definitions more precise and concrete. You’ll find out which characteristics and attributes to monitor so that your leads resemble your target customers as closely as possible.

 

2. Capturing Crucial Lead Information

There can be a daunting amount of lead information you can collect about your leads and prospects, but only a handful will be very useful for lead management.

The course helps you gain a firm understanding of the two main kinds of prospect information: fit data and intent data. Here, you’ll learn how to navigate the often-bewildering process of lead data collection, and apply best practices to narrow the amount of prospect information down to the absolute essentials.

 

3. Scoring and Ranking Leads

Once you know what types of prospect data to collect, it’s time to develop a lead scoring model. A lead score helps you determine how likely prospects will convert based on the different fit and intent information they’re showing.

It can be a bit challenging to set up a lead scoring model. That’s why this part of the course walks you through the design and implementation process step by step while including handy tips and best practices along the way.

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Callbox’s Guide to Lead Scoring walks you through an overview of the lead scoring system we follow here at Callbox.

 

4. Lead Nurturing

In today’s complex B2B purchase process, your main role is to guide prospects throughout their buying journey. You do this by matching prospects with a lead nurture path that best aligns with how they research and evaluate potential purchases.

We devote an entire lesson in this course for a thorough discussion of lead nurturing. You’ll learn how to create a lead nurture plan from scratch—from choosing an appropriate buyer journey model to filling out a persona-funnel matrix, all the way to defining a lead nurture cadence.

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Callbox’s Lead Nurture tool demo video shows an automated lead nurturing process in action.

 

5. The Lead Handoff

Ensuring a smooth transfer of leads from marketing to sales is one of the top reasons for having a robust lead management program.

This course teaches you how to lay the groundwork for a seamless lead handoff process by making sure your lead management plan facilitates marketing-sales alignment. You’ll also learn how to create a lead handoff plan using a proven five-step guide.

Related: The MQL vs. SQL Difference and How Leads Move Through the Sales Funnel

 

6. Tracking Leads and Measuring Results

Your lead management program won’t function without a robust way to monitor leads and measure results throughout the conversion process. That’s why lead tracking ties everything in the lead management process together.

Adequate lead tracking requires three things: a closed-loop reporting system, lead management metrics, and an appropriate attribution model. Each of these requirements is thoroughly discussed in the final lesson of the course.

Related: Not Just an Address Book: 4 Hacks to Turn a CRM into a True Sales Tool

 

In short, this course covers everything you need to know to build a lead management program from the ground up or to improve your current process further. Sign up for the free email course today.

 

5 Things to Know Before Outsourcing your Lead Generation

Despite incurring losses two years ago, the outsourcing industry is currently on the uptick and this is due to several developments within and outside the country. For a fact, the cost of doing business in the United States is steadily increasing, which has resulted in companies much of their operations to countries like India and the Philippines.

As marketing budgets continue to rise, businesses are aiming towards improving their capabilities in lead generation. We all know for a fact that, according to HubSpot, 63 percent of marketers say their main challenge is generating traffic and leads.

Cost efficiency is one important factor in this respect, and businesses will have to invest in lead generation strategies that allow them to explore possible sales opportunities and maintain a high-profit margin. Aside from that, they will need to streamline their sales pipelines in turning leads into sales.

By outsourcing your lead generation, you will be able to generate better revenue from your marketing efforts. However, this would depend on how well you understand the outsourcing ecosystem. Considering that there are numerous marketing service providers out there, it’s important to find one that can actually give your brand the most value.

 

Here are the 5 things you should know before outsourcing your lead generation campaign.

 

1. Know what you need

Before outsourcing your lead generation, it’s always best to know the fine details of your campaign first. In other words, you will need to determine your goals and align them with your overall business strategy. This allows you to determine the kind of strategy you should be using for your campaign.

For instance, if you’re aiming to increase customer conversions, you can focus on a multichannel approach which uses voice and non-voice tactics for reaching out to your prospects. If you’re focused more on quality leads, aim for strategies that allow for intensive lead nurturing.

Related: The 4 Main Lead Generation Goals: What Has Changed & How to Reach Them

 

2. Know what tools to use

The choice of tools should always form an important part of your campaign. Using the right software and hardware allows you to improve the efficiency of your marketing efforts. Using the right CRM tool, for example, can help you focus on creating quality relationships with your audience, allowing for greater leverage in the sales cycle.

CRM platforms such as HubSpot and Salesforce are an asset to any lead generation campaign. For one, they are able to align sales and marketing together, allowing you full control of your campaign as well as the life cycles of each lead that enters the pipeline. Businesses, especially startups, can capitalize on new technologies to get ahead of everybody else within their respective niches. One thing’s for sure, investing in CRM tools can help in shortening the sales process, so it’s important to know if you’re outsourcing partner has the capacity to use these tools for your campaigns.

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3. Know that content (and context) matters

Creating content is just as important as scheduling a sales appointment with a prospect. After all, without great content, you won’t be able to secure sales appointments at all! This is because content forms a valuable part of your lead nurturing efforts.  Using blogs and newsletters, you can provide potential customers with materials that will help them make a decision. For that, opt for a service provider that’s just as experienced in creating sales collaterals.

Lead Nurturing Done Right CTA

Understanding the context allows you to put out relevant content to prospects that will help move them further down the sales funnel.

 

4. Know about pricing considerations

At the end of the day, you should be able to get a great deal out of your negotiations with a potential outsourcing partner. Ask for a lower price, and you’ll risk getting subpar services for your campaign. Pay higher than what’s intended, your profit margins will suffer as a result. That being said, you should be able to negotiate the right price so you will be able to get the most value from the work your service provider.

Related: Cutting Marketing Spend: When It Works (and When it Doesn’t)

 

5. Know how to conduct due diligence

Before signing the contract, you will have to ask the right questions first about what a service provider can do for you. More importantly, you should also be aware of the company’s reputation. Does it have a string of complaints on its Facebook page? Was it able to attend industry events?

 

When it comes to outsourcing, the main principle is always to opt for a company that knows your market and knows how to do a great job in lead generation. What better way to find these capabilities in a service provider that has been in the business of generating leads – and backed by solid results to boot!

 

Maintaining a Growth-focused B2B Marketing Approach in Q4

The holidays provide B2C companies with as much as 30% of their annual revenue. Meanwhile, B2B companies lie low. Years of marketing to businesses during the holidays have failed. Why make this year any different?

B2B ghost towns are missing out on opportunities to hit sales, even large transactions in the final quarter. While every other B2B competitor snoozes, smart B2B marketers should capitalize on the timing. Here’s how:

 

Budget

It is a common belief that companies have exhausted their annual budget by the end of the year. However, there remain departments with a budget surplus they have to “use or lose.” Some companies save their budget for the final quarter.

There are also prospective clients that spent the year researching and budgeting for SaaS and services they need for the upcoming year. While most B2B go on vacation like their clients and wait for Q1 to launch their marketing campaign, the wise ones get a jumpstart with ads targeted at these prospects.

Related: Cutting Marketing Spend: When It Works (and When it Doesn’t)

Contact us

Lead gen on a budget? We can help you out.

 

Holiday Deals

Only a few B2B companies offer discounts and promotions during the holidays. The competition is narrow this time of the year. The most effort they will take is to send holiday cards or an email greeting.

Get ahead by sending your holiday card on Thanksgiving instead of Christmas, and include a “special gift.” Prospects that are difficult to push down the funnel during the regular season are likely to buy on impulse, not missing out on the deal. Q4 is also the time many strategists decide on purchases they will make once they renew their budget in Q1.

Related: What to Get Your Prospects for the Holidays: 4 B2B Gift Ideas [VIDEO]

 

Keep it Fresh

Review your contact details and ad campaigns. It is vital to always look “fresh” in the eyes of your prospects and clients. At the same time, you want customers to have the right number, link to your website, and address when they are ready to push through with the transaction.

Tweak your ads with a touch of holiday cheer but consider demographics before you spend on remarketing. You don’t want to end up in spam mail or appear spammy to search engine moderators.

Related: Happy Independence Day! Now Break Free from the Content Marketing Trap

 

Live Events

Holiday parties and vacations make it challenging to set up a meeting to plan next year’s strategy with your prospects, but it’s worth a try. It is vital to stay visible and active as the year ends.

Demo events or even a free webinar are great ways to connect with your prospects and make your brand come alive. Live events are also significant at boosting your PR strategy.

Callbox Event Marketing Services

Hosting an event? Callbox can help you boost event turnout and ROI with our Event Marketing process

 

Educate

Capture new B2B leads in Q4 when they research for a Q1 purchase. Free content helps your audience make an educated decision. All educational content should point to your product or service, and a call to action with a matching holiday spirit.

 

Gift Guides

You published great content throughout the year, and now it’s time to wrap it up neatly in a handy gift guide. Curate content for newbies, a how-to guide, top viral posts, and an industry year in review. Video marketing and even text ads can get through to prospects who scan their social media on mobile during the holidays.

 

Incentives Sales Reps

While you won’t be beating your sales reps up with unattainable quotas, you can keep sales performance from sinking around the holidays. Set rewards such as extra time off for closing certain sales. Extra time with friends, family, and travel provide motivation employees need to stay on top of their job.

 

Customer Retention

Refuse to give regular customers the silent treatment. Continue to market to present clients and encourage them to renew their subscriptions for the coming year. Create a VIP sale through email marketing with a time limit to create urgency.

Related: A B2B Guide to Winning New Customers and Repeat Business [INFOGRAPHIC]

 

Meet with the Executives

Relaxed schedules make C-level executives open-minded to opportunities presented at other times of the year. Don’t be afraid to make phone calls and coordinate with senior executives to talk about holiday plans and end-of-the-year goals.

The 3 C’s of Selling to the C-Suite and Closing Large Deals

Refine your exeuctive sales pitch and start closing large deals using the 3 C’s of selling to the C-suite

 

Wrap Up

Do you become a B2B Scrooge around the holidays and go into hibernation? Get your B2B adrenaline rush and stay active all year long. Use the time to reach out to loyal customers, keep marketing to your target personas, and give your sales reps one final nudge before they go on vacation mode. End this year full speed ahead.

 

10 Lead Magnet Ideas to Grow Your Sales Pipeline

Lead Magnets are an excellent way to grow your email list without buying one. Besides, it’s unethical to buy or rent an email list and spam people. Don’t give in to the pressure of stealing email addresses to support your sales team.

In this article, we discuss compelling lead magnet ideas you can use to push organic leads further down the sales pipeline. Before that, let’s take a look at the essentials of a successful lead magnet:

 

Define a Clear Purpose

What value can customers expect from your offerings? Who is your lead magnet for? Target this marketing strategy to a specific market and offer concrete solutions to your customer’s particular problems.

Related: Enterprise Sales vs SMB Sales: A Side-by-Side Comparison [INFOGRAPHIC]

Offer Access to One Premium Content

Create several lead magnets each with access to a single gated asset. This strategy is preferable than offering a few solutions in one lead magnet.

Give What they Want

Study the pain points and desires of your target market and determine what they want. Then, make an offer in your lead magnet that gives them exactly what they want. Ensure you are providing value and set yourself as an industry expert.

Related: Creating Loyal Customers Through Curiosity Marketing

Give it Now

Make content in your gated asset short and sweet. At best, excellent value information should be consumed within 5 minutes. With this strategy, you are most likely to convert using lead magnets.

Make it Worth their Time

The moment your lead magnet shows up, it should appear as high-value content. Make use of professional graphic design to maximize the perceived value of your offer.

 

Creating a Lead Magnet

Lead magnets don’t have to consume a lot of time to be effective. Short and specific content that leads can read or watch in 5 minutes takes little time to create. You may repurpose existing content to generate lead magnets that match the needs of your target customers.

 

Using Old Content

If your website has a blog, chances are you’ve written enough to compile this content in one easy-to-access ebook. You can put together content or links to 5 blog posts all with one theme and purpose. Another effective lead magnet strategy is to offer printables.

 

1. Ultimate Guide

You can point your leads at other resources experts in your industry have written. This option is much better than rehashing content by other industry experts.

Speaking of ultimate guides, grab a copy of our FREE EBOOK, The Ultimate Lead Generation Kit! Updated with links to the best and latest techniques that will help generate quality sales leads for your business.

2. The Checklist

Make it easy for your customers to complete a step-by-step guide with your excellent checklist. A printable format is best with this type of lead magnet.

3. The Cheat Sheet

Offer a one-page sheet to make it easy for customers to remember the information they need. It could be a summary of critical points, step-by-step procedures, or a glossary of essential terms.

4. Tell Your Secret

Have you accomplished something that your target customers aspire? Let them in on the secret behind your achievement when they opt-in.

5. Bonus Content

Offer exclusive access to additional content than what is written in your blog post. You can offer more expert tips, products, and other information only those who opt-in can access.

 

Creating New Content

Grow your email newsletter opt-ins with these tried and tested lead magnets that you can make in a short time:

 

6. Video Training

Here’s a sneak peek preview of what makes you unique in the industry. Videos are an excellent way for customers to know who is behind the business and a way for customers to see if they want to work with you.

Related: How to Create Engaging Videos that Rack Up Views and Shares

7. Surveys and Reports

People love taking tests that reveal information they can use to improve themselves, their strategy, and their business. Create a quick survey or quiz and share specific solutions catered to the needs and goals of your particular audience.

8. Tutorials and Demos

Showing the easiest way to do things in your line of expertise is one of the best ways to grab audience attention. A how-to video that people can’t see on YouTube is a great way to gain opt-ins.

9. Audio Downloads

People will exchange their emails for content they can listen to while on-the-go. High-quality audio is an excellent tool for marketing. At the same time, you’re getting emails to benefit your sales team.

Related: The Best Marketing Podcasts and What You’ll Learn From Them

10. Introduction to Paid Content

Whether you’ve written a book or created a course, giving away the first chapter or first module can excite your leads to purchase the whole thing.

Related: 5 Types of Interactive Content and How They Can Boost Your Engagement

 

Parting Thoughts

Lead magnets are easy to create even with content you already have. It doesn’t have to be complicated and eat away at your time. A specific lead magnet with high perceived value will make it easy for customers to exchange contact information with you. Don’t forget to make content concise, practical, and easy-to-consume for leads to convert.

 

The MQL vs. SQL Difference and How Leads Move Through the Sales Funnel

Determining whether your leads are SQL or MQL ones should be at the top of your priority list because it makes absolute sense on a marketing efficiency perspective. There are plenty of ways for you to qualify leads and this article will show you how.

Leads are everywhere. If you understand this reality, then maybe doing your job will appear a little bit easier after reading this. Another truth is, it is easy to reach leads because of the presence of several lead generation tools that can produce a hefty amount of data about your target market enough to bring your business to the next level. The bigger question really is what to do next after successfully generating marketing qualified leads. As can be expected, you would want to produce sales-qualified leads and actually close the sale thereafter.

Honestly, however, too many companies are unknowingly losing their money – approximately 95% of sales opportunities – mainly due to low conversion rates. That’s a lot of profit lost! Businesses need to see the bigger need – coming up with efficient strategies so that leads become actual buyers.

 

Work on Your Prospecting Plan

Reality is there is always the possibility of losing opportunities simply because of unclear or unestablished protocols within organizations where it concerns MQL versus SQL. Differentiating between the two is crucial among marketers as they need to identify where in the sales funnel specific leads go. Being able to determine where your leads are in their customer journey enables you to create more conversions even with little leads.

This is where a prospecting plan will come in very handy. A prospecting plan is very helpful so that you get the task right the first time around. This tool ensures that your content and strategies are designed intelligently with the intent to make your target client buy what you are selling. You don’t hope they buy your product, you make them buy it! How? Write it all down in your plan.

A prospecting plan intends to accomplish the following:

  • Identify how many from your leads are potential prospects
  • How many will most likely be interested in your product
  • How many new accounts your team can afford to open once the responses start to come in
  • Follow up approaches that will not turn off your prospects

Related: B2B Lead Generation: What Works and What Doesn’t?

 

MQL vs. SQL

MQLs quite often signal that they are ready to buy the product only that they want to be clarified about specific details, waiting for the right timing or anticipating a potential discount. The good thing about MQLs is that there is little need to do hard selling as they already believe in the integrity of the product. You only need to update them every now and then until they are ready to make a purchase.

When people qualify as an MQLs, it also means that the clients are ready to know more about the product being offered. You have their attention already and now is the time to bring out the big guns in order for them to become fully convinced that your product is the best answer to their present need.

MQLs are often those recipients who opened the marketing email, signed up for something, filled out forms, or sent additional inquiries about details not included in your marketing campaign.

SQLs are those people who are open to listening to a demonstration or accepting free trials. They are more responsive to follow-ups and often make time for them in spite of their busy schedule. You have not just caught their attention, you have aroused their interest and this is where the sales people come in and close the deal.

Related: Consulting vs. Selling: Crafting a Winning Business Pitch

When handling SQLs, marketing and sales personnel need to work together closely in order to further evaluate the readiness of the prospect to buy the product or service. When deemed ready for the next stage in the sales process, both marketing and sales personnel will pull resources together so that the sale is sealed. Mostly, however, a prospecting plan would clearly outline that the closing of the deal will be handled by the sales personnel.

When an MQL transitions into becoming an SQL, it means that the marketing team has one their job well and it’s now time for the sales team to come in and complete the transaction. There should be no competition between the sales and marketing personnel. Instead, they should work closely together and marry their efforts in order to establish systematic practices that will hasten the increased conversion rates. When conversion rates are high, profit can naturally be expected to increase as well.

Related: Lead Scoring: The 5 Attributes To Consider When Ranking Your Leads

 

Sort your leads today by using different MQL and SQL automation techniques and see how you can expand your business and grow your clientele.

 

Traditional Marketing Tactics That Still Work In The Digital Age

The internet has become a battleground for marketers. These are increasingly competitive internet marketers who make it harder to stay on top of search engine sites and lead generation.

The statistics are alarming.

  • A look at the previous years reveals that Social Media traffic has decreased by 50%.
  • Facebook Ads are working only for 40% of digital marketing strategies. Even organic ads hover at a mere 2%.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) that was all the rage last year revealed a mediocre conversion rate below 1%.

Email marketing seemed to fair better. On the other hand, email marketers note the struggle to reach their target audience who get an average of 121 emails per day, plus promotional emails.

Search engine optimization or SEO strategies remain to be vital in working with lead generation. Still, the competition for the same SEO keywords is like a breeding ground for crabs, each wanting to get ahead of the other.

In fact, growing website traffic has become the top priority for more than half of digital marketers. In particular, 61% of these marketers reveal building organic presence and SEO as their top priority in 2018.

 

What are We Leading Towards?

No matter which modern advertising tactic you use, that strategy will go through the same cycle as every other strategy—from conception and testing to finding success and facing the inevitable saturation of your methods.

In the process, we have forgotten old school marketing techniques and focused on inbound noise instead.

This year, more and more marketers are forced to look back. They start to rethink these old marketing strategies. Now is the time to revive these tactics and make them work in the modern digital landscape. Let’s tackle them one by one.

 

#1 Success in Snail Mail Marketing

You’d think that in the digital age, direct mail is dead.

That’s a myth.

It’s outdated, but the wheels have turned, and its efficacy rate is shocking.

  • Marketers who sent their message through direct mail saw their response rate increase by 10 and even 30 times more than through their efforts in email marketing.
  • Outreach emails for the sake of landing leads and sales are sent to spam and promotional folders.
  • On the one hand, 100.7 million adults in 2016 purchased through a catalog.
  • These consumers believe that direct mail adds the personalized touch that online interactions lack.
  • Your leads have flooded inboxes, but their mailbox at home still has space.
  • Despite the decline of direct mail sent in the past decade, it is reaping a return on investment of 15 to 17%, on average.
  • There is less competition via direct mail. Meanwhile, email marketing has become saturated.

Even Conversion Fanatics, an SEO company, turned to direct mail with a 25% response rate which happened to be big-ticket clients.

The marketing team of Intronis, a cloud backup and data protection company, leaned in favor of direct mail. They invested as much as $10,000 and raked in 700% ROI.

If you like to make a significant impact on your annual revenue, target the big clients. Surprisingly, direct mail is the fastest and most effective way to get big-ticket deals.

 

#2 One-on-one with Clients and Serve their Individual Needs

Account-based marketing (ABM) is not as old school as direct mail. However, it is built in older marketing strategies that understand and apply personalization.

These days, marketing campaigns personalize their lead outreach by calling the client by name. Still, the message is a cookie-cutter one with generalized pain points.


Optimizely is one of the companies who had success using the ABM strategy. They targeted 26 different accounts, focusing their efforts on these handfuls.

Among their target market was Microsoft.

Optimizely provided a fully custom experience for their target market specific to their pain points and desires.

The result is a 117% elevation in account signups.


On average, marketers who employ ABM strategies reap 97% ROI.

Here is how you can use the ABM strategy for your business:

  • Study and determine which types of account demographics result in more sales.
  • Identify businesses that match these demographics and will benefit the most from your products or services.
  • Personalize your message to every target account.

The ABM strategy focuses on building real relationships with clients. It drives in massive sales and improved relationships between the client and the company.

Related: Account-based Marketing: Why It Delivers the Highest ROI

 

#3 The Power of Networking in a Conference

Nowadays, it is considered time-consuming and a waste of money to attend conferences.

Meanwhile, companies like HubSpot rake in thousands of new leads attending conferences.

Think of $10,000 spent on conferences as an investment. Connecting to sponsors and partners in these conferences can quickly pay you a higher ROI.

A Google search will reveal hundreds of sponsors in a single conference, ranging from small businesses to large companies.

Using this data, you can analyze these companies beforehand.

If you do conferences right, you can leverage a sponsor list to create a personalized sales pitch and land the big-ticket clients.

Just remember to study, plan, and specify your objectives, goals, and strategy before networking to the partners in a conference.

Boost event turnouts and conversion with Callbox’s Event Marketing services

 

Final Thoughts

The resurgence of old marketing strategies does not go to say that digital marketing efforts don’t work in 2018.

Combine digital marketing strategies with direct mail, ABM, and personalized networking in conferences, you have yourself a better game this year.

It’s all about directing your efforts in a market that is still wide and open, and then building relationships that encourage clients deeper into the funnel.

Now we know it’s best not to judge a strategy based on its old and tattered cover.

 

Build your digital presence, attract the right audience, and engage potential customers with the help of Callbox’s integrated Digital Marketing Solutions.