Leveraging On New Age Lead Generation Techniques

Importance of Marketing Automation Software

April 2, 2013

Context is the crux when it comes to modern marketing. Today leading B2B marketers are aware that failing to address the apt people at the right time with the required data will inevitably lead to lower productivity and pose questions on a brand’s credibility. Despite this, there are many who do not apply the same thinking into action. According to a report by Fournaise Group, approximately 80 percent of the CEO’s do not trust their marketing team’s works. This is because the marketers often fail to report  in a language comprehensible to them.

 Irrespective of the  ever increasing click-through rates, Facebook likes, website hits and landing page conversion rates, most CEO’s place very less significance on anything that does not directly contribute to business growth and increased revenue. This is the reason why marketing automation acquired a greater dimension than being just a luxury for organizations having sufficient budgets to spend. The outcomes of a well organized marketing automation platform are incredible. Few include:

  • 25% of higher revenue plan attainment instead of non-automation users (Marketo)
  • Quicker growth than non-users (66% to 55%) (Lenskold Group)
  • 451% increase in lead generation (Aberdeen Group)
  • High marketing productivity of between 1.5 and 6.9 per cent and 1.6 to 6.4 per cent sales productivity (Nucleus Research)

The study conducted by Fournaise Group also indicated that 80 percent of the CEO’s are of opinion that marketers are disconnected from the financial aspects of a business, whilst 74 percent preferred their marketers to become 100 percent focused in ROI. However, it is interesting to note that according to eMarketer, a minimal 28 percent of B2B’s in reality evaluate ROI to calculate their marketing efficiency. Marketing automation software today is redoing this disconnect by making reporting simpler than ever. It helps the marketers to continue to evaluate aspects such as click through rates, social media and conversions for their own research and thereby offering the CEO’s with the kind of figures that is of significance.

Today service providers specializing lead generation solutions have introduced marketing automation software that helps companies to offer an easy and powerful use of the platform for managing the lead database. Incase you feel like consolidating all your leads from different  sources then the software makes it simple for you to view every lead that comes from your website, email campaigns, marketing campaign from fills, social media and also from the offline leads in a single dashboard. The software offers you actionable intelligence from enterprise data to decision maker contact data. Furthermore, companies also have the access to data regarding the buying intent that is offered from browsing behavior that makes it simple for you to act on your leads.


Read more on - Marketing funnel, Lead Management System

Streamline Sales and Marketing Funnel with Marketing Automation Software

March 18, 2013

Marketing plays a vital role in lead generation as the marketers are responsible for creating awareness for a product or service and bringing a lead to the site. They are responsible for nurturing leads and when the leads are sales ready pass them on to the sales team for conversions. However, according to Forrester Research, nearly half of all B2B marketers close less than 4% of all marketing generated leads. This is definitely shocking and the reason for this is that marketers and brand managers spend time, resources and budget to reach out to their target audience via traditional media. Here is a look at some of the traditional marketing funnels for tracking leads. A marketing funnel refers to the different methods employed by the marketers to attract new prospects and convert them into customers.

Traditional Funnel
A basic and focused funnel, it shows the transformation of leads into customers. The concept of the traditional marketing funnel via television, radio and print is to market to the masses, hoping to attract the attention of some but eventually it attracts only a few customers. However, the cost for generating these few leads and even fewer actual customers is very high.

Prospective Behavior Funnel
It focuses on the behavior of prospects in different stages of the buying cycle and determines how to create demand for a product during these various stages. The number of people making a purchase decision is insignificantly small here.

Purchase Cycle Funnel
It provides a method of understanding and tracking the behavior of an average customer throughout the sales process. This funnel can help companies plan their strategies in advance, improve conversion rates into sales and evolve the sales process to design CRM, for retaining customers.

Website Sales Funnel
This funnel measures the activities performed by the visitor on the site even before they become a lead. Source of the visitors, their level of engagement with the content on the site, their reaction to different calls to action on the site and their interaction with the company – via form fill or request form before the sale is made, are all qualifiers which decide if a lead is worthy of entering the sales funnel.

Though traditionally marketing and sales are considered as two separate departments, both share a common objective. However, the lack of alignment between the two departments has prevented enterprises from realizing their objectives. Hence, to tide over this problem, enterprises need to deploy marketing automation software that helps the marketing as well as the sales teams about the lead movement from one stage to the other.

Thus, the need of the hour is marketing automation software that provides the ability to distinguish hot leads from cold or less engaged leads, guide prospective leads and help them make a purchase decision through effective lead nurturing tactics.

Read more on - Lead Generation, Marketing Automation

Manage Demand Generation Easily and Effectively

March 4, 2013

In the B2B marketing space, the most widely used term is demand generation. However, it is often confused with lead generation and many marketers use the two terms interchangeably. Though both lead generation and demand generation are about identifying prospective buyers, they are entirely different in concept. Let’s look at these two terms closely to understand its basic differences.

Wikipedia defines demand generation as “the focus of targeted marketing programs to drive awareness and interest in a company's products and/or services” and lead generation as “the generation of consumer interest or inquiry into products or services of a business.” That is to say, demand generation is all about creating awareness among the people to generate leads while lead generation is about identifying quality leads from the customers and then converting them into sales.

Demand generation, as the name suggests, deals with generating demand or interest in the products or services among the people and thereby increasing leads. As for lead generation, it is the generation of quality leads from those interested in the products or services and then converting them into customers. Hence, lead generation is sales centric, while demand generation is marketing centric.

Demand generation is considered as a marketing activity, since it is the marketers who create a buzz in the market about the products or services and get the people interested in the offerings. Whereas lead generation is considered as a sales activity, as it is the sales team that find people who are interested in the offerings, nurture them and convert them into sales.

However, in today’s marketing scene, the adoption of marketing automation has led to the dissolution of the difference of marketing versus sales. Lead generation is today a marketing activity and a subset of demand generation. Today the marketers carry out both demand generation and lead generation, while the sales teams are concerned with lead conversions alone.

Thus, demand generation involves all processes right from initial prospecting to delivery of qualified leads to the sales team. With the entire gamut of lead qualification activities falling in the marketer’s court, marketers employ a variety of demand generation tactics to generate leads and make them sales-ready. This includes SEO, branding, advertising, PR, direct mail, blogging, search marketing, emails, newsletters, events, webinars and trade shows.

With demand generation and lead generation playing very important roles in identifying prospective customers, marketing and sales team must deploy effective marketing automation software to put their demand generation and lead generation campaigns in the fast lane.


Also read more on - Demand Generation, Lead Nurturing

Importance of Effective Lead Management Software

February 15, 2013

In today’s competitive business environment, enterprises need to attract new customers to stay ahead of the competition. However, trying to reach new customers is not an easy task since not every lead turn into a winnable opportunity and not every opportunity turn into a sale. Hence, what sales team need is a better understanding of good and bad leads to filter out the bad from the good, nurture the potentially qualified leads so that they become sales ready. Since the process of managing leads is extremely complicated and laborious what is required is effective lead management to speed up the sales process.

Wikipedia describes lead management as “methodologies, systems, and practices designed to generate new potential business clientele, generally operated through a variety of marketing techniques.” In short, it refers to the entire business process and practices in an organization directed towards acquiring new customers, retaining existing customers, and establishing a brand reputation. Lead management is a complex process consisting of lead generation, capturing lead intelligence, filtering leads and distribution of qualified leads to the marketing team for lead nurturing and high priority leads to the sales team for conversions.

The most important aspect of lead management is not the quantity of leads but quality of leads. A good lead is the one that is ready for sales and results in profit for the company. Hence, more and more enterprises are using lead management software to prioritize and organize their leads.

Here is a look at some of the advantages of installing a best of the breed lead management software solution.

Lead Generation
Captures leads generated from marketing campaigns resulting in website visits and converts anonymous website visitors into leads

Business Intelligence
Unmatched lead insight using unique data mining and business intelligence technology, including identification of website visitor intent, resulting in enriched leads

Lead Qualification
Automatically scores and prioritizes leads based on pre-defined parameters related to activity, interest and intent

Lead Nurturing
Enables personalized and intent driven lead nurturing program aimed at building relationships and bringing prospects close to sale-readiness

CRM Integration
Integrates with existing CRM systems thereby aligning Marketing and Sales' efforts and offers a common platform with a consolidated view of the prospects.

Collaboration
Cost-effective collaboration opportunities with partners and affiliates, along with one-click integration with existing social networking platforms

Analytics
Provides an understanding of the effectiveness of the marketing strategies and channels, helping make appropriate decisions to improve overall performance, optimize cost and increase ROI.

Thus with good lead management software in place enterprises can easily ensure that their sales team is productive.

Read more on - Demand Generation , lead generation services

Significance of Lead Generation

February 8, 2013

Back in the year 1885 William Lever of Lever Bros said that “Half of the marketing money you spend is wasted—trouble is you don’t know which half.” However, there is a fair chance that substantially more than half of your marketing investments are being squandered.

Today most lead generation activities are not followed up appropriately by sales, for non-intuitive and legitimate reasons. The legitimate reason for no-follow-ups is generally that the leads are unfiltered and low-end. They might be organizations from the wrong verticals that are very small to be in the marketplace. Similarly, they might be students or consultants who responded to any specific offer. The non-intuitive reasons can include situations like where someone called a couple of times but with no response. This means if the lead generated it tough to work out, it is most often dismissed. As less as five percent of the leads are followed up by sales.

There are also cases of long term leads that are mostly ignored by sales as they are not looked upon as helpful in influencing the present period’s quota. There are organizations that are qualified without any immediate interest that are ignored by sales and marketing, which is a huge waste as the cost to recognize those are qualified versus the ones that are not are in turn are frequently duplicated and loses the potential benefit.

Therefore, lead management comprises of the overall business process and practices in an enterprise that is directed towards gathering the new consumers, retaining the old ones and also setting up a positive brand image. It is an intricate process that includes elements like capturing lead intelligence, lead generation, filtering leads and distribution of qualified leads to the marketing team for lead nurturing and also high priority leads to the sales team for transitions. The main aim of an efficient lead management program is to assist, manage and track the overall lead Lifecycle until it results in sales that in turn maximize the revenues and ROI.

Service providers of lead management offer the B2B enterprises with an easy and powerful way to make use of a solution based marketing automation platform that allows the lead management throughout the lead cycle. The software comprises of the following:

  • Lead Generation
  • Business Intelligence
  • Lead Qualification
  • Lead Nurturing
  • CRM Integration
  • Collaboration
  • Analytics


Therefore, if you want to attain the best of all your marketing initiatives, optimize the expense and maximize the ROI then it is advised that you resort to the appropriate lead management solution.

Know more on - Marketing Automation, marketing automation services

What to Keep in Mind While Choosing A Marketing Automation Solution

January 31, 2013

With business strategies getting increasingly complex and demanding, generating quality sales leads, managing demand generation campaigns and evaluating marketing return on investment, can be highly challenging. According to the American Marketing Association, “Sales & Marketing need to be integrated in order to build customer relationships, enhance brand, capitalize on leads, improve market share and to boost revenue”. To successfully  respond to a rapidly altering setting and streamline marketing and sales functions, it is important for  businesses to implement marketing automation solutions.

Marketing automation facilitates business growth by effectively managing all activities involved in marketing and sales starting from generating qualified leads to converting them into customers. Helping marketing teams in the early stages of the sales funnel, marketing automation solutions exist to better nurture and qualify leads so that once a lead is converted into a sale, the person is more likely to be qualified, interested, and ready to consider the product in detail. It enables companies to systematically nurture and cultivate existing prospects, yielding more opportunities and a better return from marketing programs executed weeks and months earlier.

What to keep in mind while choosing a solution
Choosing the right on-demand marketing automation service provider for your company requires careful assessment. Opt for a solution that provides quantifiable results. The marketing automation solution must  contain outstanding lead generation and lead nurturing abilities. As the main objective of the solution is to ensure improved lead conversion rates,  make sure that the marketing automation solution that adheres to lead nurturing best practices to offer continuous on visitor objectives and actions.  While its best to steer clear of multiple systems for tracking leads, look for a solution that can offer successful means to facilitate email marketing and social media campaigns.

There is better efficiency in marketing due to more effective marketing spend and less demand for expensive campaigns designed to bring in net new prospects. As marketing automation systems also make it easier to track the true ROI of marketing programs, choose a marketing automation tool that is flexible and scalable and that integrate multiple CRM systems. Ensure that  your marketing and sales campaigns are customized, so opt for a solution that is buyer centric, and that can analyze and estimate significant ROI.

Automation solutions can enable marketing teams to improve efficiency by strengthening their promotions and campaigns with cost-effective, yet sophisticated tools. These solutions simplify processes and functions, and provide end-to-end support right from the planning stage through campaign execution and reporting.


Also read more on -  Lead Management , Lead Nurturing

The Right Marketing Automation Solution For An ROI Increase

January 24, 2013

The days of  relying on lead capture forms to gain the necessary information  to be competitive in today’s marketplace, no longer exists. B2B buyers expect instant, pertinent information unique to their situation. Generating quality leads and managing demand generation campaigns can be complex and demanding and businesses need to adopt marketing automation solutions in order to streamline marketing and sales functions. With marketers under increasing pressure to generate more ROI, marketing automation represents a potent opportunity and can be looked upon as the panacea to all the sales and marketing woes.

Although marketing automation by itself are not enough, it is necessary to concentrate on filling the top of the  sales funnel by luring and adding net new contacts to the database while optimizing marketing automation efforts simultaneously. Automation solutions enable marketing teams to enhance efficiency by strengthening their promotions with cost effective and sophisticated tools. Today’s sales teams need to understand much more than the profile of the people they are working with. You need a way to understand and communicate to the sales team the online behavior of the B2B buyers that are coming to your web site. These solutions help companies to effectively respond to shifting strategies in the marketing landscape and aid lead management.  Automating the marketing activities of an organization, marketing automation facilitates business growth by effectively managing all activities involved in marketing and sales starting from generating qualified leads to converting them into customers.

Marketing automation enables companies to systematically nurture and cultivate existing prospects, yielding more opportunities and a better return from marketing programs executed weeks and months earlier. The right marketing automation solution for your organization helps  analyze the campaign data to achieve the best possible ROI. With effective marketing automation solutions ensure that the sales team is getting only better qualified customer leads. It maximizes the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing promotions and campaigns with the added benefit of lower costs.  

The value of marketing automation is that it has the potential to impact the top and bottom lines of an organization. It assists in focusing your sales funnel and significantly increasing your ROI. The marketing automation solution must be an effective marketing automation platform that measures visitor activity on web pages to identify sales opportunities. It must also have a sophisticated campaign management facilities to increase marketing ROI and help to align marketing and sales organizations.

Marketing automation is a critical component for every organization and organizations that achieved the highest performance in key metrics like revenue, conversion and return on investments are more likely to use marketing automation technology.

Read more on - social media campaigns, Lead Management software

Blogs for B2B Lead Generation

January 16, 2013

B2B blogs can be used as a good source of leads. Here are some tips to help B2B marketers generate sales-ready leads through this inbound marketing strategy.
B2B blogs need to be updated often (at least once a week). Blogging with fresh content increases indexed pages and helps you top the search results as well.  Provide your blog a professional look with your company logo and a brief bio of the blogger. Blog topics must be written around popular SEO keywords in your industry. This increases the odds that your prospect will see your post when he’s actively searching the Internet.

Insert internal links of earlier posts and other resources such as white papers. Place external links wherever relevant because both help with rankings. Try to build inbound links. Research on other sites that links to sites like yours using Open Site Explorer and reach out to them and offer them a compelling reason for  lead generation .

Write blogs on new and trending topics. It gets picked up during searches. Use images with relevant captions using keywords. This is not just to break the monotony but because Google images picks it up during searches.

Place a powerful call to action button prominently along with every blog post offering your latest white paper or eBook for free. The accompanying form helps to capture your prospect’s background information.

Have a blog roll on your sidebar. Here, you can recommend others’ blogs and links. They might return the favour.

Promote the blog – As part of your social media campaigns, every time you put out a blog, promote it across social media. Download social sharing plug-ins such as Google+’s “+1”, LinkedIn’s “inShare” and Twitter’s “Tweet”. This makes it easy for people to share your content in just a click. Social sharing helps you climb search results post Google’s Penguin update.

Syndicate your blog content to blog syndication sites. These sites will simultaneously publish your every blog post for free, link to your original post and help you reach a wider audience. Seek out influential bloggers in your business. Mention them/ their posts in your posts. Influence them to promote your blog. Provide an RSS feed button on your blog so interested readers can read all your posts. Invite industry experts to be a guest bloggers on your blog. It can help drive traffic. Use a pop up email subscription option. This way you capture interested visitors’ email IDs and build a dedicated readership as well.

Blogs can be popularized using email marketing techniques. Leads tracked from blog URLs can be scored using a suitable lead scoring model and be converted to sales-ready leads for lead nurturing.


Read more on - Marketing Automation software , Lead Management software

Leveraging On New Age Lead Generation Techniques

January 11, 2013

Today’s business scenario is strife with new competition, shrinking budgets and marketing and sales teams stretched to do more with less. Further, maintaining a pipeline of qualified leads has become vitally important for the challenging business climate. With the internet paving way for the growth of e-commerce, the business-to-consumer market has grown equally large along with the business-to-business market. Thus it has become imperative and important for every enterprise to have a consistent lead generation for its survival.

The marketing departments have realized that their role today has shifted from one facilitating a buying process with the use of marketing automation rather than attempting to push a sales process. This has paved way for a fundamental shift in the process of lead generation, lead nurturing and cultivation to make every lead ready for sales.  Further the growth of the social media, networking websites, educational webinars and search engines, the lead generation process today starts much earlier than the earlier days.

Lead generation as defined by Wikipedia “is a marketing term used, often in Internet marketing, to describe the generation of consumer interest or inquiry into products or services of a business”. Leads are generated for a variety of purposes including winning customers. There are a number of tactical methods for generating leads which includes advertising, search engine results or referrals from existing customers. However; lead generation has changed from its earlier form with the development of a number of marketing automation software. The lead generation software developed by the leaders in marketing automation helps enterprises focus on managing the entire lead lifecycle, from initial engagement, through lead nurturing, to lead scoring and sales. Nevertheless, business strives to generate quality leads that will lead to purchases.

Though a number of lead generation techniques are available today, the two main techniques used by enterprises for generating leads are inbound marketing and outbound marketing. Outbound marketing, process finds marketers forcing themselves on prospective customers to generate leads. Also known as interruption marketing this includes cold calling, direct mails and emails advertisements. Inbound marketing on the other hand, does not interrupt prospects and uses tactics like blogs, e-books, white papers, SEO, SEM, webinars, social media, viral marketing, videos and podcasts, to draw customer attention.

With a myriad of methods to generate leads and nurture them, the enterprises today need to choose and implement the most effective techniques in accordance with their objectives, target audience and expected profit margin.  The effective lead generation strategies include understanding that different lead generation techniques when implemented properly can produce positive results. Further, every technique has its pros and cons and enterprises need to monitor and evaluate the success of every technique.  


Read more on - Lead Management software, social media campaigns

Leveraging SEO for B2B Success

January 2, 2013

In B2B marketing, lead generation is a vital process which ensures that a company is able to realize sales opportunities and bring in the much needed revenue. Supporting this effort is the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) process that helps marketers to popularize their marketing campaigns by keeping them on top of the search engine results page.

The role of a search engine is to find relevant links for search terms provided online users. So in order to highlight a website link during those searches and make it appear on in the top slots, B2B marketers need to optimize their web pages for higher visibility. SEO practices help to raise marketer’s webpage rankings compared to those of his competitors.

Here’s what will make your SEO efforts reach greater heights.

Content

  • High quality content is vital for SEO to succeed.
  • Content used in landing pages and website must be informative and relevant to prospects.
  • Use the right keywords so that your URL shows up during user searches.
  • Scatter keywords strategically in content, headlines, titles and subheadings.
  • Use primary keyword in your meta tags as they are crawled by search engines to identify your website.
  • Your landing pages should have a catchy title with the primary keyword in it.
  • Always use primary keyword and secondary keyword in landing page descriptions, within the first 150 characters.
  • Title tags must be within 70 characters and should be a very short description of the content.
  • And, last but not the least, always update your content for readers to get the latest picture of your company or product.

Target segment

  • SEO activities have greater success levels if it is pursued for a specific target user segment. This applies especially to blogs and articles.
  • Since SEO is pursued by all companies, to excel and succeed in SEO, targeting specific user segments is advisable.
  • This helps to create credibility for published content and generate readership as well.

Website Aesthetics

  • Use only relevant images on your website and blogs, and only if it is imperative.
  • Include a short HTML description tag for images posted on the website.
  • It is not recommended to use Flash-based site navigation tools.  Use site browsing code like jQuery or CSS to create text-based written content for ease of being recognized by search engines.
  • To sustain readership, create internal links in a website. Create a sitemap which enables search engines to index the site faster.
  • Provide social media sharing buttons on your website. This encourages readers to spread the word with just a click of the button.


Automate SEO efforts by using marketing automation products to accelerate your lead generation and lead nurturing efforts.


Read more on - Lead Management software  , social media campaigns

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