How the DiSC profiling method can help you manage your leads

How the DiSC profiling method can help you manage your leads

A guest article by Yvan de Canson, content marketer at Salesbox

Being able to identify the natural behavior of your leads and adapt to it is one of the most useful skills you can develop when selling. Because selling in the end is all about building trust and truly connecting with someone.

In this article we will talk about the DiSC method, a method that will help you to identify the natural behavior of your leads and adapt to it. This method fits particularly well with Sales because of its simplicity in allowing you to take quick decisions; an important factor in the difficult Art of Selling. If you know the DiSC method, your closing, your lead generation, and your lead qualification will be more efficient.

The basics of the DiSC profiling method

First, let’s talk a little bit about the DiSC profiling method so you can have a clear understanding of what are its benefits.

The DiSC profiling method is used to analyze people’s natural behavior. It is based on the research studies of William Marston, an american psychologist at Harvard during the 1930’s. It’s a non-judgmental method which seeks only to describe the different types of behavior you can observe among people.

The conclusion of William Marston’s model is that there are four different types of behavior (D, I, S, C) and that everyone’s attitude exhibits a mix of them.

The DiSC method’s ultimate goal is to describe the natural behavior a person will adopt when confronted with a situation. Therefore, it’s based on two questions that everyone asks themselves subconsciously when any situation appears:

  • Are the surroundings naturally friendly or unfriendly ?
  • Do I feel stronger or weaker than the environment ?

Some people will always see the environment as hostile and others will naturally think that the surroundings are friendly. The same applies to the degree of control and influence on the surroundings.

Some people will naturally feel they have a tight control on the situation and others will instinctively feel the opposite. This natural feeling is not directly related with reality. It is more like an instinct and neither one is good or bad.

Based on the answers of these two questions the DiSC model separates behaviors into four different groups (D,I,S,C). Going further, each type is enriched with a color as well (Red, Yellow, Green, Blue).

Everyone is a combination of these different behaviors but what distinguishes us is our dominant type and the percentage of each one in our unique mix.

Dominant Style (RED) : This is the style that describes people’s behavior when they feel stronger than a hostile environment. They want to overcome obstacles in order to achieve their goals. They are challenge-driven and do not fear taking some risks and changing if they think it can help them because of their strong self-confidence.

Influential Style (YELLOW): This the behavior people adopt when they feel being in a friendly environment they can control at wish. Therefore I-Style behaviorists are looking to influence their surroundings through friendly persuasion; they want to be involved and accepted by others.

Steady Style (GREEN) : This behavioral style is adopted by someone who feels being in a friendly environment he or she can’t really control. That is why the primary goal of a GREEN person is to maintain good relationships with others and don’t do anything that can lead to the transformation of the friendly surroundings in a hostile environment.

Consciousness Style (BLUE) : People will adopt this behavioral style when they feel weaker than a naturally hostile environment. People with C-style behavior will try to protect themselve by using pre-existing rules and structures. They will try to do the “correct” thing and minimize the risks of making mistakes so that nobody can point an accusing finger at them.

How can the DiSC profiling method help you with your leads?

The DiSC profiling method will help you closing deals.

The first and direct benefit of the DiSC method on your Sales is your better ability to identify the natural behavior of your potential customers and adapt to it (communication, body language, writings etc.). That will help you to close deals more easily because your one-to-one communication will be more close to your lead’s preferred communication style (mirror your customer).

First, what is at stake is your ability to identify the DiSC color of your lead. To do that you can use the O.A.R method (Observe, Asses Recognize) that we will describe in one of our next articles.

Then knowing the behavior style of your lead you will be able to pick the right argument that will resonate in your prospects’ minds.

For example a BLUE person will pay more attention to facts and data in order to make the “correct” decision. You should be able to prove any points of your speech. On the other hand, YELLOW type will be more focused on what other people will think about them if they buy your products. Therefore, you should insist on previous successful clients that you know your I-Style prospect will value.

Finally, you will be able to say your argument with the appropriate tone, rhythm and through the relevant canals. For example, a D-Style will appreciate short, straight to the point emails that won’t waste their time. On the contrary, a S-Style will appreciate a warm phone call because they want to see if they can trust you before making any deals.

The take-away is that the DiSC profiling method will make it easier to connect and build trust with a prospect because you will know his natural behavior and adapt to it. Eventually, it will be easier to close deals.

The DiSC model will make your lead generation and lead qualification more efficient.

The more you can identify people’s natural behavior, the more you become efficient when selling. The first reason is that you can identify your own natural behavior. You can tell what are your strengths, your weaknesses, which type of behavior your feel comfortable with and which not.

It’s always easier to deal with people of your own dominant behavior since the interaction is natural.

Your lead qualification is easier because you are able to say quite quickly if a prospect will be a good fit for you or not. If you identify a lead with a behavior which suits you, that you can adopt naturally, then you can proceed but if not you won’t loose time and energy and maybe pass it to one of your colleagues. If you don’t have a suitable colleague then you can adopt your communication to suit the behaviour of your lead. It is crucial to mirror your customer and make them feel “at home” and trust you.

After a while selling your product or service you will most likely be able to detect certain patterns among your best customers. Maybe you will see that 50% of them have a D-Style and therefore you can use the DiSC model in a more proactive way for your lead generation.

You can add a DiSC colors to your Target Customer Profile and try to adapt your overall communication to it. That is to say your website (landing page), your content (blog, posts), etc…

You can even use a CRM, such as Salesbox, to send custom email marketing campaigns in function of each DiSC colors and increase your open rate. Salesbox also comes packaged with the possibility to add the correct DiSC-color to each lead or existing business contact, to make it easier for colleagues (managers, other sales reps, pre-sales, support, delivery, finance) to know how to communicate correctly with the lead/customer.

All of this will make your lead generation more efficient. The DiSC model, as we just saw, is a brilliant behavioral model that will make you more efficient as a sales representative. But on the top of that, the DiSC model can be used in various domains where behavior matters. For example it can help you to be a better manager : it’s easier to motivate someone if you know what triggers him/her. It can also help you in your recruitment process in order to determine if the behavior of a candidate will probably fit or not with his/her potential manager’s.

So, you see there is plenty application for the DiSC model within Sales and Business and if you want to dig more you can visit our blog: Salesbox Blog.

yvan-salesbox

Yvan de Canson

Content Marketer at Salesbox

Tracking Lead Engagement Over Time

Tracking Lead Engagement Over Time

Lead Generation and Analytics 

In a previous article we talked about how to stay ahead of the game with Lead Generation strategies in 2017. Although Best Practice recommends to focus on Content Marketing, SEO, and Social Media, the bottom line is that effective lead generation requires planning to ensure the desired results, unless you are selling water in the desert. In this article we focus on another important aspect of lead intelligence – tracking lead engagement.

Having a well-thought-out plan of action is only half the battle. You also need to follow potential customers through prospecting and sales cycles, nurturing them until they become paying customers. In this day and age, when information reaches people immediately, companies need to be flexible and adapt almost as fast. Your customers’ attention is not guaranteed – interests change, trends come and go, and people are always looking for the next big thing. So, why is tracking lead engagement so important?

 

Tracking lead engagement is important for multiple reasons:

  • Help the sales and marketing teams to focus their time and energy on the leads that matter.
  • Ensures you analyse current data to better predict future trends (and better prepare for future trends!).
  • Maps the users’ path so that you know exactly where they lose engagement in the product; which in turn will allow you to improve those “hurdles” and increase your customer retention rate.
  • Reduce your churn rate by better understanding what drives people away.
  • Confirms which lead generation strategies are most effective.
  • Improves your social proofing and SEO efforts because of the “positive feedback loop” that you have initiated.

The Turning Point

With those thoughts in mind we were researching the topic and stumbled upon a very insightful report by GetApp, which you can find here, about top Lead Generation channels that drive quality and quantity leads.

They surveyed 300 companies in North America to find their lead generation strategies and challenges. What grabbed our attention was the fact that close to 18.4% of salespeople stated that their model to measure ROI is inaccurate and that 69% are likely to invest in predictive analytics to better score leads. Those numbers are quite significant as it shows that companies realise the fact they have to focus on lead generation but they don’t understand their leads and they don’t know exactly when they are losing people’s engagement in the sales cycle.

After reading the report we just had to know more so we contacted GetApp. They were very kind to provide us with a commentary from Karen McCandless, the researcher that wrote the report. Here is what she had to say:

In May 2017, we conducted a survey of 300 businesses based in North America to find out their main lead generation challenges, the best channels for generating high quantity and quality leads, new lead gen trends, and the effect of software.

Generating high quality leads was cited by 28% of our respondents’ biggest challenge, followed by generating a high volume of leads at 22%. Reasons behind this include lack of budget assigned to lead generation, as well as not knowing or understanding the audience you are targeting. This means that any lead generation efforts will be more generic and less targeted to your target buyers.

The survey also revealed that many sales and marketers are still not tracking their lead generation campaigns. This can be attributed to the complexity of tracking different metrics across different channels, as well as a confusion over whose responsibility it is to do this. The lead generation experts who contributed to this report suggested that the marketing department should be tracking campaigns, rather than salespeople. However, businesses are often held back by the manual processes they have in place, or the wrong piece of technology for the job.

The take-home is that businesses need the right information in the right time in order to improve the ROI of their lead generation efforts. Following the engagement levels of leads from prospects to including them in your sales cycle to converting them into paying customers is not an easy task for every company.

What the GetApp report and the commentary show is that the most common reasons for not tracking a lead’s engagement successfully boils down to the complexity of tracking different metrics across multitude of channels, confusion over who is responsible for that, and using the wrong technology.

The Road Ahead

Given all the information that we have, it becomes obvious that the only way going forward is investing into a CRM that tracks a lead’s engagement over time. This will not only allow you to guide potential buyers across all of your lead generation channels but it will also pinpoint the weakest touchpoints along the way. The latter is probably even more vital as it can ultimately lead to improving customer retention and churn rates of your product/service. If you are still not convinced, here are some of the most eye-opening, CRM statistics for 2017:

  • The ROI on CRM is approximately $5 to every $1 invested (Baseline)
  • CRM gives businesses a 65% boost in sales quotas (Innopple Technologies)
  • A 41% revenue increase is realized with CRM (Trackvia)
  • CRM is used for email marketing 60% of the time for small businesses (MarketingCharts.com)
  • Leads that are nurtured in the CRM system convert 47% of the time (Annuitas Group)
  • Conversion rates can improve by 300% with CRM in place (Cloudswave)
  • Customer service can improve by 47% with CRM (Capterra)
  • Overall, 74% of businesses using CRM report better customer relationships (Software Advice)
Understanding “Warm Leads”

Understanding “Warm Leads”

Freelance Writer Alex Levitov

In one of our previous articles we discussed why warm leads are better for your business but we realised we got ahead of ourselves. So, we decided to double back and try to understand what are warm leads.

Every company needs to follow up and nurture leads as part of its sales process. Warm leads are nothing more than individuals who have expressed an interest in your company in the past or people with whom you wish to establish a relationship. It could be something as simple as a person filling up an online form and asking for more information on a certain product, or making connections with the staff of a particular organisation. When these people get a visit or a call, it classifies as a warm lead. warm-leads-leadboxer

Whereas cold leads are taken by surprise and often turn negative, warm leads are formed out of a pre-existing relationship or expression of interest. This makes it a lot easier to approach a potential sale, and places warm leads on top of cold leads in the sales cycle. Warm leads result in more effective sales talk.

Why are They Beneficial?

Think of it this way: Would you like it if someone tried to sell you something within the first five minutes of knowing you? Of course not! The same applies to your customers as well. They hate it when your company tries to push a product/service on them, and are more likely to walk away. Even worse, they will probably remember your company in a negative light.

This is exactly why warm leads are preferred. Businesses, especially small ones, rely on warm leads to establish a certain level of trust with possible clients until they are ready to purchase from them. Establishing trust is an integral part of the sales process because the warmer the lead, the higher chance there is of converting it to a sale. Sizeable companies have systems in place for a formal sales process, and these involve introducing the brand to a potential customer, referred to as the lead.

The more the lead becomes exposed to the name and message of the brand, the more it begins to trust the brand over time. Warm leads are primed in such a way that closing sales becomes easy. In fact, companies boasting of solid, well-thought-out sales processes are adept at monitoring calls, messages, emails, and outreach so that each lead understands precisely where every person is in the process.

The Thing About ‘Warm Leads’

The term “warm leads” is quite flexible. For example, any prospect that has been referred to a business website also qualifies as a warm lead, even though the organisation did not contact that prospect directly. Just the fact that the referrer recommended that particular company to the prospect means that an indirect connection has formed between the company and the lead. It is not necessary that the prospect know the business; simply knowing the person who referred them to the company is enough. In this case, the referrer serves as a sort of middleman, which means that generating warm leads is not a linear process.

There is a flexibility associated with warm leads that is missing in others. This makes them all the more lucrative. When a prospect reaches out to the business looking for information, they usually try to find out the contact number or fill out a form on the website requesting a call back. Such prospects are intrigued to go through all the effort to reach out to the business by themselves, without knowing anything about the company. This shows just how easy it is to work with warm leads rather than cold leads.

Warm Leads Mean More Conversion Probability

Though there is still some amount of rapport building to be done on your part, warm leads are simpler to convert into sales than cold calls. The fact that the business had previously established a connection or contact with the prospect is indicative of the fact that they already had some amount of trust between them. This is the reason why the prospect will actually read or listen to whatever you have to say. They will be willing to invest time, and will not be as quick to walk away from the product or service as a result.

Warm leads are actually quite pleasant from the standpoint of the salesperson. They find it easier to distinguish between warm leads and cold leads and interact with the former; all it requires is a little bit of common sense and practice on their part. In the end, what matters the most is the way the prospect views the interaction, instead of how the business classifies it. While interacting with a warm lead, the company should always make it a point to introduce itself and then immediately raise the topic of their pre-existing association with the prospect. The way they respond should be an indication whether the sales team should pursue this lead for conversion or not. The moment you get some sort of acknowledgement about your connection with the prospect, you need to move forward with confidence.

A business is better of investing all their efforts on warm leads rather than cold leads due to the higher probability of conversion. You might have ten cold leads in hand, but compared to them one warm lead is always a better use of your time. Firstly, it is difficult to try and monitor tend cold leads. A person who is familiar with your name or the name of your company and has taken an interest in your services or products will be easier to pin down, rather than the phone numbers of people who have never even heard of you.

How to Generate More Warm Leads?

Some companies resort to paying for long list of email addresses, phone numbers, and data packs. But this cold approach is a hit-and-miss, and less effective than building and nurturing existing relationships with customers. Your time and money is better spent elsewhere, namely creating new relationships and links with interested parties. Such a process can be time-consuming, but the payoff is always greater. Cold calling isn’t something that their sales people enjoy, but they need to do it as part of their job. The trick is converting the cold leads into warm prospects, thereby increasing the chances of a successful sale by the sales team. Some of the most effective methods are given below.

Forming a Blog

If you have an expert sales team on your payroll, chances are you won’t have to work too hard to reach out to customers who know nothing about your business; instead the leads will come to you. It becomes possible through the creation of a website that also hosts a blog offering good content. This, in turn, forms a lead nurturing process that sets your company up with warm leads. All you need to do is research, create a blog with the help of one of platforms for business and share good content on your blog. The blog creates a platform to help attract prospects to your business. This not only improves the SEO but automatically alters the feel of the conversation. The tables are now turned in your direction, and prospects understand that you have valuable insight to provide them before they even engage you directly.

Using Lead Capture Techniques

Get your prospects to visit your website by setting up a well-aimed blog. However, you should make it a point to know who those site visitors are before they leave. Otherwise, it would all be in vain. Use lead capturing to get the details you require about your visitors. Lead capturing involves creating helpful content that solves the problems of your personas. You need to link your blog readers to a specific landing page that requests them to fill up a quick form. As soon as the form is submitted, allow them to access the content for free. Now it is up to the reader whether they share the content you sent with co-workers or friends. What matters is that you have managed to catch their interest and are on your way towards building a relationship.

Using a CRM System

It is best if your company uses CRM software. This ensures that none of the information you gleaned from your leads go to waste. You will find lots of different tools on the Internet that not only monitor who visited your website, but what they looked at, when they visited, and what offers they downloaded as well. The purpose of this data is to provide you with a clearer picture of your lead and initiate a conversation. Once you are able to determine what attracted the lead to your website in the first place, it’s easy to work out the issues they are trying to solve. Your sales team can help you with this.

Harnessing the Power of Social Media

It is important you know how to use social media for the benefit of your company. Simply opening accounts on social networking sites is not going to help; you must know how to get the most out of them. It helps if you begin by thinking long-term. You will be able to generate the initial interest via a clever post or a giveaway. New business is always appreciated, but you should also have a plan on how to plan on building on that foundation. Otherwise, you are going to lose any business as soon as you get it. Social media metrics are a great way to become familiar with your audience and their needs. However, you should first determine the market you wish to cater to. Also, it is important to link your company’s posts, tweets, and updates with the landing page. This will give visitors the chance to know your company even better.

Cross Promotions and Referrals

Warm leads aren’t always the tricky affair that people make them out to be. For instance, customer referrals are a great way to generate business-to-business leads. Customer referrals are built out of trust. Another great option is cross promotions with other businesses. This method provides a cost-effective, easy and quick way to reach new customers; customers who you otherwise would never have been able to gain access to. This is a highly exciting prospect. Planning cross promotions carefully is a great way to tap into an audience base that has high interest in your product.

Webinars and Face-to-Face

Despite the rise of social media techniques, the old-fashioned approach is long from dead. It works wonders, especially in the form of executive events and webinars, where it is possible to interact directly with the lead. Due to the overwhelming focus on technology in the current digital age, the old ways are easy to overlook. But, these methods were used for a very long time and with good reason – they were effective. So your company could try this out. Even telemarketing is capable of providing positive results if forearmed with the right sort of information.

Email

Generating a warm lead through email is possible if you email one of the higher-ups in the organisation and ask for a referral down to the correct individual, or email the decision maker directly. Irrespective of your approach, a lot rides on the subject line of your email. It needs to be interesting enough for the lead to actually read it and open the mail.

There is a particular way to develop effective cold email subject lines. Use the names of the leads in the subject line only if it makes sense. Keep the subject as specific as possible. Make the subject line as personal as you can so that it appeals to the lead, and turns it warm. Make sure that the email doesn’t sound too much like a marketing email. Try to keep it casual yet professional. You could try experimenting with a question format for the subject line of the email. Always make sure that you deliver what was promised in the subject line in the actual email.

Customers are no longer the same, and sales and marketing are trying to keep up. The rise of search engines and social media, businesses and individuals do not have to wait for sales people to approach them. They themselves can go looking for the things they want and choose whichever company offers the same. Sales and marketing work together to bring in warm leads. This helps create more business than cold leads ever could.

How to Contact Leads

How to Contact Leads

This article is part of our three step guide on lead generation basics. For this step, which is the third and final step of lead generation, we discuss how to contact leads. This is arguably the most important step, which can be anything from marketing automation to personal contact, because it’s where the beginning of a sale truly begins to take shape. A quick recap of what we previously talked about: In the first step, we talked about what a lead and lead hacking is, in the second step we outlined the process of lead qualification, and now we will share the best practices of lead contacting.

What do you do once you’ve identified a lead?

This article is about what to do once you’ve identified a lead. While there is no absolute answer to this, there are few things you should be considering to make the strongest introduction possible. The items you should be considering include:

  1. Lead name (a person or company)
  2. Contact details
  3. Subject matter

You will need 1 and 2 (pre-conditions) in order to make contact and talk (step 3).

Customer example question:

“I have a question regarding on how to follow up on possible leads. What if I notice a company is coming back regularly to check out our services, how can I best contact this company? Mail, phone? I don’t want to look like a stalker. Is there any proven strategy or best practices on this subject?”

Much depends on your company’s sales workflow. Is your product high-end – with service contracts, or are you targeting SME (small and medium enterprise) clients. How long is your sales cycle, do you provide a demo, do you have a dedicated sales team to contact leads, etc. These parameters will define the structure of the dialogue. In some cases the lead will get in touch with you, and in some cases you will be initiating contact. Lead generation software (keeping track of potential clients) helps in both scenarios because you can see what your lead is doing (what they are interested in) and their level of interest. “Strike while the iron is hot”. Once you have contact points and subject matter, you should make contact. Try a combination of both telephone and email. Telephone takes more energy, and is more effective when you actually get to speak to the right person. We’ve learned that a combination of both telephone and email works best. We’ve also learned that, in terms of best practices, you want to make an initial call (or email) that is short and sweet. Narrow the conversation down to a single deliverable, if possible. Important: once you make a promise, any promise, no matter how small – make sure you absolutely 100% follow-up. This is trust-building.

How can LeadBoxer help you to contact leads.

LeadBoxer, or any other lead generation software, automates the process of determining who to call and/or email. Many established B2B sites receive hundreds or even thousands of visitors (potential leads) on a weekly basis. Time is often of the essence here. It is not humanly possible to screen all traffic, although it may be a good idea to have different people sort traffic, and do the actual contacting. This is where the software comes is. By “qualification” we mean an automated system for sorting potential leads and ranking them based on qualifying metrics. Allowing you to contact leads which you might have otherwise missed.

How to contact leads with LinkedIn

How to contact leads with LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world’s 4th most popular social network. As a professional social network, LinkedIn is the most popular among salespeople. LinkedIn is our favourite social platform to use, so it was just a matter of time before we wrote a piece about it. This is definitely not the only time we will talk about its usefulness but today, we wanted to talk a little bit about how to contact leads with LinkedIn.

What can you do with leads identified by LeadBoxer?

Scenario: you have installed the LeadBoxer lead pixel into your website. A few days later, you have a list of companies who are interested in your products and services. You are not 100% convinced that you want to call them up and say “Hey, I saw you clicking around on our website, what’s up?”

People are looking for specific information. Therefore, if you can help them get the information that they need, you are helping them, not bugging them.

In this case, we recommend an indirect approach as you can see below.

 

Best Practises

1. When you see that a company has visited your website, target them through LinkedIn (obviously, you can use any alternative to LinkedIn – which is just the example given here).

2. The strategy is to know that a company is interested – and give them information that makes them aware of your services. Keep in mind that if a lead is actively looking for a solution to their problem, they will appreciate good information.

Note: surfing behaviour is Goal-Oriented. People do not visit (B2B) websites because they are curious as to what they look like. People are looking for specific information. Therefore, if you can help them get the information that they need, you are helping them.

3. Use lead/visitor activity (click streams) to know what your leads are actually interested in and speak to the content/ subject-matter of the pages they visited.

In other words, use a prominent bit of the text on the pages visited in the subject heading of your communication. This will immediately capture the person’s interest much more effectively than sending a generic sales pitch.

4. Locating decision-makers – if your product/ service is related to staffing, find the person(s) responsible for Human Resources. Meaning: locate the company on LinkedIn and then you research who is responsible for Human Resources, etc.

5. You can then advertise via LinkedIn in order to post content on that person/ company’s LinkedIn personal feed. Click here for a blog post we wrote on LinkedIn advertising.

 

Step-by-step

a) locate the company identified by LeadBoxer on LinkedIn b) find the person or persons responsible for the problem you solve c) send a LinkedIn invite request d) OR use Chrome extension called (email) Hunter – to locate their email address and email them e) OR send relevant materials via LinkedIn advertising (see above) ​

Giving product tours doesn’t work for user onboarding

Giving product tours doesn’t work for user onboarding





When sitting down to write a new post, I ran through a plethora of ideas. We’ve been focusing a lot on CES 2017 recently, so I needed to get us back into the swing of our typical marketing and startup sales related posts. I ended up thinking about user on-boarding and the mistakes that a lot of startups make when creating their on-boarding flow. I then thought about what mistake is most commonly seen during user on-boarding experiences: giving product tours. (more…)