As your yearly kickoff meetings are wrapping up, and you’re getting ready to kickstart Q2 and jump into action, here are 3 lead nurturing strategies that span across the entire sales funnel to consider incorporating into your plan:
We will dive into some content ideas for each of these lead nurturing strategies as well as the Marketing Automation and Sales CRM infrastructure needed to successfully automate these programs.
Prospect Interest Based Nurture
While the idea of nurturing prospects isn’t a new type of nurturing strategy, it is critical in helping to advance your prospects into the sales funnel. All too often, I see companies that have one generic nurture flow designed for all prospects. In some cases, I see targeted nurtures based solely on the prospect’s role. And while a generic nurture is better than no nurture at all, it’s not always the most effective strategy. If your company has several products or service offerings in your portfolio, a generic nurture will likely not address the specific pain points that drove these prospects to seek your help in the first place. In order to develop nurtures based on your prospect’s interests or implied interests (based on what content they download or interact with), you may have to update what data you collect and how you collect it. This is a good time to review the questions that are being asked on your website forms. It helps to be consistent across your forms in what you ask for and what you’re able in to imply. The use of hidden fields and progressive profiling or queued questions can help you develop a more robust data set for your prospects and will be helpful in segmentation for your nurture campaign.
It’s also a good idea to communicate with the Sales team and ask them what pain points are most popular with prospects and customers. This type of information is invaluable when creating the content and building out the accompanying workflows.
Opportunity Acceleration Nurture
One of Marketing’s main goals is to help accelerate the sales process. In the cases where opportunities become stalled, an opportunity acceleration lead nurturing strategy is a great way to help move them forward. For this type of program to be successful, you must be able to send relevant content based on where the prospect is in the sales process.
First and foremost, this type of nurture program requires accurate data within your CRM. This means that your sales team must be diligent in keeping opportunity data up to date and that you have a proper integration between your CRM and your marketing automation tool. With accurate data and proper infrastructure in place, you can build automated workflows that trigger emails that address the specific concerns your prospect is facing during the different phases of the buying process.
Early Opportunity Stage Content - In this early stage of the sales process, you must focus on validating the problem they are experiencing. This can be achieved by providing statistics, answers, resources, education, and insights about that problem.
Middle Stage Opportunity Content - As the prospect moves down the sales funnel and they’ve validated their problem, they’ll continue to evaluate and conduct research on potential solutions. This is when you’ll want to verify the solutions that are needed (identifying the specific product or service), and address why this is the answer to their problem and a good fit for their business.
Late Stage Opportunity Content - This is when a prospect has determined that a solution like yours is needed and your main goal is to provide content that demonstrates why they should choose you over a competitor. What makes you stand out?
These emails can be configured to come directly from the salesperson the prospect is working with or from a general company email address. Before you get started on an opportunity acceleration campaign, be sure you communicate and collaborate with your sales team. This is imperative in creating a complementary experience for the buyer, rather than one with conflicting messages.
Customer Renewal/Upgrade Nurture
Customer renewal nurture campaigns can improve renewal rates while simultaneously shortening the sales cycle for repeat customers. The main goal of this campaign is to remind the customer of their upcoming renewal date and reiterate why they should renew with your company. This nurturing campaign can also be used as an opportunity to upsell similar products/services. You may even consider offering small incentives for customers to renew early.
In general, you’ll want to initiate your renewal campaign based on the length of your typical sales renewal cycle. Be sure to engage your customers early to prevent your existing agreements from expiring.
Much like the opportunity acceleration nurture, this type of program will require good data capture in your CRM. Your infrastructure and integration must also be solid in order to get the necessary renewal data back into your marketing automation tool. This will allow you to automate the sending of these emails.
General Tips To Get You Started
Include the sales team when planning all lead nurturing strategies. Not only will salespeople provide insights that Marketing may not have thought about, but getting early buy-in to new campaigns opens the door for direct communication and mutual accountability between teams to meet goals.
It’s important to just get started. Your company may offer multiple products, services, or have multiple segments. To prevent getting overwhelmed, choose one product, or one industry segment, start there, and expand and adjust the program as you move forward.
For optimal deployment and automation of these programs, having your marketing and sales infrastructure set up correctly is key. Making this investment will save you countless hours in manual data collection, list building, and sending one-off emails.
Need help? Have questions?
The Yetis at Measured Results Marketing are marketing automation and CRM infrastructure experts. We are here to help you get all your ducks in a row so that you can execute the above campaigns or any other campaign in an efficient and automated fashion. Contact us today.
As marketing in the B2B landscape continues to evolve, it is ever so important to have a consistent B2B marketing strategy. This strategy must incorporate well thought out campaigns and engaging content to keep current customers interested, while continually generating new leads for your business. Keep these tactics in mind when planning out your next campaign:
People will only buy from you and become repeat customers if they can trust you and the service or product that you are selling. And how do you build trust? You keep it real. Be clear, concise, and always listen to what your customers are saying.
Never sell a solution that isn’t in your customer’s best interest. Be clear on what you offer and the benefits or advantages of your product or service. Truth and integrity go a long way and are the foundation of building solid ongoing working relationships.
On your website and campaign landing pages, be succinct and to the point. Share valuable content that demonstrates your expertise in the field. Make it easy for prospects to contact you by clearly displaying your contact information.
Promote your business on social media. Engage with your customers - ask them questions, answer their concerns, and collect useful data about your audience and their interests.
After informing your customers of who you are and what you do, now you must provide value. By doing so, you can engage them further and nurture them through the sales funnel.
What do your prospects need help with? Talk to them. Survey them. Don’t assume you know what they want, do the research and ensure you’ve got it right.
Whether it’s an ebook, report, webinar, free trial or any other type of free offer, be clear about what you are providing and how it will benefit them.
What makes you different from your competitors? Hone in on those differences and use them to your advantage. Pay particular attention the the customers who care the most about this attribute you’ve identified as giving you the competitive edge.
Once you know what your customer wants, and have strategically created content, it’s time to get the right eyes on it.
Set SMART goals which will allow you to monitor and measure your success throughout your marketing campaigns.
Not everyone will be ready to buy from you immediately. That’s why it’s so important to utilize marketing automation to nurture your leads providing relevant information to them based on exactly where they are in the sales funnel.
Track what works and what doesn’t. Use this information to improve the performance of future campaigns. Need help with end-to-end reporting? Contact us!
Happy customers are the lifeblood to your business. Effectively implementing a marketing plan and having the right tools and technology to execute that plan is the key to success. At Measured Results Marketing, we make sure that technology doesn’t get in the way of your marketing. In other words, we make sure the backend of your marketing and sales databases are setup properly and running like a well oiled machine. Do you want to maximize the results of your next marketing campaign? Call us at 571-606-3106 or email to learn more.
Lead scoring helps you rank prospects and identify high quality leads. Understanding which leads are more likely to convert will help you save time, and ultimately improve your bottom line.
Lead scoring provides insights into consumer readiness (are they ready to make a purchase?). Have you ever walked into a store and been completely overwhelmed by a sales person? No one wants to feel pressured into to making a purchase. These types of sales tactics frustrate, annoy, and result in people leaving the store.
The same theory goes for online sales. You don’t want to be bombarding prospects with detailed information about your product if they are only just entering the research phase. Lead scoring helps you identify where your prospects are in the sales process, and when a lead should continue to be nurtured versus when a sales rep should pick up the phone and make a call.
Lead scoring enables you to effectively measure the ROI of your marketing efforts. It allows you to take a close look into which channels and programs are producing high quality leads. This way, you can make informed decisions into which areas you should reinvest your dollars in the future.
Additionally, lead scoring helps improve lead nurturing. By identifying where your prospects are in the buying cycle, you’ll then be able to send targeted content that is most relevant to them. Providing information that customers want and need is one of the best ways to build trust. And when you have customers that trust you, you are able to grow your business and have clients for life.
Lead scoring promulgates collaboration between marketing and sales. The two must work together as a team to define the profile of sales-ready leads. Understanding what type of prospects convert is key. From there, marketing can create targeted programs for these prospects, and hand off sales-ready leads to Sales to close the deal.
Feedback is critical with lead scoring. Open communication about whether a sufficient amount of leads are being passed to sales, and if those leads are in fact sales ready will help when evaluating and tweaking the lead scoring model.
Every lead has an associated cost. You save money when you can effectively identify hot leads, and sales isn’t wasting time on leads that are not ready to convert. This alone will undoubtedly improve the customer experience by providing prospects with relevant content based on where they are in their buying journey. It will help build trust while simultaneously allowing you to avoid alienating prospective customers by approaching them too soon in the process.
When implemented correctly lead scoring will increase company revenue is a variety of ways:
• Identifying which marketing efforts are driving qualified leads
• Segmenting and communicating with leads based on their sales readiness level
• Improving time management for your sales team
Lead scoring does not have to be overly complicated. It all starts with getting marketing and sales together in a room to discuss your ideal customer and reviewing current program offerings and past sales.
It’s about understanding what has worked in the past and what qualities an ideal customer possesses. This then gets broken down into more detailed implicit and explicit data points. These items are then organized by level of importance and ranked.
After the program is outlined, it’s time to find a platform that best suits your needs. There are a variety of solutions available. Measured Results Marketing would be more than happy do walk you through this process and make recommendations. We are the YETIS and we make sure that your technology doesn’t get in the way of your marketing. Send us an email and we’ll help you get started.
*Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Successful marketing campaigns incorporate strategic segmentation lists. Are you segmenting your data within HubSpot to increase ROI? If not, you need to be.
Segmenting those who have made previous purchases is a great way to send targeted messages. Based on a customer’s purchase history you can deduce what other products or services they would likely be interested in. You can also track the lifecycle of that original product and send information around the time they should consider purchasing an upgrade or buying a replacement.
The information that you communicate with a customer vs. a prospect is also different. While customers may already know and love your product or service offerings, prospects will need to be educated on them while simultaneously working to grow their trust with you and your brand.
Depending on your business and your market area, the creation of geographically segmented lists can be extremely effective. If you're marketing to national or international markets, people living in different locations are likely to have different needs or desires. Additionally, cultural characteristics can impact how and when to best communicate your offerings and promotions.
Your personas represent different buyer types who have different preferences, behaviors and attitudes toward your product. While they may be interested in the same product, the reason for their interest could be very different. Your content must speak to those differences, and hone in on what’s most important to each persona.
What stage of the buying process is your prospect in? The information you send to a brand new prospect who only just started their research should be educational and informative (awareness stage). Whereas someone who has demoed your product, had a free consultation, or requested a quote is looking for more detailed information about making a purchase (decision stage).
Someone who leaves their cart is likely in that decision making stage. They intended to purchase your product but something stopped them from doing so. Creating an email campaign reminding them of their abandoned item, or asking them if you can answer any additional questions, can prove beneficial to the bottom line.
Track who opens and clicks on all of your emails, visits your website, interacts on social media etc. Show your appreciation to your loyal readers by rewarding them for their ongoing support with a VIP coupon or promotion. These types of targeted campaigns can help to make them feel special foster a trusting relationship.
How do you segment your lists? Have you found that one particular segmentation method stands out in the crowd? We’d love to hear about your experiences. And if you need help building, organizing, or marketing to you newly segmented lists, we can help. The Yetis are waiting to hear from you - call (571) 606-3106 or email anytime!
Image courtesy of sheelamohan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Are you a B2B Marketer looking to drum up new business and attract more leads? We’ve put together a list of B2B marketing campaign ideas for you to consider.
Including video on a landing page has shown to boost conversion by 80%. So if you haven’t started creating videos to promote your business and its products or services, now is the time. Here are some ideas on what sort of videos you could produce:
Create a short video showing how your product works and why it would benefit the customer.
Create an animated video clip using a tool like Powtoon to tell a story and demonstrate value.
Create videos of your happy customers talking about their success after using your product or service.
Film live video that allows you to interact with your customers and answers any questions they may have.
Regularly post on social media to build brand awareness and share valuable content with prospects.
Write in first person, and infuse personality with your content allowing your audience to feel more connected and engaged.
Focus on a targeted list of individuals. Participate in groups, use inmail, and run ads to connect and engage with prospects who are could potentially be interested in your products or services.
Upcycle previously used content to extend its shelf life and reach.
Design infographics to give your audience a visual look at the information you are sharing with them.
Create a short video summarizing one of your most popular blog posts.
Transform a webinar into an e-book for those who prefer to read your content instead of watch it
What have been some of your most successful B2B marketing campaign ideas and how you shared them with your customers? Have you incorporated them into your marketing automation system? Need help with that? The Yetis are here for you. Give us a call at (571) 606-3106 or send an email.
Bad data is the enemy! When subpar inaccurate data stats invading your database, you expose your organization to serious financial risks. So, what data quality solutions can Marketing implement to protect yourself?
Inconsistencies with data, missing fields, and duplicates can sometimes be difficult to identify and fix. This complexity is because this bad data can run deep and involve third party data providers along with other external sources.
A thorough analysis conducted by an independent organization can provide an unbiased in-depth report about the overall quality of your data. Once you have a true assessment, you can then create a plan on how to develop and enforce data management policies.
Protecting your data needs to be a top priority. And one way to do this is to prevent bad data from entering your system from the get go. To do this, you must create a data quality firewall. Simply put, this means utilizing software to protect your database and block duplicative, poor quality, invalid or corrupt data from entering your system.
Employees responsible for working with your data, your data stewards, must be empowered to take ownership of it. The structure typically involves one main point of contact from each department that has access to the system. These appointed individuals can then make up a data governance team to help resolve any data issues that may arise. Department members will then have someone to turn to when the have a problem or have a suggestion as to how something could be improved.
Having a clear cut data quality and management strategy and implementation plan is the key to maintaining data integrity. By selecting the correct tool and professionals to implement, monitor and govern the data you’ll be able to consistently transform, standardize and maintain a clean database.
Data management is a continuous process and involving business users on all levels to take ownership of their part in keeping the data clean is a great place to start. What types of data quality issues are you currently facing? Measured Results Marketing would love to hear about them. If we can be of any assistance, please email or call 571-606-3106.
When demand generation best practices are put in place, your business will grow its pipeline and attract more qualified leads. Based on far too many years in the trenches of B2B Marketing, here are some demand generation best practices that we recommend.
Integrating your marketing and sales databases is the first step in building and optimizing your Demand Generation Ecosystem ®. It enables marketers to clearly see the full picture and understand which campaigns are attracting the best leads and resulting in the highest conversions.
Lead nurturing is all about supporting your prospects as they work through the decision making process. Prospects must receive the appropriate type of content during each phase of this journey.
This Hubspot image can help you visually see the process:
As you can see in the image, the phase in which your prospect falls will determine the type of information they should receive from you. If they are at the top of the funnel, your marketing materials should be more about awareness. And as they move along the information becomes more in-depth ultimately resulting in a sales pitch.
Developing a lead scoring model will help your sales team easily prioritize their day and focus their efforts on those leads that are most likely going to convert. The most important part of setting up a successful lead scoring model is making sure both marketing and sales are involved in the conversation. This is a collaborative effort that involves input and agreement from both sides.
Make sure you are evaluating the right metrics. And if you’re wondering - what are the “right” metrics? They are the metrics that help you to make better decisions. Often, this will include: lead source (where are the best leads coming from?), volume (clicks, form completes, # of MQLs, #of SQLs), and conversion rates (how many leads convert to customers?)
Start implementing these best practices and you’ll be generating demand like a pro! Have any questions? Need help with setting up your Demand Generation Ecosystem? They Measured Results Marketing Yetis are here to help. Give us a call at (571) 606-3106 or send an email we can’t wait to hear from you.
You’ve come to terms that there’s simply not enough time in the day and decided hiring a marketing consultant is the way to go.
You’ve done your research.
You’ve asked for recommendations from your network.
You’ve scheduled the interviews.
Now it’s time to get down to business and make sure you choose the right marketing consultant. To help you get started, we put together this list of questions you should ask each of the consultants during the interview process.
Understanding the consultant’s area of expertise is important. Having a deep understanding of specific industries can be extremely valuable.
Solid experience is always telling. Inquire about their hands on experience both as a consultant and any previous employment.
Ideally, the marketing consultant will give you a straight shooter response of their thoughts on what they think is working, and what’s not. It’s a good way for you as the business owner to gauge whether they have a solid understanding of how your business is currently operating.
After working together to create SMART goals, a consultant can share specifics about how a project, campaign, and all marketing efforts can be tracked and measured.
The answer to this question will vary depending on whether the consultant focuses more on short term or long term engagements. However, it’s always insightful to ask how long they’ve worked with their clients. This can demonstrate the value that these companies have seen and continue to see in working together.
Having a clear understanding of who specifically in the consultancy you will be working with is important. If the person you are meeting with is different from the person who will be managing the project day in and day out, you’ll want to know that.
This is the ever so popular question – as it should be. You want to have a clear understanding of what the consultant charges, and what you will receive in exchange for those fees. Sometimes a consultant will charge hourly, sometimes it’s a retainer fee, and sometimes pricing is on a per project basis. Get the specifics so there aren’t any surprises when hiring a marketing consultant.
As you interview various consultants, it’s important to focus on what really matters to you. Clearly understanding your needs will help you determine which consultant is best suited to help you reach your goals.
If you’re looking for a marketing technology consultant who has been hands on for longer than anyone, we’d love for you to consider us. Have more questions? Send us an email or give us a call at 571-606-3106.
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You’ve made the business decision to begin the process of hiring a marketing technology consultant to help you with a specific project. But are you truly ready? Take some time to make sure you know the answers to these questions before you dive head first in to the throws of hiring a consultant.
This should be pretty easy. You have a problem that’s causing you grief and you need help. Clearly explaining the problem will help a consultant determine where to get started in analyzing the situation, reviewing current processes, and ultimately presenting a solution. Be as specific as possible when outlining and describing your problem – the more details the better.
Lets say for example that the problem you’re facing is that you aren’t generating enough leads. Your desired outcome is obviously to bring in leads. But, what specifically are your goals? Will you be measuring quantity? Quality? Or both? How many form completes per week or per month does your business need? SMART goals are the best goals. Setting clear cut goals and expectations from the get go is an important part of a successful business/vendor relationship.
Gather all pertinent information about the technology around your current process. Sometimes this is easy – you have one or two systems that the company uses. Other times organizations utilize a variety of complex technology systems that communicate with each other. A change to one, cam affect the others. Also, it’s important to bring all of the various stakeholders to the party. Most often this includes getting both Marketing & Sales teams on board with any proposed changes. If a consultant is hired by one department without the knowledge of the other department, it can definitely cause problems down the road. Collaboration and sharing the full picture of how technology connects each step of the buyer’s journey is necessary in pinpointing any problems and fixing them.
The answer to this question will give the consultant direction on the type of solution available for your particular problem. Giving the consultant the full picture as to why these platforms were chosen, what’s working, and what’s not will help in determining how best to move forward and create change.
Identifying an internal resource to lead the charge is beneficial for the company and the consultant. Having one main point of contact to share information with, and provide feedback will help in smoothly working through the project.
Establishing a budget before beginning the consultant interviewing process is wise. Most consultants offer an hourly rate or retainer pricing. Having an idea of what you can spend can help shape the conversation of what types and amount of work can be accomplished to best meet your goals.
Once you’ve answered these questions you’ll be more than ready to start interviewing consultants and request proposals. 3-5 proposals are typically more than enough to review. Always ask them these questions, check references, and choose the consultant who you feel really gets your business. And if you’re currently hiring a marketing technology consultant, we’d love to talk with you. Happy hiring!