Top Demand Generation Tactics You Can Implement and Immediately to Set More Meetings

Top Demand Generation Tactics You Can Implement and Immediately to Set More Meetings

1. Don’t Wait to Follow Up on Leads

You spend $15K, $30K, $100K plus on a trade show.  You spend money on inbound pay-per-click, or publishers etc. If the marketing department is in charge of sharing the leads they may score and then share with an internal team or an outside vendor.  If the sales team is in charge they will often prioritize by gut.  We understand the value of both approaches.  You want to call the best prospects first.  However, generally what occurs is that lag time of a few hours can turn into days and weeks.  That lag time hurts especially if your leads are in a highly competitive industry (getting there first improves your closing % by as much a 100%), your sales cycle is 90 days or less (first 3 get short listed), or your leads are driven by search engine marketing (could be a “just in time” need).  Many marketers we talk to will proudly say “we call on incoming leads within a week.” Guaranteed they have never done a study on the effects of that delay.

 

2. Make Those Extra Calls

Don’t give up on leads after 1 or 2 calls if you don’t connect.  This is especially challenging for sales reps that are not supported by a demand generation inside rep. A sales reps’ job is to close business.  If they have deals moving this quarter they don’t always have the time to make that third or fourth call.  As a B2B demand generation outsourced company and a sales outsourcing solution provider we have done countless studies that have shown that the 3rd, 4th and sometimes 5th attempt is where the payoff comes. This is especially true the more senior the decision maker.  They are just tougher to reach.

 

3. Have an Additional Piece of Content

Have a new offer after every call to keep the prospect engaged and give your rep “a reason to follow up” to ask them what they thought. Bottom line is that content keeps a deal moving without needing to get your senior talent on the phone to educate the prospect. It provides a reason for dialogue. It allows you to keep asking “what else are you curious about or what can I share to help you.” It allows you to talk about their needs while you share your position as well. Selling is about the customer not you and this allows you to kill two birds with one stone.

 

4. Lead With More Than Just a Demo as Your Initial Offer

As a sales outsourcing company we understand that clients want us to transact now but it doesn’t always work that way. Their strategy is often to get the prospect in that demo as quickly as possible and if the prospect is ready to do that great! However, smart B2B demand generation requires that you also have an offer for prospects that aren’t ready to make that commitment. The prospect is not unintelligent. They know that getting into that demo starts them on the path towards committing to buy. They may not be ready to make that decision yet and they don’t want to waste your time or theirs, so give them a way to engage that is a bit softer and slower.

 

5. Educate But Keep the Costs Down

We live in competitive times so many businesses’ marketing efforts focus on the product and ignore the value of educating their prospects so that they realize the value they are offered.  To win deals and ensure you are receiving a top dollar for your product or service the customer needs to understand the value you are driving for their business. To explain that value, the customer needs and wants to understand that value. So you need to help your customer by helping your customers get what they want – which is fair, independent and “neutral” views that help them take informed and unbiased decisions.  This is quick content to create especially for your senior sales executives if you can get them blogging.  What is common sense for you as the expert, especially when it comes to competition and the “internal independent research” available, is often very valuable new information for you customer.

 

6. Don’t Forget About Your Existing Customers

They are the core of your business, without them you don’t exist. So the core of your business is that successful relationship.  Keep building on that relationship and continue to share content with them to build even more trust. This will organically turn them into advocates. They tweet, they belong to Linked-In, Google +.  Don’t ask for them to do it. Just make it easy for them. Referrals work in new and unexpected ways so simply be surprised and especially grateful when they ask to contribute content for you.

 

7. Listen to Your Sales Team and Your Prospects to Generate Your Content Strategy.

In many cases, the sales team understands what the customer needs before the customer does. This is especially true if you have a disruptive solution moving into an existing market or an existing solution moving into new markets. Creating a great deal of content quickly is not tough. If you listen to your prospects objections and the same questions or concerns come up several times turn it into a blog post. You can then take that sales conversation to address other prospects’ needs and even more importantly to your B2B demand generation effort. Take that “sales conversation” into the social media conversation.

 

8. Create Digital Landing Pages for Your Sales Reps to Use That are Customer Centric

As your content grows create a resource page that is customer centric. Design them to help the customer make decisions. Give them educational content, evaluation content and verification content in one easy to find area. Combine your general educational content (70%) with some vertical specific content (30%) so you are speaking directly to that particular need or pain area. Don’t make the content just about you, make it about them; around the needs of your customer by decision maker type. Make it easy for your customers to find what they need, and almost as important, make your brochure dynamic so you are not wasting your sales reps valuable phone time keeping up with new additions to your marketing mix. Keep them focused on selling. Gabriel Sales has developed a simple to implement landing page engine that can be up and running for you in a matter of weeks to jump start this process.

 

9. Re-Purpose the Digital Landing Page to Generate Inbound Traffic and Remove Barriers to Engaging

The “sales” conversation, the digital conversation and the “social media” conversation are the same conversation. The objections your reps hear and address are the same that customers who haven’t found you yet have. Make it easy for them to find you and maximize your sales content investment by driving traffic to that page with long tail SEO and PPC campaigns that keep your costs down. Keep the language on the page focused on the customer using the language of “your” and “you” not “we” and “us.” Finally, keep the requirements of your form down to the basics – customer name and email address. Keep  any other fields optional.

 

10. Lead Generation Reps and Demand Generation Reps Have Different Tasks and Need Different Skills Sets

The new rules of sales engagement require your demand generation reps and your sales reps to have different skill sets. Lead generation reps are often calling cold. Their scripts are different, their call volume is different and their personality is different from what is required by reps moving inbound leads forward.   Demand generation reps are there to facilitate. Lead generation reps are there to put leads in the pipe. Be conscious of the difference and either train your lead generation reps in the new rules of sales engagement (so they are not creepy or overly assertive) or hire a different rep to move deals from marketing qualified to sales qualified.

 

The Benefits of Marketing Automation

The Benefits of Marketing Automation

Marketers say that the biggest benefits of automation are saving time (74%), increased customer engagement (68%), more timely communications (58%) and increased opportunities including up-selling (58%) (Adestra).

While marketing automation has been a legitimate business solution for more than five years now, it’s not until recently that’s it’s gathered more interest from small- and medium-sized B2B businesses. And why not, it’s a proven tool for your sales process – producing an average of 14.5% increase in sales productivity and reducing overall sales and marketing overhead by an average of 12.2%.

And these gains are realized even when most SMBs fail to leverage the true power of marketing automation to take care of the early stage sales funnel/buyer’s journey customer education. Because unfortunately, most SMBs only use marketing automation tools to send newsletters. In fact, more than 60% of marketers limit the use of their platform for email blasts to stay in touch with existing customers, and only 13% are using automation software in more advance ways (Autopilot).

Marketing automation platforms produce the best return on investment when they are used to run lead development campaigns, to score leads and to capture information about your potential customers to make your sales staff more productive. Marketing automation can make your sales and marketing operations more effective and efficient by attracting leads, educating them about your products and solutions, identifying and measuring their interest, and providing their level of real interest in your product or services. Sales may then cherry-pick the leads that express the most interest and are most likely to buy.

Here are five ways marketing automation can help you grow your sales at a lower cost.

Marketing Automation enables you to nurture not-yet-ready-to-buy prospects.

It takes an average of between 7 and 13 touches to develop a buyer before a sale is made. Marketing automation can become a stand-in for a junior level sales and marketing person, sharing company information and knowledge directly with your potential buyers. For those leads that are already aware of your solution, but aren’t yet ready to buy, marketing automation allows you to stay top-of-mind and build trust with your leads by offering educational content about industry trends and developments. It allows you to further boost your online presence, highlight product enhancements, and establish industry-leading influence. And it works: nurtured leads produce an average of a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads (DemandGen Report).

Research has shown that only 5% of B2B prospects are ready to buy at any given time. And 50% of qualified leads are not ready to buy either (Gleanster Research). And yet, many B2B companies today do not have a strategy to develop these opportunities; so sales reps simply discard them as ‘not interested.’ However, by nurturing your leads with light, educational content on a regular basis, you can stay top-of-mind and over time, develop real active interest (and deals) from leads you generated 6 to 12, to even 18 months ago.

Marketing automation allows you track and manage your early stage prospects and their content engagement on an ongoing basis as they go through the buyer’s journey over and extended period of time. The tool then reports data back to your team about their overall interactions, rather than by each individual campaign. This data is pushed to your CRM and used to more accurately identify and communicate to sales what leads need attention.

Lead nurturing works: 67% of B2B marketers say they see at least a 10% increase in sales opportunities through lead nurturing. And 15% companies report seeing an increase of 30% or more (Demand Gen Report). The top companies that excel at lead nurturing, generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost (Forrester Research).

Marketing Automation allows you to track content engagement by prospect.

96% of visitors who come to your website aren’t ready to buy (yet) (Marketo). And only 25% of those leads are legitimate and should advance to sales (Gleanster Research).

One of the greatest features of marketing automation is the ability to measure each piece of content a prospect has consumed throughout their interaction with your emails and website. These measurements help you monitor and analyze the buyers journey, allowing you to better understand customer buying behavior, identify your most engaging content, and pinpoint the preferred and most active distribution channels.

Marketing automation allows you to score prospects according to the type of content they’ve engaged with. Different types of content are scored based on how predictive they are in relationship to a buyer stage in your sales cycle. Basic educational content is not as highly scored as video webcasts about a specific buyer pain/need or demo videos relating to a specific solution. Each email sent within an automation campaign is scored to identify what content is interesting to buyers and how frequently they are engaging with it.

This type of data allows you to see when specific prospects have shown enough interest, so it makes sense for a sales rep to reach out with a personal email or phone call to move the deal forward. By using this type of dynamic lead scoring, you will have the ability to rank and score formerly unquantifiable implicit digital activities and take the appropriate sales action. The use of explicit data – higher scores for different lead criteria – allows you to grade your prospect compared to your ideal customer profile, making your sales team more armed and effective when they make first contact. These sales automation efforts seamlessly pass top scoring prospects over to well-prepared sales reps with background information on the leads interest in real-time.

Overall, lead scoring allows your sales team to focus on the most interested buyers and allows you to prioritize buyers that are the best fit for your company’s solution.

Marketing Automation allows you to use analytics to refine and improve your content and sales process.

One of the most valuable things marketing automation provides is data. Using the platform’s analytical features, you can track and monitor engagement at a more detailed level in order to understand when and how to improve. For example, platforms provide data for when a video is watched. This allows you to identify which pieces of content are being consumed, and which are not.  Your marketing team can create more of what works, making pivots to making the right marketing investments easier to understand and execute.

Real-time lead alerts via email allow your sales team to follow-up faster when buyers are actively engaged in your content and submit a request.  And we all know, time is money: there’s a 10x drop-off in lead qualification when sales waits longer than five minutes to respond to a lead – and a 400% decrease when sales waits 10 minutes or more (HBR, Insidesales).

With these alerts and summaries sales reps can more easily:

  • Prioritize their day with the most active prospects
  • Call buyers when they know they are sitting at their desk
  • Click on links to trigger CRM profile lookups for buyer insights
  • Send custom emails to active prospects with a few quick clicks

Additionally, marketing automation provides buyer intelligence for your marketing team. It shows what topics/pains buyers are most motivated by.  And many of these reports are available in your CRM. Information like original lead source, specific page views, how long they spent on the page, webinar attendance and video views can also be tracked and analyzed. This type of data allows sales and marketing to work effectively together to drive sales as a team.

Marketing Automation Improves Lead Generation

Demand Gen’s State of Demand Generation study shows, 77% of buyers want different, targeted content at each stage of their research. Marketing automation allows you to send certain messages at designated times to your database Nurturing campaigns communicate with buyers through every step of the buyer’s journey – staying in front leads not yet ready to buy.  This lowers cost dramatically  and reduces lead churn rate, and helps you get the most from your lead generation efforts because it enables your company  to stay in touch with buyers over a long period of time without the expense and time of regular check in phone calls by sales reps. With lead nurturing, sales reps don’t waste time chasing leads not yet ready to buy, while the marketing team prevents cold leads from slipping through the cracks.

Marketers using automation software generate 2x the number of leads than those using blast email software and are perceived by their peers to be 2x as effective at communicating with buyers (Autopilot, 2015; Hubspot Marketing Statistics). Enough said.

About Us

Gabriel Sales specializes in helping SMBs and Startups grow their business with modern sales and marketing operations.

Our team can augment gaps in your existing sales and marketing operations or we can be leveraged for full-service campaigns that include:

  • Integrated Sales and Marketing Strategies
  • Database Research and Targeting
  • Automation and CRM Systems Best Practices Implementation
  • Inbound Lead Generation
  • Outbound Lead Generation and Lead Scoring
  • Sales Qualification
  • Closing

To learn more about how we can help you grow your business (or decide if we are the right fit for you), we invite you to visit our page that details our integrated approach to sales and marketing outsourcing. Or feel free to contact us for free initial consultation and discovery session to see if our approach is the right fit to help you hit your revenue targets.

 

 

Outsourced Sales and Marketing Drives Business Intelligence

3:00 video that describes how a Fortune 500 company leveraged sales outsourcing for media sales and how to use feedback loops for new product launches and product innovations.

  • Smart sales outsourcing drives new product launches
  • Customer feedback loops identifies new product opportunities
  • Metrics makes business case to board and investors
  • Ultimately increase valuation at exit

 

Marketing Automation Implementation Checklist

Marketing Automation Implementation Checklist

The Science of Fast and Effective Marketing Automation

 

Marketing Automation is the simplest and most effective way to instantly improve lead generation and conversion. Implementing a marketing automation solution will streamline your sales and marketing efforts into one easy-manage process.

By downloading this checklist, you will learn:

  • WHAT is involved in the technical set-up of marketing automation software
  • WHO in your organization each implementation task is delegated to
  • HOW to automate your marketing content to generate leads and ROI