Make your B2B sales lead generation campaign perform

Being active and engaging with new leads and prospects is a good way to fill your sales pipeline and garner new business, but how often are you measuring the performance of your B2B sales lead generation campaign?

There are several metrics to track in lead generation. The key is to map out your goals and prioritize the data that’s most relevant to your business objectives. Peter Drucker, author and modern business management guru is well known for this simple quote: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Whether it is to create solidify more face to face appointments, captures email or contact information, or drive traffic to your website, tactics in lead generation can be measured and give you what you need to enhance, improve and bolster your results.

Determine your metrics

Creating a B2B sales lead generation campaign can feel complicated on its own, but with the right objective and strategy can yield great results. What do these results look like? Are they hitting targets? Can they be improved? These are all questions that metrics can tell you. While the goals of each business will determine what to measure, there are a few common and self-explanatory ones that can easily applied in almost any B2B space when it comes to the performance of your lead generation campaign:

  1. Click-through Rate (CTR) – Determining the performance of a CTA
  2. Conversion Rate – Dividing total number of leads by total number of conversions
  3. Time to Conversion – The length of time it takes to turn an “audience member” into a paying customer.
  4. Average Close Rate – Determining the quality of your leads.

When delving deeper into more details as they pertain to marketing, cost and sales, the metrics are similar, looking at ROI, Cost Per Impression (CPI) or Cost Per Click (CPC), Customer Lifetime Value, Sales Qualified Leads etc. Whether your campaign has digital and non-digital elements (i.e. direct mail, telesales) metrics can be applied to actions to ensure you’re headed in the right direction.

Get help from a B2B sales lead generation company

Partnering with the right lead generation company will not only help with campaign strategies to grow leads and achieve results, it also leaves very little to chance – launching a campaign blindly hoping one or two tactics will yield conversions. At 360 Leads, we offer our clients support in securing new customers and increasing customer loyalty, but we also provide market analysis, insight-driven strategy and support in measuring campaigns. We also work with clients to optimize their sales force with training and lead funnel management. Essentially, a reputable lead generation company will do just that – generate qualified sales all while helping you track your result and provide analysis and reporting along the way.

What does success look like to you?

There have been many iterations of the phrase “you don’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been”. When applied in the sales world, metrics and analysis are not a burden, but rather stepping stones to lead your team to the next best step. Keeping consistent with reporting provides the feedback and data needed to tweak campaigns, tactics and strategy. Measuring the performance of your lead generation campaign is essentially mapping out your success.

Learn more about how we can help you boost your B2B sales campaign by contacting us.

Generate leads by opening the gates to your content

The majority of B2B content to generate leads is gated, meaning to get access to information, users must submit some of their personal details. But is this the best approach? Consider that once you’ve put the final touches on a white paper or a case study and you’re ready to unleash it on the world, putting it behind a gate could reduce its download rate by about 95 per cent.  That might be fine if you already have a profile in your market, like IBM or Cisco. But what if you’re in the middle of rebranding or just starting to put yourself out there as an expert? Wouldn’t it be more important to create meaningful touchpoints and get the word out about your services or solutions to as many people as possible, rather than just lock it up and hope the downloads happen?

A one-two punch for generating leads

While gated content remains a mainstay of B2B lead generation marketing, some experts believe a one-two punch works better. Real-Time Marketing and PR author David Meerman Scott suggests companies offer one of their best pieces of content ungated and at the end of it list a secondary and equally compelling offer. The idea is that if you show customers the kind of expertise you can provide, they will want more. If you immediately ask for emails and info before providing any information, you’re setting up an adversarial relationship that is a turn-off for most people.

Scott estimates that ungated content gets between 20 and 50 times more downloads, therefore a gated white paper that gets 2000 downloads could potentially get up to 100,000 if offered up for free. Then, if just 5 per cent of them go for the second piece, you’ll end up with potentially 5000 sales leads.

Generate leads with gated versus ungated

There are believers in gated content who say experience has shown them that gating content is the better way to acquire sales leads. Debra Ellis, founder of Wilson & Ellis Consulting tried ungating and gating the same piece of content on alternate days. While she found that downloads were almost 50 times higher on ungated days, the contacts who ended up calling her company had downloaded the guide on a gated day.  It proved to her that those who are seeking the kind of information and service your company can provide, are willing to pass through the gate to get to the stuff they want.

Both insights are valid when it comes to demand generation performance, but if you have a piece of content that is dynamite, why not offer it for free? It’s a way of getting your expertise, services or solutions out there, and those who take you up on your second gated piece are those who really want to work with you in the long run.

To recap, creating great content is no longer the finish line, it’s the starting line in successful lead generation business campaigns for a conversation with your customer. Businesses have to cultivate new relationships starting with some “no obligation, risk-free information” that will help potential customers with their everyday struggles. If you deliver relevant, actionable business information to readers, they will want to keep getting that from you, and your content will have done its primary job of generating sales leads.

Lead generation companies help you convert sales leads into loyal clients

To thrive in today’s world, companies need to move beyond the customer journey. To reach their full potential and earn loyal clients for life, companies need to maintain a permanent presence in the lives of their customers, an endless relationship not confined to separate episodes of actively considering a purchase. This is as true for B2B sales leads as it is for B2C and can be achieved with the help of certain lead generation companies.

Companies need to build a brand experience that lasts beyond the transaction and goes beyond a simple follow-up thank-you.

Consumers have embraced technology and have hundreds of interactions a day on their devices. But they want those interactions to be personal and increasingly expect them to be highly customized as well. Marketing guru Seth Godin describes this as the “connection economy”, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Companies that fully grasp this and look at their clients holistically will have the best chance of building a strongly loyal customer base. It’s not difficult to do but it requires going beyond the customer journey to a close examination of the entire brand experience you have created.

Know your audience

For lead generation in particular, not taking advantage of all the data points available is like wilfully operating with a blindfold on. Gather as much information about your customer base as possible. Ask: What do they care about beyond a certain product or service? What interests them more broadly? Then think about how you can legitimately align yourself with those interests. It’s not enough to just sell a product to them at the right time, you need to buttress that connection with information they can put to use in their working and personal lives. If you can create a brand identity that is about something bigger than the product itself, you strengthen your appeal among customers, while simultaneously attracting a whole new group of potential customers that connected with those deeper interests first. Remember: millennials look for brands that are different, open-minded and socially engaged. How are you presenting that to your potential buyers?

Get expert help from lead generation companies

A lead generation company not only helps you track and discover new sales leads, they can offer insight and strategy in building a better relationship with the clients you already have. Customer win-back and growth strategies nurture leads and relationships and result in more engagement. Engaging the services of B2B lead generation companies like 360 Leads can give you a winning game plan that builds on your company’s innate strengths.

Build trust

Position yourself as a thought leader in your industry without asking for anything in return. By offering free educational content you are becoming a trusted source of relevant and useful information. Better yet, make sure they know that you are available to them for advice, should they reach out for it. At the same time, make sure your company isn’t the hero at the centre of your content marketing. Today’s consumers are suspicious of overly aggressive marketing campaigns and they are looking for credibility and transparency. Above all, be useful!

Create meaningful touchpoints

Have a game plan that allows customers to become aware of you, learn about your unique value, sample your product or experience, understand how to get the most out of what they just bought from you, and refer you to their friends. That is the strategy that will deliver meaningful touchpoints for both client loyalty and repeat business.

B2B lead generation leaders are…

B2B Lead generation is a massive industry, with countless verticals capturing qualified leads that can be sold to companies looking to acquire new customers. But according to The Black Report, only 17.3 per cent of companies actually reach their lead generation targets.

There are different lead generation verticals geared to different industries, but the most effective are those which attract numerous, deep-pocketed buyers with a high volume of search traffic (as opposed to a reliance on personal recommendations). A few of the standouts are the legal and education industry, in which the value of a converted lead is high. Some others are business and professional services (which reach 23.3 per cent of their targets), Technology (which reaches 21.4 per cent), and Financial services (which reach 41.7 per cent of their targets).

But what, beyond their demographics and size, do these markets have in common that leads them to perform better in B2B sales performance?

A few things.

People looking for legal services and educational opportunities are actively searching online and are typically heavy users of digital services, and therefore easier to reach with an online lead generation campaign. Sales lead generation is a better-established practice in financial and professional service industries, and digital lead generation has a long standing prevalence in technology industries, so the fact that these sectors are top performers in this area is understandable.

Manufacturing (where lead generation reaches just 7.7 per cent of their targets), and the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries (reaching just 12.5 per cent) are more recent adopters of lead generation, so there’s a learning curve there. In addition, these companies may have less marketing-oriented cultures, and may operate in environments with rigorous regulatory and privacy requirements that limit certain types of lead generation activities.

If this sounds like your company, you might need to retool your lead generation programs to get better results, and that means:

  • Examining channel choices, measuring ROI, eliminating what isn’t working, and doing more of what is.
  • Combining a mix of tactics anchored by relevant offers to build effectiveness across all channels.
  • Matching budget priorities to B2B sales objectives to ensure lead generation is sufficiently resourced.

If you are handling your own lead generation you have to find a way to bring sales, marketing and operations to the table to commit to a shared focus and accountability for topline growth. For some companies this is easier said than done, with teams widely dispersed or working remotely which can prove difficult to coordinate. Sometimes it makes more sense to get an outside lead generation company to put their focus and expertise to work for you.

A lead generation company can address specific needs, such as these:

  • If data acquisition is an issue, an expert can provide specific, targeted data matched to an ideal customer profile (industry, business size, geographic location, job title etc.).
  • If lead generation program strategy and planning is weak, an expert can create an efficient, systemized approach to lead sourcing, nurturing, qualifying and sales appointment booking.
  • If website results are limited, a digital lead generation expert can improve website metrics and develop digital advertising campaigns and optimized landing pages.
  • If outbound telemarketing isn’t getting results, a lead generation expert can get sales reps off the phone and in front of the right people.
  • If there’s a great story to tell, but it isn’t being told, a lead generation company with integrated marketing and communications expertise can help craft a compelling brand message and awareness-building campaigns.
  • For companies of every size, effective, ongoing sales lead generation is the foundation for sustained topline business growth. If it’s not on the radar as a key strategic priority, it should be.

Learn more about how we can help you with qualified B2B sales leads by contacting us.

Lead generation buyer personas, why and how to create them

Lead generation buyer personas are shorthand for the different types of individuals most likely to buy your products or services – basically fictional examples of your ideal customers, like IT Irene, Mechanic Mike, or Builder Bryan. Why are they helpful? Because having a deep understanding of who your target sales leads are will increase the chances of greater sales. It allows you to create the most suitable content to draw them in and win their trust and provides insights into the different solutions they are looking for. Developing buyer personas for lead generation might seem like an onerous task, but it doesn’t have to be if you follow a few steps. The strongest buyer personas are based on market research as well as your own internal intelligence gleaned from your interactions with clients. So let’s start there.

When it comes to lead generation, do your research

The first step in creating personas is to do some basic research so you completely understand where your B2B lead generation sales clients are coming from. That includes all of the unique industry challenges they have, like regulatory issues, currency fluctuations, export laws and other problems they typically come up against. Next, look at your own digital data to see trends. Facebook and Twitter analytics can help you discover the kinds of content customers are looking at, which in turn tells you the sorts of problems they have, and how your products and or services can solve them.

Talk to sales

Your frontline sales people will be a great source of information, so tap their knowledge to find out the types of customers and sales leads they interact with. Ask them what questions they hear consistently, and how they would characterize the types of customers they see.

Interview customers

Ideally you will speak to a customer from each industry that you serve, so you get a broad idea of what features help them the most, what caused them to look for a solution and why yours was the best. Alternatively, if you can speak to dissatisfied customers about why your product wasn’t a good fit for them, this helps clarify which personas you do serve well. This can also assist your company in improving the product or service so it becomes a better fit for more customers.

Create your buyer personas

Take all the learnings and apply them to creating buyer personas. They should include geographic and demographic information, the industry they work in and their position. Get to know their preferred way of researching and buying from a company. For instance, some buyers might enjoy doing their own deep research and then interact with a chatbot. Others might prefer a longer conversation with a live person who can walk them through their purchasing dilemma. For B2B companies, a persona should be created for every industry that you serve. Give each persona a name, find an image to represent them, and create cheatsheets for all of them with samples of the language and pitches to use for each of them. This helps ensure that everyone in the company is speaking the same language when having conversations with customers.

Buyer personas allow you to target marketing efforts to specific needs, behaviours and concerns, but it also helps to align every department in the company. If you would like to talk about buyer personas and other lead generation topics, contact us.

How to kickstart your lead generation campaign

The new year is for new beginnings and if your lead generation needs a reboot, now’s the right time to give it the attention it needs so the year ahead will be a success. Here are some helpful tips for the coming year that will help with your lead generation campaign.

Review your successes (and flops)

What were your goals for 2018? Did you want to build your subscriber list, boost sales, or raise awareness on social media? Were you working on new products or services and plan to start selling them this year? Whatever your objectives, a good way to begin every year is to do a bit of reflection. Pull relevant data and see what happened over the past 12 months. If something worked, try to understand why and build on those efforts this year. On the other hand, if something clearly didn’t work, it’s time to try something new.

Data analysis for any upcoming lead generation campaign

The most important asset of your marketing department is your database, where the lifeblood of your marketing and lead generation lies. The health of that information is paramount to your business’ success, so find the time to evaluate the age, source, quality and relevance of the content, as this will ensure you are equipped to make the right decisions going forward. Take some time this month to analyze and improve your database.

Know your market

A lot of sales teams handicap their own efforts by not fully understanding the motivations of their customers. Why someone is considering buying something is as important as when or where that decision might be made. Once you understand their reasons for buying something, you can effectively position your widget or service as the best one for their needs. No amount of time spent researching a buyer’s motivation is ever wasted. It’s how you will generate the most sales in the long run.

Sales loss analysis

Good sales loss analysis can help you see what you did well and where you went wrong in a previous sales situation. This includes lead generation, marketing, sales support, sales documentation, the sales team and managing the entire process. If any of these are fumbled you could lose the sale to a competitor. Feedback from the sales team is a good start but even more helpful is hiring an independent third party to solicit feedback from prospects at all stages of the sales and marketing process.

Keyword research

Think of keyword research as not just a means to an end – better SEO – but as essential information to aid your B2B sales and marketing efforts. Keywords are what your prospects use to research the products and services they are looking for, so they are paramount to your success. Spend time now doing this critical task to amass the best arsenal for the tasks ahead – not just for SEO purposes, but to be deployed in every aspect of your outreach.

Don’t believe the hype

There are hundreds of companies that will claim to know how to sell to your audience, but ultimately you are the best judge of that. If you study your market carefully and learn everything there is to know about how (and where) they start the buying process, you will know exactly how (and where) to target them. And no slick B2B marketing company can sell you anything else, because you will know exactly what you need to get the attention of your market.

360 Leads is purpose built to help B2B companies acquire more customers, deepen existing relationships and optimize sales team performance. Find out how we can help you hit all your targets in 2019.

The lead generation company telesales stereotype debunked

Your next customer is only a call away. That is, if you or your lead generation company telesales team picks up the phone.

Needless to say, because of this, telemarketing or telesales gets a bad rep; those poorly-scripted calls are made in the hundreds if not thousands, from disengaged people focused on quantity and not quality. It’s a negative stereotype that’s hard to shake, but as a sales lead generation company who prides itself in the outbound calling campaigns we’ve successfully accomplished for our clients, we’ll put a hard stop on that right here.

Just check out these numbers:

  • The best performing sales lead generation channel by 44.7% was outbound telemarketing for top performing companies as found by The Black Report.
  • Another report found that 70% of B2B sales come from human interaction – 56% of these sales came from telemarketing.
  • B2B telemarketing is different than B2C telemarketing – The State of Inbound Marketing report found that B2B companies get twice as many leads from telemarketing than B2C companies.
  • The most annoying type of advertising at home was deemed telesales while at work it is deemed the LEAST annoying and favourable option.

How do you get telesales to work for your business?

  1. Who are your B2B sales targets? Review your data and ditch the quantity over quality stereotype. Do the research and know which verticals, locations, job titles and companies matter most to you. Do the people you’re calling have the capabilities to onboard what you’re offering? Doing the upfront thinking before your outbound calling campaign will help set the right targets.
  2. What is the purpose of the lead generation company telesales campaign or call? You can’t have your eye on the prize if you don’t know what the prize looks like. Whether you are selling a product, booking a qualified sales meeting or providing a service know the purpose and focused objective of the call. Even if your prospect isn’t interested, this gives you information to refocus your efforts elsewhere. Every call, whether you book a meeting or not provides immediate feedback.
  3. Are you listening? While the right script can propel your phone call from good to great, it’s essential to listen for an understanding of your prospect’s needs rather than just listening for the sake of responding. Don’t get wrapped up in your pitch and don’t go into automatic – the call should be a genuine, two-way conversation as this is the start of building and nurturing customer relationships.

It takes a positive, enthusiastic and master communicator to bridge the relationship between you and your prospective leads – we’re lucky to work with a few on the 360 Leads team.

Until then, turn the negative telemarketing perceptions on their heads with these three easy sales leads tips and your marketing and sales may see a positive return. We can help make that next great phone call for you, simply give us a shout.

B2B sales lead generation is changing thanks to AI

B2B sales lead generation has always been an inherently human activity but with the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) applications, companies are going to be rewiring their B2B lead generation tactics. Here are two key ways AI can assist marketers in capturing sales leads.

Personalization

Big data is being captured in unprecedented ways and in massive volumes and can provide companies with deep insights about behavioural patterns of both existing and potential customers. AI can then use those insights to develop a unified customer view and deep understanding of each customer at an individual level previously not possible. AI can then learn to respond in a way that is targeted directly at the customer’s location, context and values, three essential understandings that can personalize marketing strategies.

Potential sale leads can be filtered based on whether they hit a threshold of time spent on a page or visit key pages that have been identified as qualifiers. It all adds up to more personal interactions and a heightened chance of eventually closing a deal.

Chatbots and 24/7 B2B sales lead generation

Imagine an AI chatbot that feels both authentic and personal, reacting to queries with original content of a high EQ, while conversing naturally. Imagine that AI available 24/7, to respond, deliver messages and provide vital information to potential leads. That is what is referred to as “affective computing” which will allow an AI to interact in a way that feels truly, authentically human. For this to work, the AI must be able to convey empathy and detect emotion.

The AI chatbot is coming to a website or Facebook page near you, (probably yours if you don’t have one already), and once activated it will bring startling changes that will revolutionize your lead generation. Chatbots will be able to recognize what campaign brought the person to the website and can use that information to start a conversation about the most relevant topic, through targeted outreach based on users’ previous interactions with the brand. An AI chatbot will fire up a conversation with a potential customer, assist them with their inquiry, and deliver a lead to your sales team who would otherwise not have engaged with the company.  This can help enormously at a time when visitors to websites are increasingly impatient with filling out online forms and wondering whether the information they get in return is worth the effort.

Measurement matters

As the digital tools that companies use to measure the effectiveness of their digital campaigns proliferate, marketing executives will be under even more pressure to justify their investments than they already are. It could be that AI-fuelled chatbots, though traditionally relegated to customer service, are the ROI-proving answer that marketing managers have been waiting for. If they live up to their promise, they will turn visitors into qualified leads, connect the dots between an ad campaign and a conversion, and give CMOs the much-needed answers they deserve.

Find out how 360 Leads can help your business get AI-ready with an integrated B2B sales lead generation campaign. Contact us today!

Questions to ask a lead generation company

Whatever your sales and marketing funnel looks like, if you don’t get enough qualified sales leads, things will dry up and revenue will fall flat. If you are in this position, it might be time to consider hiring a lead generation company who will help combine sales lead generation and marketing strategy to help you sell more, acquire new customers and optimize your sales force Before signing on to a contract, here’s what to ask before hiring a lead generation company.

Does your company specialize in small or large businesses? B2B or B2C?

Ask this at the outset, so you get an idea in general terms of whether they are experienced in the kind of lead generation you need. If you’re a large B2B company with major accounts you likely have a sophisticated process of handling leads. The lead generation company you hire should have a higher level of expertise, precision and support to handle these high value sales leads. Typically, they will be talking to C-suite, upper-level decision makers, with a solution-oriented selling style focused on ROI for a long and complex business cycle.  If you are targeting smaller purchases of a commodity type with a shorter or non-existent sales cycle, you need a company that is well-versed at these sorts of leads. Additionally, there are major differences between B2B and B2C leads, so the company you’re considering should have experience dealing with these kinds of leads. Discuss expectations of how much of the sales funnel will be handled by this company. Many lead generation companies have a hand in lead nurturing as well, so it’s important to find out how they will work with your in-house sales team.

How do you define a “qualified lead”?

The more narrowly you define a qualified lead, the better, and their definition of a good prospect should align with your own. This is key to getting a smooth partnership going, and expectations will be based on a solid footing.

What types of lead generation company services do you provide?

Many lead generation companies have different approaches and methods. Think of the approaches you take and compare them with the strategies at play in a company you are considering hiring. One major decision is how much effort is to be spent on inbound versus outbound lead generation. Outbound is old school but can pay dividends. Inbound typically requires more digital marketing savvy. Some companies will provide tracking, reporting and support services. How much of this you will need is worth debating with colleagues.

Here is a list of typical services a lead generation company might offer:

  • SEO
  • social media
  • blogging
  • web page optimization
  • paid search
  • email marketing
  • outbound techniques like cold calling and pay-per-click
  • event promotion, content creation, B2B appointment setting

What is your costing structure?

You should already have a sense of your own cost per lead (CPL) or at least a ballpark figure. Lead generation companies should offer CPL estimates based on industry standards, and they should be similar or lower than your own. After all, they are experts at this, and their processes should be refined enough that they get efficient results without excessive overhead costs. Conversion rates and how far they are going to take your leads can matter as much as the quantity of leads. That’s why it’s important to understand their processes before you sign a contract.

What type of technology do you work with?

A lead generation company should have a full set of digital tools at the ready to automate, manage, and track all aspects of their services. Look for up-to-date technology and find out whether it can be easily integrated with your own, particularly your customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Ultimately, the main thing in asking questions is to find a company with transparency about their operations. If you find you’re getting vague answers to basic queries about their process, it’s best to say goodbye. If you are interested in partnering with 360 Leads to see if we might be the perfect fit, contact us today.

Using LinkedIn boosts your B2B sales leads

When generating B2B sales leads you’ll need to go to where the leads are, and nowadays, that’s on social media. According to the Black Report, social media accounts for 26.8% of a B2B company’s success. Using it to tap into interested prospects for your business can be a powerful resource. But what’s the best platform to use? The Answer – LinkedIn. Sure, you can use platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but LinkedIn has actually been proven to be the most effective.

But, you will also need to have the right strategy in place. LinkedIn won’t do all the work for you. Here are some ways LinkedIn can help attract more leads and sales:

Content over everything

Posting fresh and existing content daily is key. If you have other social media accounts where you generate content, or if you have a blog, LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to publish new content or re-purpose content to specifically speak to your LinkedIn following. This lets you share your knowledge, expertise, and updates you’ve posted in other accounts. It’s also a great way to push traffic to your website. Tip: Remember to communicate with your connections in a way that is personal, helpful and open.

LinkedIn advertising works for B2B sales leads

Using the right LinkedIn advertising or sponsorship post can be an effective tool. After all, there are over 560M active professionals on LinkedIn. Using its advertising is a great way to help your business generate more B2B sales leads. And the best part, you’ll be able to target unique audiences, create easy and effective ads and control your budget and costs. It is a sure-fire way to better connect with potential clients and influencers in your industry.

Stronger relationships are built through InMail

Sometimes, advertising might not fit your budget. But that doesn’t have to stop you from making meaningful relationships and LinkedIn helps with InMail. Depending on the type of account you have on the platform (basic or free vs. Premium) InMail can be sent to any LinkedIn user if their profile settings allow for it. Sponsored or paid-for InMail can cater to the audience you want to reach and your budget. By simply crafting an email that informs potential clients about a new product announcement or a new idea, you can increase the chances of generating more sales leads as InMail lands directly in someone’s inbox and if done right looks like a personal and unique message directly from you. Be wary of how many times your use InMail and to whom you’re sending it to, nothing’s worse than being marked as spam or getting blocked.

Group up

Another great way to learn more about your industry is to join influencer or professional groups in your areas of interest. These are very easy to find. All you have to do is simply search for keywords about your industry or that are related to your company or product and service offering. Some groups require an invitation or, admins will choose to vet someone before allowing them access to the groups, however, once you’re in you will have access to like-minded people in your industry. This is a great way to gain helpful information, establish credibility, make connections and spark conversation for new business and relationships.

Like most social media platforms, LinkedIn is constantly evolving, but using these steps can help increase your professional and personal brand on LinkedIn and help to attract new leads.

Follow us on LinkedIn and learn more about how we can help you boost your sales leads by contacting us.

How do lead generation companies get results

In one of our 360 Leads blog, we dispelled the negative connotations around telesales and explained why it’s an effective lead generation channel.

No one knows this better than sales lead generation companies. They are on the front lines (and on the phone lines) putting this method into practice everyday for 360 Leads and our clients. From companies in the manufacturing industry, to technology, agriculture, law firms and more, our sales lead generators connect with prospects across a wide variety of industries everyday.

Daisy Sidhu has been a sales lead generator with lead generation company 360 Leads for nearly five years. She was recognized as our Employee of the Year for 2017. Daisy is one of the first steps in connecting sales clients to their target customers and has been consistently successful at it. Here are Daisy’s top tips for calling prospects and making telesales work for your lead generation:

Be organized

“In my daily routine, I have to have my calendars ready, I have to know the availability of the sales reps or any changes,” Daisy said.

“It’s about organizing, you can’t just think ‘ok I’m going to work on Jacob, so I’ll just pick up the phone and start dialling’ – no, there’s more to it and my daily routine is not always the same, there are always changes coming on. You must be flexible.”

As clients are based anywhere from Canada, the United States and even Germany, Daisy says she always reviews not just who the sales reps are, but where they’re located and when they are free to meet prospects. She is in constant communication with team members to ensure everyone is on the same page. You can’t book a meeting or sell anything if you don’t have all the right info readily available.

Manage your time

“We get our weekly schedule with what campaigns we’re working on and who we’ll be calling. Right now I have 3 clients,” Daisy explains.

“I always try manage those hours and to keep in mind what is the best time for me to call for (certain clients) to book an sales appointment and what time will I be able to get a hold of the prospect.”

How do lead generators know when to call? It takes some experience, Daisy says.

“We work with a wide variety of clients; IT, transportation companies, manufacturers, service companies with each client you slowly, slowly figure out what’s the best time to get a hold of a prospect.”

For example, if you’re trying to get a hold of someone who works office hours you may not reach them after 9:30 a.m. Knowing the key times to call sales leads prospects helps Daisy divide her time between clients, allocating certain hours and time slots in her day for each client.

Don’t take it personal

“You need to be friendly and you need to be able to take the negative and the positive,” Daisy said.

“Sometimes they hang up on me, or right away they say ‘take me off your list, don’t call me again.’ I say it’s ok don’t take it personally, just move on to the next one. You can’t take it to heart because there’s a 100% chance that the receptionist of the next person on the next call will be equally as nice and it will make up for the previous bad experience you had.”

As a representative of not only 360 Leads, but the client as well, Daisy said it’s best to communicate in a conversational friendly manner, no matter what the B2B sales prospect’s response may be. While it’s easy to get disheartened by a bad call, take Daisy’s advice:

“Each call is a different experience and to be honest, I learn from each experience and I apply it to the next call.”

Make every call count

“A lead generator is not necessarily picking up the phone and making an enormous amount of calls – one call after another, it’s not a race, it’s slow paced,” Daisy said.

“I try to take it easy, make friends and make each call count. That’s what I always say, make each call count.”

Making a call adds a personal touch. While it may be the first time talking to a prospect you must converse as though you have done so many times with this person, Daisy says. At the end of her calls, Daisy always asks for the prospect’s email address. By already connecting through a call, a prospect is more likely to remember you and your company.

If you want to learn more about how telesales can help your lead generation, contact us today.

Lead generation that takes telesales to the next level

Telesales can be the start of a successful lead generation campaign – when you have the right lead generation company working for you.

The 360 Leads Black Report found that 44.7% of top performing companies rank telesales as their best lead generation channel. When you combine direct mail, digital marketing and a targeted campaign that gets your business in front of key decision makers, it’s no wonder that 76% of US and Canadian companies have applied multi-channel lead generation programs.

So, is telesales dead? Per our proven results, not in the slightest.

Creative outbound campaigns

The secret to creating meaningful outbound sales leads, is there is no secret. Simply put, the right B2B demand generation company will create a focused message, research your target markets and refine your value proposition. 360 Leads works with clients to produce creative outbound campaigns to achieve their objectives. Whether this means calls, direct mail, digital marketing or a combination of these methods, each campaign is specifically designed to grow sales leads and achieve results.

Win-back and retention

While reaching new customers is the focus for many lead generation campaigns, marketing to existing and former customers is just as beneficial for the bottom line. A win-back and retention strategy incorporated into a sales lead campaign means more avenues for more results. Don’t let leads cool off after that first conversion, instead— nurture, nurture, nurture. Here’s the proof: The 360 Leads Black Report found that companies who communicate three or more times with leads they generate are more than twice as effective at achieving their targets.

Targeting key decision makers

A blanket approach to telesales may not achieve results, but when an experienced demand generation company knows how to approach and execute telesales by doing the research to target decision makers you want to reach, results improve vastly. With outbound telemarketing sitting at the top of lead generation channels for top performing companies (The Black Report), it’s clear that even in a digital world telesales drives success. 360 Leads caters to clients in creating telesales campaigns on their own or combining them with insight-driven direct mail campaigns and/or digital marketing to ensure you are connecting with as many leads as possible.

How can we help

If you’d like to discuss how telesales and targeted marketing can increase your profitability, our lead generation company services can help. Contact us.

The best marketing strategy might be sales lead generation

Brilliant marketers understand that qualified sales leads often start in the marketing department. According to The Black Report, a global sales lead generation study by 360 Leads, 72.8% of companies that excel at lead generation have a well-defined, clearly articulated value proposition. These companies know their story, and how to tell it.

Articulating the difference that a company can make for customers is vital. Taking that value proposition and expressing it in a way that’s clear, simple and compelling is something that great marketers know how to do very well; but here’s the gap:

Marketing professionals say their sales lead generation company activities are 35% more successful than sales professionals think they are, and when it comes to the top reasons why lead generation company campaigns don’t perform, they can’t wait to blame each other. But given the importance of developing communications to drive sales leads, marketers should be focused on the shortest distance to profitability.

Marketers need to consider that building a brand is not enough for their lead generation company efforts. In the B2B channel, creating meaningful conversations between professional sales people and qualified customers needs to be a marketer’s key objective.

How do successful companies do that?

The most effective sales lead generation company efforts use outbound telemarketing programs and effective social media. At least in the case of smaller companies. Larger corporations have bigger budgets, so they have a broader opportunity to reach their markets using events, conferences, trade shows, email marketing, direct marketing, and print advertising. They also have larger sales forces, and in most cases, simply because of scale alone, companies with larger sales forces are more effective than smaller sales forces. But size is not the stand-alone reason for more sales success; organizations with larger sales forces have a culture where they understand that marketing’s job is to support the effectiveness of the sales force.

How can marketing support the effectiveness of the salesforce?

For starters, companies who communicate three or more times with the leads they generate are 2.4 times more effective at achieving corporate targets. But most importantly, marketers must focus their communication efforts on the broader business development plan. This means carving out budgets and developing strategy to move the dial on creating qualified sales leads. It will increase profitability, get marketing efforts closer to the bottom line and stop the downward spiral of eroding marketing budgets year over year.

Ready to generate qualified leads for your sales team? Contact us.

Turn digital traffic into real qualified sales leads

In The Black Report™, our global study on sales lead generation, marketers selected digital lead generation as their top lead generation channel, while salespeople selected outbound telesales as their top channel. We say they’re both right, but the important question remains: how do you turn digital traffic into real bona fide sales leads? The key is to integrate the digital leads into a full lead generation strategy.

Here are three things to think about:

Keep score

Not all sales leads are created equal. Many companies have great website traffic, visitor engagement and repeat visitors that could all be considered warm leads. Developing specific scoring criteria on what is and what isn’t a lead can be the difference between salespeople wasting their time and investing it against real prospects. Your scorecard should include site visits, fill forms, download requests, webinar participation, and more. The lead scorecard for each company will differ, but not having one means there is no benchmark for determining what you classify as a sales-ready lead.

More qualified traffic means more qualified leads

Digital advertising campaigns for a client of ours in the B2B category have been setting user engagement records on LinkedIn and industry websites. The click-through rates are frighteningly good, but these numbers mean absolutely nothing on their own, other than our client and our lead generation team get bragging rights. These clicks all link to a very specific call to action, linking to lead scoring and eventually, the wider lead generation program.

Now what?

While every company and campaign is different, an action we often take is to put the B2B digital sales leads into an outbound calling program. Don’t just let these leads sit in a list that keeps piling up. Instead, make contact when the scorecard says it’s time. But don’t be too aggressive or premature with any outbound contact—you only have one chance to make your second impression count! Set the expectation of contact in advance via your digital call to action. Whether it is a phone call, an email, or a social media post, ensure that the prospect knows they will be hearing from you soon.

If you’d like to learn more about how we drive ‘insane CTRs’ to convert digital traffic into qualified sales leads, contact us.

If you want sales leads, pay for the fans on social media

What is the appeal of social media for brands? Engaging potential sales leads? Starting conversations? Building communities? Not quite. Till recently, social media attracted marketers in large part because it was a totally free form of lead generation. Of course, that’s changed.

Now, if you want your brand messaging to get eyeballs and interactions, you’ve got to pay to play. That’s because most of the time, your content just isn’t going to go viral. Sure, there are viral phenomena that make the rounds of the Internet, but it’s crucial to remember that these are the exceptions—not something to rely on.

In a recent study, Sprinkler estimated that the average Facebook user is exposed to about 1,500 stories every time they log on, while the extra social user is exposed to 15,000. Every one of these stories has to compete against others for newsfeed real estate and user attention. Facebook’s algorithm determines which posts get prime positioning: it considers engagement potential and the investment made to drive engagement—sponsored posts get favoured. So, is the end of free social media a catastrophic loss or an untapped opportunity for sales lead generation? In fact, it’s a massive opportunity waiting to be harnessed through:

Promoted tweets for sales leads

Target the people you’re trying to reach by geography, interest and gender, and have your tweets appear in a feed, or in specific searches. Set a maximum amount to pay per click, follow, retweet, reply or favourite.

Promoted posts for sales leads

Get your message in front of the people who matter most by breaking through the clutter and building exposure with posts that appear higher and more often in Facebook newsfeeds.

LinkedIn ads for sales leads

Advertise B2B offerings on prominent pages to potential sales leads, targeting by job title and function, industry, company size, seniority and age, and groups. Choose between pay-per-click (PPC) to drive response and pay-per-impression (PPI) to build awareness. Maximize ROI with special offers, whitepapers, free trials and demos.

Instagram for sales leads

Benefit from an almost exclusively millennial audience and 58% more engagement than Facebook. According to Union Metrics, Taco Bell saw a 29% point gain in ad recall for the rollout of its breakfast menu, and its Instagram following jumped 45% during its month-long ad campaign.

Ready to get in the lead generation game? Talk to us at 360 Leads about where to start.

Lead generation: marketing and sales need to collaborate

The number of sales leads a business needs is a great point of contention between sales and marketing teams within an organization. Sales executives always find they could use more to keep the sales funnel flowing, while marketing executives believe they’re providing enough. In fact, marketing professionals say their lead generation activities are 35% more successful than sales professionals think they are.

Marketing needs to send leads to sales

To keep salespeople neck-deep in sales leads that will help them meet their targets, the marketing department needs to ensure that it is sending qualified sales leads their way. It’s not constructive to send over unqualified leads that haven’t indicated interest in the business product or service. Case in point: Poor sales opportunity qualification is responsible 32.5% of the time for a company not meeting its sales lead generation targets, according to The Black Report™.

There’s just no greater waste of time for salespeople than trying to wedge uninterested parties down the sales funnel. In fact, it’s terrible for business. Of companies that aren’t meeting their revenue targets, 70% generate fewer than 100 sales leads monthly, and only 5% generate more than 2,500.

Fill the gap lead generation

Clearly, there’s a gap that can be filled through better communication between sales and marketing teams. Marketing can help ensure sales teams meet their quotas by being more invested in this process and not turning over leads too early. There is also ample opportunity to take advantage of third-party sales lead generation companies to keep the sales funnel full. In this scenario, expenses in acquiring these leads will be a valuable investment, not just another expense without satisfactory results.