Don’t be scared of the technical jargon surrounding Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). If lead generation is a major component of your company’s marketing plan, then learning about the latest version of the Internet is a must.
Once you understand what IPv6 is, why it’s important to your business, and how to leverage it, you’ll be able to identify and nurture prospects more effectively and responsibly than you currently do. To learn more, read on or jump ahead to these sections:
Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is the latest version of the Internet Protocol (IP), which is the system for identifying and connecting devices across the Internet. In essence, your device’s IP address is a series of numbers that tell the Internet where to send emails, articles or other content you want to access.
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) started developing IPv6 in 1998 in preparation for the inevitable exhaustion of IP addresses provided by Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4). Under IPv4, IP addresses are only 32 bits. A typical IPv4 address looks like this:
There are only about 4 billion possible 32-bit IP addresses available, a limit the world has long since hit. To accommodate the growing number of devices connecting to the Internet, IP addresses created by IPv6 are 128 bits. A typical IPv6 address looks like this:
Hypothetically, IPv6 addresses can make it easier for marketing and sales teams to track and nurture leads. In reality, there are a few technical factors that complicate matters.
Pro: Better At Identifying Individual Devices
IPv6 addresses are potentially capable of acting as an identifier for each connected device on the planet, which would allow marketers to refine their targeting.
With IPv4, addresses typically describe a group of devices that share a network. For example, a laptop, tablet, mobile phone, and connected TV that belong to a family might be assigned a single IPv4 address. If there are multiple people within that household, marketers are limited in how well they can target a particular individual across devices.
With IPv6, the nearly infinite number of addresses theoretically makes it possible to assign a unique address to each device. Marketers could then associate an address with an individual as opposed to a household, thus making it easier to target that person whether they’re on their phone or laptop. Not only could this help increase conversion rates and customer experiences, but it could also make analytics more accurate.
While this sounds great in theory, there are a few considerations.
Con: Less Stable Tracking Technique
Not every device currently uses IPv6. In fact, IPv4 and IPv6 will likely be in use simultaneously for many years.
As of January 2021, only about 33% of people around the world who access Google have an IPv6 address. In the U.S., IPv6 adoption is just above 44%.
This can create confusion for marketers. For example, a tablet within a household might have an IPv6 address while other devices connected to the same network might share an IPv4 address. To marketers, this would make it appear as though those devices came from two different households.
Con: Privacy Issues
Since IPv6 addresses can describe a unique device, you could make the argument that they can identify an individual better than IPv4 addresses. This would classify IPv6 addresses as personal information under privacy laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
IP addresses were never meant to be a tool for marketers or advertisers, which is why the GDPR regulates how companies can use them. However, as you’ll later see, there are ways to leverage IPv6’s benefits while respecting your customers’ privacy.
How to Take Advantage of IPv6 in Your Business
Don’t let IPv6’s shortcomings prevent you from leveraging this new technology. With the right software and strategies, you can identify individual leads and determine how likely they are to buy from your business.
Use an IPv6 Tracker
There are countless tools out there that help you gather data about leads so you can better target and nurture them. For example, you could collect info about prospects through a sign-up form like this one:
But what if a visitor to your site doesn’t fill out a form? This doesn’t mean they aren’t a good lead for your business. It also doesn’t prevent you from figuring out who are they or how to contact them.
Lead intelligence software like LeadBoxer can track and do reverse lookups on IPv6 addresses. You can see who is visiting your site, what company they work for, and even what their contact info is, all based on their IP address.
Best of all, this capability works right out of the box, so you can start capturing lead data on autopilot.
Create Personalized Customer Experiences
Want to make a stellar first impression? Tailor your website so that it’s even more relevant to prospective customers. You can do this by optimizing pages with content that automatically adjusts based on a visitor’s IP address.
This doesn’t require a ton of leg work or crafting personalized pages from scratch. Consider this example from Quicksprout:
A single element within the copy changes depending upon the visitor’s geographic location. In this case, it’s Corpus Christi. This small detail instantly catches the user’s eye and increases the likelihood that they’ll answer the call to action.
Assess “Hot” Prospects
Leadscoring is the process of assigning a prospect a number between one and 100. The number reflects how likely the lead is to buy from your company. The higher the number, the better the prospect. This saves your sales team time by showing them who they should focus their attention on.
Tracking leads via IP addresses can increase the accuracy of a lead score. When you track a particular address, it’s easy to know which pages a prospect has visited or how much time they’ve spent on your site, which is essential for calculating a lead score.
LeadBoxer’s leadscoring tool is completely customizable. You decide which factors are most relevant to your team and how much weight they carry.
Update Your Privacy Statement
What type of information the site collects
Why this data is collected
How it’s processed, like where it’s stored and for how long
What steps you take to keep the info secure
There should also be clear, easy-to-follow instructions for visitors who want their personal information removed or not collected in the first place.
IP masking with LeadBoxer is easy. Simply go to the datasets overview, click the settings icon, then tick the box labeled Enable Ip Masking.
Of all the technological advancements that affect marketing and sales teams, IPv6 is perhaps the most important one to understand and prepare for. Adoption is ongoing and IPv6 will likely never be surpassed in our lifetime. In other words, resistance is futile.
Fortunately, there are several advantages to using IP addresses in your business. Tracking IPv6 addresses can give you a detailed picture of who is visiting your site and how engaged they are as a prospect. There are also several lead intelligence tools, such as LeadBoxer, that are already equipped with IPv6 address-monitoring capabilities.
There are some downsides to IPv6, such as privacy infringement. LeadBoxer has an answer for that, too. The IP masking feature makes it easy to stay GDPR-compliant, all without sacrificing any of the benefits of address-tracking, like identifying companies or geographic location.
When comparing interest in customer engagement over the last 15 years we see a steady increase in search volume. It’s no wonder, with software companies constantly looking for new ways to view and use data to improve customer engagement strategies and customer experience.
We want to help guide professionals through this ever-changing journey. That is why we put together these trends and strategy tips to help improve your company’s customer engagement strategy through the use of emerging technologies.
Customer engagement is the process of interacting with your customers through the use of different channels and mediums. By connecting with your clients this way you’re strengthening and improving your relationship with them.
Most companies consider the starting point for the customer engagement process as the first interaction a potential customer has had with your business. The process continues even after you have made a sale. Watch best TED talks for sales.
Social media tends to be one of the most popular ways for brands to directly interact with their customers. When done right, it has great benefits. In fact, 71% of people who have a good experience with a brand on social media are likely to refer others to that business.
One way companies continue to create personalized engagement is through conversation in the comments section of social media ads and posts. Companies that do this offer a unique and engaging experience for their customer base, making them more likely to buy from them in the future.
The 4 Types of Customer Engagement Levels
There are four distinct types of customer engagement levels every company should be aware of before crafting their customer engagement strategy.
Contextual engagement means interacting with your customers at the optimal time in the way they want to be communicated with. We can do this through the use of analytic technology that assists your teams in understanding your customers’ behaviors.
A lead generation and management software can help you identify demographic information such as IP addresses, filled out forms, and other website engagements, giving you the context you need to interact with them effectively.
For example, in this photo, we can see the engagement potential clients had with the site. From this, we can engage them with the content they are already interested in.
If LeadBoxer were a potential lead of ours, we would see Eddie engage with us on Twitter, but Wart likes to read our emails. To reach each of them effectively, we would send Eddie a direct message on Twitter and Wart an email.
These are examples of how we use contextual engagement to interact with our customers based on the information we have about them. By focusing on the individual client’s behaviors we can achieve a more personalized customer journey and offer an unmatched experience.
2. Engagement of Convenience
Engagement of convenience is any type of interaction that increases convenience for your customers and allows the company’s software to better understand each customer’s needs. Put simply, it’s when a customer can easily engage with your business through simple channels. Consumers engage with you because it’s easy for them to do so.
An example of this is Amazon’s “one-click” purchase option where purchasing preferences such as payment and shipping address are pre-saved and speed up the purchasing process. Because of the convenience, more people shop with Amazon even if it ends up costing them more.
If you sell products online, implementing this level of customer engagement in your strategy could help you convert leads quicker and make it more likely for them to come back to you.
3. Emotional Engagement
With 95% of buyer decisions happening unconsciously, it is important to consider the emotional reaction of customers. Emotional connections have traditionally been marketed through brand color schemes or imaging. However, consumer awareness has evolved, making it necessary for companies to engage with consumers in a more personalized way.
Utilizing software that tracks an increasing number of data points means increased awareness of each customer’s ideal environment for making buying decisions such as when to buy and how often they should purchase.
By using an emotional engagement data manager, you can create more accurate buyer personas. You can even identify the point where leads are most likely to convert and become long-term customers.
Some of the more advanced software will send you emails when a lead is likely to convert so you can jump on it right away.
And social media is where people go to get information, real-time reviews, and customer testimonials for your business. It is easy for your customers to leave reviews online for others to see.
You must make sure your customers have a good experience with your brand to avoid negative reviews. Being vigilant about your customer experience also helps you avoid losing customers due to a negative experience. It is also important to respond to customers in a polite, helpful manner.
Having positive social engagement is essential for a business to be successful. When you have positive endorsements online, say from influencers, you’re more likely to have a positive online identity.
Understanding how the different types of customer engagement levels help your business will guide you to create an effective customer relationship marketing strategy.
The 4 Must-Use 2021 Customer Engagement Marketing Trends
The first must-use customer engagement marketing trend you need to be a part of is using a customer relations management platform (CRM) that profiles your customers. CRM software enables the profiling of your customers and provides an enhanced understanding of your customer engagement levels.
A good CRM can even tell you how often a customer would like to be engaged and when they would like to be engaged, helping you do better with contextual engagement.
The second must-have in your marketing strategy is a strong mobile-first strategy. Almost half of all online shopping is done using a mobile device. You can’t get away with having a site that looks great on the desktop but does not work on mobile devices. It is imperative for you to have a well-functioning, mobile-friendly website.
The third customer engagement strategy you need to implement is becoming extremely personalized in your marketing messages. Use the potential customer’s name in the subject line or intro in your email campaigns. 82% of marketers have seen an increase in open rates when they use personalization in their campaigns.
It’s simple to set up personalization, especially with email campaigns, and there’s no reason not to include it. You can even extend personalization into any type of advertisement, such as tracking which products people look at on your site, and then serving ads to them later featuring those products.
The last customer engagement strategy you must include is SMS/text messaging. Text messaging open rates are at a whopping 98% compared to just 20% of email marketing. If you are not including an SMS strategy in your plan, you are missing out.
Now that you understand what the emerging trends for 2021 and beyond are, let’s get into how to use these to build an effective customer engagement strategy.
How to Develop & Implement a Customer Engagement Strategy
With up to two-thirds of a company’s profits relying on customer engagement, it’s imperative to create a customer engagement strategy and implement it early. Follow these steps to create your customer engagement strategy:
Define your customer journey map. You have to understand who your ideal customer is and where they are likely to shop.
Identify interaction points—where and how are your customers are engaging with you.
Setup engagement where people want to be engaged. If you post on social media all the time but no one ever comments, you are wasting your efforts. You need to find new channels for customer engagement.
View behavior in real-time. See what your customers are doing as they’re interacting with you, and give them the content that’s most important to them.
Offer personal service. Give each customer a unique and personalized experience.
Watch conversions and non-conversions to see where people are converting and where they drop off to improve the experience.
Take feedback. Ask people how they felt while interacting with your brand or what they think about your brand persona and make changes when needed.
Implement Your Customer Engagement Strategy Today
Now that you understand the current customer engagement marketing trends and the steps you need to take to get started, it is time to create and implement your customer engagement strategy. Be sure to check out this helpful guide to help you build a top lead generation strategy.
Are you serious about getting your strategy launched today? Check out LeadBoxer’s website to schedule a free demo.
You may believe that closing a sale is the most essential part of the sales journey. However, how that journey begins is equally important. It begins with identifying potential customers—the people who are most likely to convert into a sale. Leads are another very important element in the sales process. Although leads and prospects have some similarities, there are many differences to consider. Understanding these variances can help you achieve more success in your sales efforts – lead generation versus prospecting is what we’re going to cover.
Keep reading or use the following links to navigate to different sections:
One of the fundamental elements of prospecting involves finding potential customers who are best suited for your offerings. This process involves understanding the challenges this audience is facing, then finding solutions to those needs.
Essential Sales Prospecting Elements
Sales prospecting techniques and tactics can vary from one organization to the next, but there are some key components to consider.
Ideal Client Profile with Elasticity
Developing an ideal client profile is essential in your sales prospecting efforts. This step involves conducting research into defining your ideal customer. Then, you develop a profile that lists out each of those characteristics.
While it’s vital to build a profile of your ideal client, it’s best to build one with some elasticity. In the podcast Sales Reinvented, The Key to Successful Lead Generation and Prospecting, Bill McCormick asserts, “You’ll want to build an ideal client profile with some elasticity. Don’t be so rigid in your profile that you don’t look outside of it.”
Of course, you want to target prospects who fit your ideal profile, but giving it some flexibility is the smartest tactic. This can lead to developing more prospects, which could eventually result in more sales.
By asking these questions regarding this specific person, organizations and sales professionals can gain insights into whom to target. Knowing this information can lead to making better, more informed decisions in the sales process. And here 4 best TED talks for sales professionals can help too.
Social selling has become an important component of sales prospecting. It involves leveraging your social network to find highly qualified prospects. This is achieved by building relationships and making social connections.
To have a better understanding of social selling, there are four key pillars to consider:
Build a professional brand
Focus on the right prospects
Use insights for engagement
Develop trusted relationships
A professional brand and brand persona show trust. As buyers are selective with the brands they choose, you must position your organization in a professional light.
When it comes to engaging with prospects, you want to be seen as an expert in the industry. Be sure to share relevant industry content with your followers, comment on news alerts, and stay engaged with users.
As 62% of B2B buyers respond to salespeople that connect with relevant insights and opportunities, relevancy and engagement are essential.
According to the information on the graphic above, LinkedIn has a huge impact on sales prospecting and buyer decisions. If you’re looking to boost your social selling efforts, LinkedIn is a great place to start.
“Ditch the Pitch”
A sales pitch has always been a key aspect of any sales process. However, Ben McCormick from the Sales Reinvented podcast urges sales professionals to “ditch the pitch.”
“We have to develop ways we are providing value and insight at every turn so we can nurture someone along,” Ben adds.
Instead of leading with the pitch, you want to focus on nurturing and adding value through every phase of the cycle.
Selling from the Heart
Authenticity is a big factor when trying to close a deal. After all, customers want to trust you and believe your product or service is what they need. That said, you want to focus on how to authentically nurture relationships with prospects.
As you want to move prospects along in the sales funnel, show them you genuinely care. Give them valuable information and insights wherever they are in the sales journey. Remember to never be pushy, don’t pitch right away, and focus more on the conversation.
“Don’t think in terms of closing a sale. You don’t want commission breath. Think in terms of having a conversation,” Bill McCormick adds.
Lead Generation Definition
Lead generation is the process of attracting potential customers to obtain their contact information. The goal is to find effective ways to make someone interested in your products or services. If they do become interested and provide contact information, that’s when they become a lead.
While sales prospecting and lead generation do have some similarities, Ben McCormick from the Sales Reinvented podcast points out some clear differences.
“I see a lead like they’re at the top of the funnel. They aren’t yet qualified, and they may even not be a part of the sales process. But a prospect is someone who is already qualified,” Ben notes.
“All prospects are leads, but not all leads are prospects,” he adds.
Finding highly qualified leads is a vital part of the sales process. Using various techniques and tactics, organizations have developed very specific steps for their lead generation efforts. While this process can vary from one organization to another, there are some key components to understand about generating leads.
It Happens Early in the Process
Bill McCormick points out that lead generation happens in the beginning stages of the sales journey. However, rather than prospecting, lead generation is all about lead qualification.
The process involves quickly assessing an ideal client profile to decide if that person will move to the prospecting stage. Once a prospect, further research is needed to nurture these potential customers through the sales funnel.
Profile of High-Value Lead
Similar to sales prospecting, successful lead generation efforts begin with developing an ideal client profile. However, as you want to convert leads with the most value, it’s best to build a profile of a high-value, ideal customer.
Once you design this client profile, it can help you determine which leads to moving forward and which leads to discarding. Once these leads are generated, the next essential component involves deciding if these leads can become prospects.
Lead qualification is an important element of lead generation. Although many organizations have different tactics, lead qualification involves the characteristics that qualify someone to become a lead.
This process is completed by capturing client information using the following resources:
As seen in the graphic above, the lead qualification phase is a vital part of the sales funnel. This step is when a business decides to move on with a lead, or discard them altogether. If a lead isn’t interested at the time, they can swing back to the marketing phase where further nurturing occurs.
Targeting and Nurturing Leads Authentically
Just like in sales prospecting, authenticity goes a long way in lead generation. After all, no one likes a pushy, insincere salesperson.
As persuasion is a fundamental element of a sales job, there is a way to persuade in an authentic manner. This is done by providing value and useful insights through natural conversation with the customer.
Don’t Rush the Process
Ben McCormick from the podcast also mentions how sales prospecting and lead generation should never be rushed. “Timing is everything,” he notes.
“If we focus on valuable and insightful conversations, the sales will come when the time is right,” Ben adds.
While sales prospecting and lead generation involve many elements, data and analytics are what powers these efforts. LeadBoxer is a platform that assists in collecting and mining data to properly identify high-quality sales leads.
The secret to jet-powered business growth is account expansion. By retaining existing customers and increasing the amount of revenue they provide, companies can boost their profits for less cost and effort than finding new customers.
This guide explains exactly what account expansion is and why it’s vital for your business. It also digs into the best practices and exact strategies for making it happen. By the end, you’ll have a time-tested process for helping your customers succeed and achieve their next goal with additional products or services.
Account expansion refers to growing the revenue generated by existing accounts. Account managers do this by upselling or cross-selling additional products to a current customer. This allows the company to increase its earnings without necessarily needing to acquire new business.
Time and time again, research proves retaining and selling to current accounts provides a higher return on investment (ROI) than acquiring new customers. According to ProfitWell, customer acquisition costs (CAC) have increased by 50% over the past five years. Therefore, it’s essential that account managers work to provide excellent service and ensure buyer success to avoid churn or the loss of customers over time.
Selling to current customers offers massive ROI and business growth potential, but expansion probably isn’t the right fit for every client. Consider these best practices:
Find the Right Clients
Not every new customer is a win for the company. If your sales team is hustling to get anybody and everybody to sign up for your product or service, chances are they’re signing new clients who are destined to churn. This is an expensive mistake.
The reality is your solution isn’t right for everyone. A discerning sales strategy recognizes this and prioritizes prospects who are a proven fit. This ensures you’re spending money acquiring customers with great lifetime value (LTV).
Prioritize Client Success
Client success, also known as customer success, is when an account achieves the desired outcome by using your product or service. For them, this is the most important result of your partnership. It also guarantees a healthy customer retention rate, thus increasing your revenue.
Customer success is closely tied to business growth. According to a survey of 752 companies by HubSpot, businesses experiencing revenue increases are 21% percent more likely than their stagnant counterparts to view client success as “very important.”
This might be because successful clients not only stick with the company but are more likely to make additional, recurring purchases.
Have a Team Dedicated to Customer Success
Resist the temptation to have salespeople offer upsells and cross-sells to your existing customers. They often don’t have the full picture of how these clients are engaging with the company or understand what will best contribute to their success.
Instead, create a team of customer success managers (CSMs) who are responsible for helping clients get to their next benchmark. Unlike customer support reps—people who respond to roadblocks or challenges the client is facing with your product—CSMs anticipate problems and offer solutions that can help the customer experience wins.
This puts CSMs in a good position to manage account expansion since by identifying problems they can recommend products that provide a fix. However, forcing CSMs to upsell or cross-sell to existing clients creates a conflict of interest. The pressure to fulfill a quota can lead CSMs to push customers into new products or services that don’t increase their success.
Only Sell if It’s Logical
While it’s tempting to think of fulfilling quotas as the ultimate goal, CSMs must remember the customer doesn’t care about a company’s revenue. Upselling or cross-selling for the sake of meeting a benchmark at the expense of the customer’s success will only harm the business in the long-term.
Clients who feel they’ve been sold something that doesn’t actually help them reach their next milestone will likely forgo a contract renewal. CSMs should only offer an additional product or service if they genuinely believe it will help the client reach their goals.
On the upside, CSMs who are sure an expansion will increase a customer’s success will have an easier time making the sale. Their conviction that it’s the right move avoids the awkwardness they’d otherwise feel when pushing a poor solution for the purpose of hitting a quota.
Pay Commissions Based on Customer Success
Consider doing away with quotas for CSMs altogether. This way, they can prioritize customer success without feeling pressured by a competing influence.
You can still leverage financial incentives to increase account expansion. Commissions based on customer success are a powerful alternative. CSMs who are rewarded for sales that lead to the client’s next milestone are more likely to invest time into carefully identifying the best upsell and cross-sell candidates. They also won’t waste any effort selling to customers who wouldn’t benefit from an additional product.
3 Steps for Account Expansion
1. Create a Post-onboarding Customer Journey
A client’s experience with your company doesn’t end when they make their first purchase. After they start using your product, they should hit multiple milestones that demonstrate the value of doing business with you, as described in this chart from Sixteen Ventures:
A CSM helps facilitate this journey. Here’s how the process might play out:
During the first quarterly business review (QBR), the CSM assesses whether the client hit their first post-onboarding milestone. They may also work with the customer to set their next benchmark. This doubles as a good opportunity to ask for a review or referral.
At the second QBR, the CSM checks for the continued success of the client. They might provide support or advice about how to get more out of the customer’s current product. Another milestone is set for the future.
During the third QBR, the CSM assesses how satisfied the customer is and what ROI they get from using the product. If the CSM believes an additional product or service will help the client reach the next level of success, they can proceed with pitching an upsell or cross-sell.
After a successful expansion, the client and CSM should assess whether or not the added product helped the customer reach their desired milestone. This process can happen during the QBR, following the new purchase.
Reviewing the effectiveness of expansion shows the client their happiness comes before your profit, which helps build trust and loyalty to the company. It also reduces the likelihood they’ll feel exploited, and as a result, choose not to renew their contract.
Finally, the review session dissuades CSMs from making a sale for the wrong reasons, since this step determines whether they receive their commission.
3. Optimize the Account Expansion Process
CSMs and their supervisors should constantly be looking for opportunities to improve the customer’s journey. With each QBR, search for trends and adjust the client’s success process as needed.
For example, analyze accounts that have already undergone expansion. What do they have in common? Are there any traits that might indicate a customer is a good candidate for upselling or cross-selling? Isolate these characteristics and train CSMs to notice and act on them.
Next, take a look at instances where accounts expanded, then retracted, or weren’t retained. Was a solution offered when it shouldn’t have been? How can CSMs recognize and avoid making similar mistakes in the future?
By reflecting on what’s working and what’s not, you can better ensure client success and increased revenue.
Final Takeaway: Great Customers Drive Account Expansion
Client success is a powerful factor in account expansion. When customers experience firsthand the value your solution provides, they’re more likely to invest in additional products that will help them reach the next milestone.
To do that, however, you need to find prospects who are likely to get great results from your product. Lead intelligence software makes your search for those ideal clients more effective and automated.
That’s where LeadBoxer comes in. LeadBoxer gathers data about prospects, even site visitors who would otherwise remain anonymous. It then assigns a lead score, or a number describing how likely they are to convert, based on the criteria you set.
Does your business do social selling? And no, we’re not talking about social media marketing. Are your salespeople developing meaningful online relationships with prospects?
If you rely on cold-calling and sending spam emails then you’re at a disadvantage. Your customers want to interact with and buy from a person, not a company. Such kind of selling creates beneficial relationships between businesses and customers.
In this article, we explore social selling and how it has revolutionized the B2B market. We also explore the social selling index and what a positive score can mean for lead generation and meeting sales quotas. Read on or jump ahead to the sections listed below:
Social selling is the use of social media to find, engage, and nurture leads. It is different from social media marketing which seeks to increase brand awareness. It sets your business up as a trustworthy industry leader.
Salespeople who do this kind of selling become the source of information and solutions to their prospects’ problems. They rise to the top of their prospects’ minds and are most likely to get the lead’s business.
How to Start a Selling Business Through Social Selling
The first step in setting up successful social selling is creating social media profiles. A professional LinkedIn profile, Twitter account, and Facebook business page are all essential foundations. Ideally, each salesperson will have a social media account tied to your business.
The next step includes finding and socially listening to your prospects. Once you find qualified prospects, identify their unique problems to make it easier for you to offer customized solutions. Below are some ways you can use Facebook and Twitter to identify and begin having interactions with prospects:
With a Facebook Business Page, social selling salespeople can flaunt their expertise and professionalism while showing some of their personality. After creating your business page, connect with current followers, and reach out to other businesses for social selling success.
You can engage followers by publishing open-ended questions and responding to customer posts and comments. Rapport also happens when you like and share customer posts. Publishing an ebook, report, infographic, or white paper on Facebook, based on customer feedback, also promotes engagement.
You can set yourself apart from other salespeople by sharing, liking, and commenting on the posts of other businesses. When you engage with other companies on Facebook, they will likely return the favor through reciprocal engagement. When businesses engage with your brand, your name will be shown to their followers. This expands your prospect pool. You can also check how to make a brand persona.
Twitter Lists are a great way to find and organize sales prospects. These lists help you keep track of which leads get what content. Sharing targeted information with prospects will move them along the sales funnel quicker.
Here are some examples of lists salespeople should create and update regularly:
Social Selling Best Practices
Social selling relationships that are cultivated correctly will be more successful. Due to your sales team’s diligent and consistent efforts, your business will be positioned as the best solution in the minds of current and potential customers. As a perceived industry leader, these best practices will increase your sales conversion rates:
Robots are impersonal and don’t engage prospects. While there are automated liking and commenting tools to save you time, they don’t build rapport with leads. Automation robots can actually damage your brand’s reputation and customer relationships.
Show up instead! Prospects will more likely trust, interact with, and make purchasing decisions when feeling they have made an authentic connection with a real person. Do this through friendly professionalism.
You can share your personable approach to sales through your professional social media profiles. Optimizing your profiles through titles, job functions, and industry keywords can enhance your visibility to prospects. Posting helpful articles, partnering with other industry leaders, and participating in industry online groups illustrate your friendliness and value.
A glance at your prospects’ social media profiles alerts you to what they like, need, and want. With this information, you’ll be poised to deliver targeted, relevant content to them. When you offer a solution to their specific problem, a relationship forms.
Social listening also provides salespeople valuable information concerning mutual contacts. And what people are saying about the company. Request a brief introduction from established customers to these shared connections so you can network. Observe problem areas people are commenting on about your company or industry and respond with solutions.
Provide Valuable, Helpful Content
The goal of social selling is to build relationships with leads. This isn’t done through sales pitches and presentations. Instead of praising your product or service, produce valuable, helpful content.
Prospects are more willing to interact and do business with a salesperson who is seen as an industry expert. Write informative posts and add knowledgeable insight to others’ posts via comments. Sharing posts from other industry leaders illustrate to your sales leads that you have a genuine interest in enabling them to resolve their own issues.
Relationships take time. So, salespeople engaged in social selling should not seek to make a sale from their first interaction. Your product or service should only be referenced if it adds value to your conversation with a lead. You can check our article on the best TED talks for sales.
Build Lasting Relationships
Building relationships with prospects to nurture them into customers is a common goal. However, the relationship after conversion needs to continue to produce repeat customers. Customer retention is more cost-effective and profitable than constantly acquiring new ones.
Lasting relationships involve give and take. Salespeople should do more than provide valuable content and contributions. They also need to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions and comments of the prospects they’re cultivating a relationship with.
Social Selling on LinkedIn and the Social Selling Index
LinkedIn is a social networking site built around forming professional connections. It is where professionals can showcase their expertise. Sales reps in the social selling business have a LinkedIn profile and are actively engaged in LinkedIn groups.
LinkedIn helps establish brand credibility and connects salespeople to valuable leads. For those in B2B sales, LinkedIn is the place where one can connect with those making purchasing decisions. Here are some ways you can maximize your social selling on LinkedIn:
When creating your profile, be sure to emphasize relevant experience, accomplishments, awards, and memberships. Highlighting how you’ve helped past customers makes your profile customer-focused. Additionally, ask your contacts for recommendations and to endorse your skills.
With an optimized profile, you’ll be visible to prospects and be viewed as an authority and a valuable resource. Most importantly a resource that is offering the solutions leads are looking for. You’ll secure prospects, building relationships with them, and converting them into customers.
Expand Your Network
LinkedIn is an example of online business networking and a good place for account expansion. The more connections you make, the greater your network becomes. The larger your network, the more opportunities you’ll have to meet promising leads. Or people who’ll introduce you to prospects.
Here is a great example of a Guardian Life financial advisor whose leads took off with LinkedIn. With one client, he obtained 35 referrals. Since then, his social selling business has more than doubled.
Participate in LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn has many professional networking groups that offer opportunities to meet other professionals and prospects. Here, one can share and post relevant, informative content and comment on other’s posts. When you’re active in a group, it conveys that you’re knowledgeable in your industry.
Social Selling Index
Salespeople with a high social selling index do better at attracting and converting prospects. LinkedIn is a great place to boost one’s index score. LinkedIn social selling index correlates to more leads and met sales quotas.
This index is a score that takes into account the following variables:
The quality of relationships
The salesperson’s personal brand
The amount of relevant content and engagement they produce
How well ideal prospects are targeted and nurtured
Businesses that employ multiple salespeople to make big-ticket deals, such as in the B2B industry, benefit from social selling. Prospects and customers are more likely to engage when interacting with a human rather than a heavily automated business. Successful social selling salespeople are able to effectively blend their professional and personal lives.
The use of social media and digital marketing channels offers a great way to do that. Salespeople can be professional by stating their employer, skills, connections, certifications, memberships, and so on. They can also show prospects a glimpse of their personal side including their hobbies, interests, and personal goals.
Gone are the days of cold-calling and email spamming. Engaging with leads via social media channels has proven far more successful in building relationships between businesses and customers. Here are some suggestions on how social selling can be used for sales:
Require each salesperson to create a personal business profile on social media
Educate your salespeople on the basics of social media marketing best practices
Establish regular collaboration between sales and marketing
Align sales and marketing lead funnels
Salespeople and sales lead generating platforms like LeadBoxer use social selling to build relationships with prospects to get more leads and make more conversions. Social selling salespeople will greatly benefit from LeadBoxer’s seamless lead scoring and data gathering. Begin your social selling success today with a LeadBoxer free trial.
A business must generate leads to be successful. Lead generation consists of content and media that nurture leads into paying customers. Digital marketing solutions and digital marketing channels facilitate the capture of quality leads and enable lead nurturing through digital media.
Meanwhile, continue reading or use the following links to “jump” ahead:
The term digital media refers to the tools and programs that share information online. This content comes in many forms including audio, video, images, website content, web pages, social media, and email.
Digital media is most effective when it includes personalized content. So when your online messaging speaks to individual consumers, it builds credibility for your brand, service, or product. And when you put effort into content personalization, the reader will trust your brand and offerings and make a purchase.
Personalized content is also good for improving the visibility of your business website. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing tool that utilizes unique, high-quality content to rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). According to WebFX, 75% of people do not go past the first page on SERPs.
As mentioned above, your digital media, or personalized content, can take many forms and appear in many places. Most content involves SEO website content and blog posts, social media posts, and videos. Your digital media is most impactful as a part of a digital marketing strategy.
Digital marketing is “the use of the Internet, mobile devices, social media, search engines, and other channels to reach consumers.” There are numerous digital marketing channels and techniques available to get your digital media noticed by your target audiences. The most common include:
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
Social media marketing
A strong digital marketing strategy incorporates the above digital marketing channels and techniques. Your digital strategy should not replace your sales lead generation and nurturing strategy. Your digital marketing and sales strategies work best when used together.
Now that you understand what the terms “digital media” and a “digital marketing strategy” mean, we will discuss the combination of digital marketing and sales in the digital marketing sales process. This process incorporates sales funnels, lead generation, and lead nurturing. And it is using digital marketing channels to reach prospective buyers online, boosting your brand’s digital presence.
The five-step digital marketing sales process can be seen as the journey your customer takes from lead to paying customer. Researching your qualified leads and developing a content personalization plan for each stage of the buyer’s journey lays the groundwork for your digital marketing sales process. Here is a list detailing the five stages of the digital marketing sales process:
1. Marketing/Prospecting Your Target Audience
The first step in the digital marketing sales process involves coming up with your brand’s unique selling proposition (USP). This sets your company apart from your competitors and shows leads why they should do business with you. Your USP should answer how your business is unique and how your product or service fills a void within your industry.
Your USP and personalized content are ineffective if online visitors aren’t consuming it. This is why you need SEO, PPC, and social media marketing to drive traffic to your website. Once you attract website visitors, you will be able to track and analyze who finds your content useful and converts. Website visitor tracking enables you to further narrow your audience, fine-tune your target customer-base, and assess which types of content resonate most with your target audiences.
2. Building Credibility and Trust
The ease and quickness of digital transactions have made the internet a prime target for cybercrime and scams. Your potential customers will be extremely wary when choosing which businesses get their money. As the online storefront of your business, your website must give a good first impression.
Excessive sales solicitations are also prevalent online. Leads require nurturing to accomplish the goal of having them develop a relationship with your particular brand, product, or service. This connection is crucial to cultivating new customers. Companies that are seen as trustworthy both online and offline will be more successful in bringing their leads through their sales funnel and make a successful account growth.
Here are some things to consider when assessing whether or not your website appears credible:
Does it look legitimate and professional?
Does it have working links and high-quality images?
Is the site easy to navigate?
Does your content contain proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation?
Does it include clear privacy and security policies?
Is the product and support information easily accessible?
3. Escorting the Buyer
Due to busy schedules and the abundance of digital media that is readily available, most first-time visitors to any website are not yet ready to buy. When people land on your website, you will need to guide them to the point where they realize they have a need for what you offer. For this guidance to be successful, the organization, navigation, and checkout process on your website should be fast, secure, and simple.
Having detailed product pages, resources, FAQs, and testimonial pages, visible contact information, chatbots, and internal linking are some ways to make your website user friendly. Your website also needs to be optimized to fit the small screens on smartphones and other handheld devices and should load quickly. Your site should escort the buyer on their journey from a casual website visitor, to the checkout process and through post-purchase follow-up.
4. Presenting the Product or Service
After you guide website visitors to your website, you need to present your products or services in a way that shows buyers your solutions are the best available options for meeting their needs. Every product or service should include relevant, specific descriptions that answer any questions a prospective buyer may have. High-resolution images and videos featuring the products or services in action should also be included.
5. Closing the Sale
The ultimate goal of every business website is to make a sale or a desired conversion. For e-commerce sites, the goal is to get people to make a purchase. For brick-and-mortar stores with an online presence, a website can be used to get leads to sign up for a mailing list or schedule a call with a sales representative.
The use of digital marketing channels makes it easy to analyze the results of your digital marketing sales process. You’ll be able to see the impact of your digital marketing efforts on your sales strategy. And make necessary adjustments and improvements. Both digital marketing and sales are processes that include post-purchase follow-up.
Businesses can’t thrive without digital marketing. Even with a solid sales team and sales process, a company without an online presence won’t succeed. This is because consumers prefer the speed, ease, and accessibility the internet offers.
Today’s smartphones are small, portable computers. This allows consumers to make purchases anywhere, anytime.
According to Forbes Insights, 7 out of 10 senior executives use mobile devices to look up product or service information after they first hear of it. Most of them also use smartphones to conduct research and make buying decisions. The vast majority of consumers have a smartphone and use it for researching, shopping, and entertainment.
2. Easier Follow Up
In sales, follow up is crucial. Most consumers require 7 to 13 contacts with a sales professional before they are ready to buy. Digital marketing makes follow up quicker and cheaper through scheduled emails, retargeting ads, and personalized ads included in social media interactions.
3. Provides Buyers With Personalized Content
As opposed to a “one size fits all” message, digital marketing allows you to prepare more relevant and personalized content for each stage of the buyer’s journey. Digital media comes in many forms including blog posts, whitepapers, ebooks, coupons, and case studies. When you use digital marketing solutions, you can offer prospects a tailored sequence of content that takes them from lead to customer.
4. Measured and Optimized Results
With digital marketing, results are measurable. Whether it’s a social media ad or an SEO campaign, you can gather important data about leads and measure results to identify what’s working and what isn’t.
In sales and digital marketing, your time and money are better spent on those who see your products and services as the solutions to their needs. This is where lead qualification and social selling comes in handy. A sales lead scoring platform like LeadBoxer’s customer relationship management (CRM) program identifies leads most interested in your product or service.
LeadBoxer’s lead generation and lead qualification platform gives you insight into which prospects are most likely to find your digital media useful. Understanding who your target audiences are and which digital marketing channels are most likely to reach them increases the likelihood of successful sales conversions.