What is Intent Data & How Can You Use It?

What is Intent Data & How Can You Use It?

According to research, the average B2B buyer is already 67% of the way through the buying journey before having extended contact with a salesperson. By that time, they’ve likely formulated some ideas about possible solutions to their pain point and might even be leaning toward buying from your competitor. Intent data is the key to identifying those leads sooner, nurturing them earlier in their buying journey, and making more sales. This comprehensive guide will outline the fundamentals of intent data, including:

By the end, you should know exactly how intent data fits into your marketing and sales processes. You’ll also learn how to pick the right intent data supplier for your needs, so you don’t end up with the wrong strategy for your business.

What is Intent Data?

Intent data shows the likelihood that a person or company is in the market to purchase a solution for a pain point. It’s derived from information about the online research a contact or account is conducting about a particular topic, as well as context clues that might signal their purchasing intention. Topic and context data are the two main types of intent data. Both rely on tracking cookies and IP addresses to form a complete picture.

Topic Data

If a hiker needs to buy new hiking boots, she may scout online reviews of top brands before she ever goes to the store and tries on a pair. Anyone looking at her search history might assume she’s interested in the topic of “hiking boots”. The same is true of B2B leads and target accounts. Forrester claims that 68% of B2B buyers research by themselves, a significant increase from 53% in 2015. In addition, 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before connecting with someone in sales. Even before signing up for a free trial of the software that might solve their problem, your lead is probably researching their pain point and weighing multiple options. Topic data tells you what they’re researching. There are four types of topic data available.

Anonymous First-Party Behavioral

These are unknown visitors to your company’s site and the actions they take while there. They haven’t yet filled out a form or explicitly revealed information about themselves, but it’s possible to identify their company by tracking their IP address. unknown visitors A lead generation tool like LeadBoxer can help fill in the gaps and show more contact information about these otherwise anonymous visitors, giving a more complete picture of who they are and what they’re researching on your site.

Known First-Party Behavioral

These visitors to your company’s site have provided their contact information by filling out a form, therefore they are “known” individuals. Lead generation or marketing automation software can track what pages they visit and other ways they engage with the site.

Anonymous Third-Party Behavioral

These are unknown visitors to sites you don’t own but that might still be relevant to your business. You can track different topics over a network of sites and see what’s most popular. aberdeen intent data
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If you’re a supplier of project management solutions, and someone from a company that fits your ideal customer profile is reading articles about “project management” on Business Insider, you can access that information through intent data suppliers, a few of which we’ll review in a future section.

Known Third-Party Behavioral

These are visitors to sites you don’t own that have shared some of their contact information. Like with anonymous third-party behavioral, you can access their information and the topics they’re researching through the right supplier.

Context Data

Context data tells you whose intent data is valuable and who only has a passing interest in a topic. There are a few details that are especially useful for establishing context.

Job Title

If a sales professional is researching “sales pipeline management”, it’s possible they’re looking for a CRM tool that can help manage leads. If a marketing professional or content creator is researching the same topic, it may be more likely that they’re putting together a blog, video, or another piece of content on the subject.

Job Postings or Leadership Changes

Job postings and leadership changes can tell you whether or not to reach out to a lead. If you sell advertising services but the target account is in the process of looking for a new marketing director, now might not be the best time to approach them. If the account has announced the recent hire of a marketing director, it’s a better opportunity to pounce and offer a better option than what the predecessor left behind.

New Funding

A new round of funding is another indicator that a company could be open to new solutions, both because they have a bigger budget and because they may be growing their operation and need more sophisticated tools to manage their company.

New Legislation

Did new legislation just pass that requires an account to operate their company in a certain way, or opens them up to new business? If you have the solution they need in response to these changes, this context lets you know if you should act.

Press

Keep a close eye on accounts that make the news. Press about an expansion of operations or increase in earnings might indicate that they need new solutions, while bad press may mean that they need some space to do damage control before focusing on other things. However, not all bad press is a sign to stay away. If an account makes the news for poor customer service, maybe now is the time to reach out and offer information about your CRM software.

What to Use Intent Data For

There are several uses for intent data, but before diving into the specifics, know that if your competitor isn’t already using intent data, they might soon. Polls show that nearly a quarter of B2B companies are already using intent data, while another 35% plan to use it within the next 12 months. Using intent data in some capacity will become increasingly necessary to stay competitive. These are the main ways that it can benefit your business.

Reaching Leads Early

The most obvious use of intent data is to establish contact with leads earlier in the buying journey. Getting in touch with leads before other salespeople do is one of the biggest ways to get a leg up on the competition; research shows that in 70% of cases, the first salesperson to connect with a lead is ultimately who they give their business to.

Lead Prioritization

Context data can help make a distinction between who is actively researching a pain point and who is just reading about a certain topic without any intention of making a purchase. This information illuminates whether or not a lead fits your ideal customer profile. prioritize leads A tool like LeadBoxer quickly shows you the highest priority leads by allowing you to search by filters such as location, industry, and company size.

Automated Outreach

First-party leads that give off certain signals can trigger automatic marketing or sales processes, such as an email series, that can instantly start nurturing them when it matters most.

Account-Based Marketing

Hone in on what content works best at engaging first-party leads, and what needs more refining.

Personalization of Outreach

By knowing what topics and articles leads are researching, sales agents can personalize how they make contact and develop a relationship with them. They can mention specific topics and establish relevance quickly to capture and hold a lead’s attention.

Targeted Advertising

Get even more granular with your advertising strategy by honing in on leads who give off certain signals. That way, you’re not wasting any of your advertising dollars on people who only have a passing interest but have no intention of buying your product.

Targeted Account List

Develop a list of accounts who are engaging with third-party sites about relevant topics but aren’t yet engaging with your company. You’ll be able to connect with leads who your sales team might have otherwise never considered.

Analyze and Retain Customers

Intent data works with existing customers, too. Monitoring what current clients are researching so you know if they’re thinking about switching to a competitor or if there’s something you can upsell them on. With intent data in your toolbox, you can continue to anticipate and solve problems long after the initial purchase has been made.

How to Obtain Intent Data

There are several intent data vendors out there who can help you access intent data on your site or data available on third-party sites.

 

First-Party Intent Data Vendors

First-party intent data is nothing new. You may already have access to some thanks to free tools such as Google Analytics. Other vendors can provide you more details about who is visiting your site and turn anonymous visitors into known visitors.

 

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free tool that monitors the activity on a site, such as page views and how visitors arrived at the site. While it can’t identify individuals, it can hone in on IP addresses and show you what accounts are active on the site. google site visitors
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In the example above, several businesses use branded aliases, making it possible to identify which accounts are visiting a site. However, Google Analytics can’t provide any further context than that. It also can’t go into detail about what the visitors’ unique actions were on the site.

 

LeadBoxer

LeadBoxer catalogs all known visitors to your website. If a visitor fills out a form, the information they provide automatically populates their profile within the software. LeadBoxer can then calculate a lead score for that person using other data points such as what pages they visited, what topics they seem most interested in, and how engaged they are with the site. leadboxer 360 view Source With this information, you’ll know exactly when to act on a lead. LeadBoxer takes it one step further and can help identify previously unknown visitors. For example, if the visitor didn’t fill out a form but arrived at the site via LinkedIn, LeadBoxer can trace back to that person’s LinkedIn profile and use the information to populate the visitor’s information within the software.

 

BounceX

Like LeadBoxer, BounceX can identify many website visitors (40-70%) who would otherwise remain anonymous. It then creates personalized marketing experiences – similar to account-based marketing – for these visitors based on their engagement. Screen Shot 2019 08 17 at 7.54.31 AM
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BounceX can automatically engage with visitors who have not yet filled out a form or appear that they’re about to leave the site. In a way, it identifies users who are displaying intent and then begins to nurture them before a sales agent ever steps in. While sophisticated, BounceX is said to have nearly a $4,000/month price tag, making it a serious investment for most businesses. It also doesn’t prioritize showing you accounts who express high intent but instead tries to let the AI nurture users through website personalization.

 

Third-Party Intent Data Vendors

If an account is researching topics around the web that are relevant to your product or service, these solutions will help you find them.

 

Bombora

Bombora can tell you what companies are expressing active intent to purchase your products or services long before someone from that company ever lands on your site. Bombora does this by monitoring 6,000 intent topics across 3,800+ publisher websites. bombora
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Bombora only tracks IP addresses, cookie IDs, and company domains provided by the publishers’ registration data. They can tell you what companies are expressing intent, but they can’t tell you exactly which employee is doing the research or who your sales team should engage with. In short, there’s no context data with this vendor.

 

Aberdeen

Aberdeen bought The Big Willow, and intent data supplier, back in 2018. They offer a lot of the same value that Bombora does but take it a step further by integrating their solutions into Salesforce. aberdeen intent for salesforce 1024x682
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Companies expressing active intent pop up in the Salesforce dashboard so sales teams know exactly which accounts to jump on. You can also see how those accounts will impact the pipeline. You can also choose to integrate Aberdeen Marketscape, a product that shows all the topic keywords researched by each account showing intent. This helps establish more context. If you’re not already using Salesforce, getting started with Aberdeen’s intent data (and then Marketscape) might be a little too complicated and cost-prohibitive.

 

How to Select an Intent Data Vendor

There are several different suppliers of intent data out there. It’s important to work with the one that best fits the needs and size of your company, or else you risk losing time and money. Here are a few considerations to keep at the top of mind when screening vendors.

 

How many sites are in the vendor’s network?

Ask this question if you’re considering third-party data vendors. The network refers to the websites they monitor, which tend to be publisher sites like Forbes. The larger the network, the better, as this gives them a bigger pool of data to draw from.

 

How many topics does the vendor monitor?

Third-party data vendors monitor a finite amount of topics. At the time of this writing, Bombora claims to have nearly 6,000 topics in their system, while Aberdeen claims to have hundreds of thousands of keywords at their disposal.

 

Can the vendor give context?

On its own, a list of names and topics they’re researching isn’t very useful. You need context to know if their company fits your ideal customer profile, as well as what their job title is and if they have any purchasing authority. Third-party data vendors can’t give much context at this time, but some solutions for first-party intent data can.

How to Use Intent Data

Trying to make use of intent data in its raw form is inefficient. Intent data works best when used to calculate a lead score. A lead score is a concise, visual way to describe how promising the lead is and therefore how much it’s worth pursuing them. Some solutions, like LeadBoxer, will not only capture intent data but will automatically input it into a lead score. You can adjust what data points to use for calculating a lead score based on the needs of your company. set lead score 900 Source Here are three of the most important factors to keep in mind when adjusting what data points to use for a lead score.

 

Fit

This is as simple as asking the question: does this lead fit our ideal customer profile? Are they the right size company, in a certain location, etc.? If an account showing active intent doesn’t fit the mold of your ideal customer, then their lead score will go down.

 

Intent

Take into consideration not only the topics researched by that account but the frequency and recency of the research.

 

Engagement

Has this account not only engaged with relevant third-party pages, but with your site or social media profiles? A solid first-party data vendor will be able to track and show you individual actions. Use that information to increase their lead score. track actions The more specific the data points used to calculate a lead score, the more accurate and useful the lead score will be. This will help weed out accounts that aren’t the right fit or are researching topics without having any intent to buy a product or service.

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While it’s certainly useful to know which accounts have an interest, you’re still limited by not knowing who to reach out to.

 

When Used At the Expense of a Sustainable Sales Pipeline

Relying on intent data is no reason not to have robust marketing strategies that help draw new leads into your sales pipeline. Like most sales tactics, it’s best used in tandem with other processes.

 

Get an Edge Over the Competition With Intent Data

Intent data is a hot technology that more and more businesses are using to gain an edge over their competitors. By seeing what topics leads are researching, you can reach out to them sooner and have a better chance at closing the deal. While it’s not the end-all, be-all way to keep your sales pipeline full, it is a valuable tool to have at hand. Third-party intent data still isn’t as precise as some would hope it to be. Vendors can only provide accounts, not individual contacts, and don’t offer much in the way of context data. Third-party data also decays more quickly than first-party data. Some first-party data is free and already at your fingertips via Google Analytics. A tool like LeadBoxer can keep you apprised of who exactly is visiting your site whether or not they’ve filled out a form. It’s also easy to get context data and use each data point to calculate a lead score, showing you exactly which leads to act upon at that moment. If you haven’t already started taking advantage of the intent data laying untapped on your site, now is a great time to start. Try a free trial of LeadBoxer today.

 

 

When Intent Data Isn’t Enough

Intent data isn’t a magic bullet for identifying leads earlier. There are limitations to this technology that will hopefully improve as time goes on. Be aware of the following when incorporating intent data into your marketing and sales processes.

 

When a Visitor is Registered Under the Wrong IP Address

If an unknown visitor to your site or a third-party site is registered under the wrong IP address, you won’t be able to tell what company they work for. This often happens by accident but nevertheless makes it impossible to identify the correct account.

 

When a Buyer is Conducting Research Out-of-Network

Third-party intent data vendors like Bombora and Aberdeen don’t aggregate data from every corner of the internet. They only draw information from sites within their networks. If a buyer is researching on sites not covered by that network, then you’ll never know.

 

Decay Rate of Third-Party Data

Given the amount of content people consume regularly, you shouldn’t expect sales agents to always be able to reach out to a lead and reference content they read a week or two earlier.

 

Third-Party Data Lists Account But No Contacts

Bombora and Aberdeen only list the account, not the contact information of the individual who was searching. bombora surge report
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While it’s certainly useful to know which accounts have an interest, you’re still limited by not knowing who to reach out to.

 

When Used At the Expense of a Sustainable Sales Pipeline

Relying on intent data is no reason not to have robust marketing strategies that help draw new leads into your sales pipeline. Like most sales tactics, it’s best used in tandem with other processes.

 

Get an Edge Over the Competition With Intent Data

Intent data is a hot technology that more and more businesses are using to gain an edge over their competitors. By seeing what topics leads are researching, you can reach out to them sooner and have a better chance at closing the deal. While it’s not the end-all, be-all way to keep your sales pipeline full, it is a valuable tool to have at hand. Third-party intent data still isn’t as precise as some would hope it to be. Vendors can only provide accounts, not individual contacts, and don’t offer much in the way of context data. Third-party data also decays more quickly than first-party data. Some first-party data is free and already at your fingertips via Google Analytics. A tool like LeadBoxer can keep you apprised of who exactly is visiting your site whether or not they’ve filled out a form. It’s also easy to get context data and use each data point to calculate a lead score, showing you exactly which leads to act upon at that moment. If you haven’t already started taking advantage of the intent data laying untapped on your site, now is a great time to start. Try a free trial of LeadBoxer today.

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B2B Lead Generation 101: Strategies, Best Practices, and Software

B2B Lead Generation 101: Strategies, Best Practices, and Software

You know that a full sales pipeline is imperative for business growth. Without an airtight system for B2B lead generation in place, you’re sure to slow down your already hard-working sales team.

At first, B2B lead generation might seem like a complex process, but don’t let that discourage you. In this article, you’ll learn the three essential components you must have for an effective system of B2B lead generation:

  • Strategy – the digital channels you use to attract your clients
  • Best practices – the details you must include to make sure those channels work well
  • Tools – the software that will ensure your system is optimized and automated

With these components in mind, you’ll be able to craft a system that appeals to your ideal buyers and starts generating leads quickly and with less effort.

What is B2B lead generation?

B2B lead generation is the process of identifying new prospects for your sales team to pursue. It includes three main stages:

  1. Gaining prospects’ attention and guiding them to your site, often through content marketing or traditional advertising
  2. Capturing their information with a lead magnet, form, or by identifying anonymous website visitors on your site
  3. Assessing that information to determine which are the highest quality leads

An optimized lead generation strategy can deliver increased ROI for your marketing budget by filling a sales pipeline on autopilot. It saves your sales team the frustration of cold calling or cold emailing, helping keep productivity and morale high.

The Top Strategies for B2B Lead Generation

There are several different strategies for gaining prospects’ attention. Which of the following or combination of the following you should use will depend upon the online behavior of your ideal buyer.

Social Media

Facebook has several different ad formats, but Facebook Lead Ads are specifically designed for lead generation. They appear in a user’s Facebook feed whether they’re on desktop or mobile:

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If the user is interested in learning more about the product or service, they click the ad and a form appears. Facebook pre-populates the form with their information so there are only a few taps between you and a newly qualified lead.

Secret Entourage, a mentorship service for entrepreneurs, reportedly restructured and streamlined their ad strategy by focusing on Lead Ads. Compared to their original campaign, the new one led to 40% more purchases with 88% fewer ad sets. They were also able to lower their cost per purchase by 10%.

While this case study shows promise, the average click-through rate (CTR) of Facebook ads for B2B companies is 0.78%, while the average CTR across all industries is 0.9%.

A more effective platform for social media ads may be LinkedIn. LinkedIn Sponsored Content are native ads that run in a user’s LinkedIn feed across desktop and mobile:

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Although similar in form and function to Facebook image ads, LinkedIn ads are proven to generate more leads for B2B companies. According to the company’s content marketing blog, 80% of B2B leads generated through social media come from LinkedIn.

It makes sense why. A sizable chunk of LinkedIn users are in the position to make purchasing decisions for their companies. Of its 500 million members, 61 million are senior-level influencers and 40 million are decision makers.

Several case studies back up the claim that LinkedIn is the king of B2B marketing on social media. Simplus, a Salesforce partner, saw 70% of their website form fills come directly from LinkedIn. As a result, they’re shifting most of their ad spend to the platform.

HubSpot took a look at their customer’s results with LinkedIn Sponsored Content and found similarly promising results:

While LinkedIn has a higher cost per click (CPC) than Google Ads, the conversion rate is twice as high. This leads to a lower cost per lead overall.

PPC Ads

Don’t write off Google Ads or other pay-per-click (PPC) ads just yet. These are some of the most popular channels for lead generation, and there are benefits to having them as a part of your lead generation strategy.

Data for 2018 indicates that the average CTR for B2B companies is 2.41% within the search network and 0.46% within the display network.

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The average conversion rate for B2B industries is 3.04% in the search network and 0.8% in the display network.

While both the CTR and conversion rate for B2B ads is lower than most other industry averages, there are countless case studies out there that demonstrate the effectiveness of PPC ads for B2B businesses.

Digital marketing agency SevenAtoms executed a campaign that included Google Ads for Imperva Incapsula, a cyber security SaaS company. The results speak for themselves:

In this case, it definitely paid for Imperva Incapsula to have an experienced agency on their team to get the most out of their PPC ad budget.

If you’re interested in other PPC ad options, consider review directories such as FinancesOnline, G2, or Capterra. These platforms can have lead conversion rates as high as 24%, making them solid alternatives for companies who are more concerned about their budget.

Capterra is a review directory dedicated to software, making it the perfect choice for SaaS companies. In Capterra, companies can pay to be a sponsored post so they rank at the top of a search:

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The “Visit Website” button in this example takes visitors to a landing page tailor-made for that ad. Leads acquired through this channel are clearly searching for a software solution, making them highly qualified.

Blogging

Blogging is a popular method of content marketing for B2B companies, and for good reason. Blogging gives businesses a chance to:

  • Answer prospects’ questions
  • Demonstrate their expertise
  • Show what makes them unique in a sea of competitors
  • Provide excellent service before any money has ever changed hands

 

To a potential customer, all these qualities can help increase their trust in your business. Provided you give them an opportunity to fill out a form for more information somewhere within the blog post or on the page, blogging can be an effective way of collecting leads.

Oren Smith from Precision Marketing Group shared one case study where his team was able to increase leads by +250% for their brand by blogging three times a week.

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They were also able to increase organic traffic by 182%, ensuring that their visibility on search engines would continue to grow.

HubSpot also knows that blogging is a major asset for their business. 90% of their leads each month come from posts on HubSpot that were published months or years ago.

Email

No matter the changing trends in social media or content marketing, email continues to be a valuable form of lead generation and nurturing. For every dollar spent on email marketing, businesses can earn $43.

In order to stand out, it pays to be thoughtful about the quality of emails you’re sending. There’s no sense in flooding a subscriber’s already crowded inbox.

Hammock, a B2B content marketing agency, thought creatively about its newsletter. It came up with the !dea Email, or one “bright idea” in a single email. Each email includes a single landscape image accompanied by about 350 words of copy.

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By focusing on a simple, interesting concept sent every two weeks, Hammock was able to boost their open rates by 48%. They cut through the clutter of subscribers’ inboxes by adhering to the principle of more is less.

The 8 Best Practices for B2B Lead Generation

Now that you know the strategies of lead generation, it’s time to hone in on the details. These best practices will make sure your system for lead generation is airtight.

Tailor Marketing to Different Buyer Personas

Your business should have at least one buyer persona so that you know exactly how to structure your marketing and lead generation efforts. Knowing your ideal buyer will help you know where you should direct your ad spend and what kind of content you should be creating to attract them.

Not all prospects with decision-making or purchasing power will have the same online behaviors. For example, Pew research found that Twitter usage among U.S. adults drops as age increases. On the other hand, 61% of LinkedIn users are in the 30 to 64-year-old age range. You may be able to reach some mid-level decision makers on Twitter, as well as some senior-level influencers on LinkedIn.

Be Mobile-Friendly

If there’s only one best practice to follow, let it be this one.

In 2018, 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide was generated by mobile users. That means there’s a good possibility that over half of the visitors to your site could be viewing it on their phone.

If your site isn’t built to be mobile-friendly, then chances are you’re losing a devastating amount of leads – and sales.

Optimize Your Website

Even if your site has a professional design and is mobile-friendly, you still might be losing visitors before they have a chance to become viable leads. Use Google Analytics to view an overview of behavior flow so you can see exactly where and how much traffic is dropping off.

This will help you hone in on what pages are attracting and retaining visitors, and what pages still need some work. You can then use tools like Hotjar (discussed in a later section) to get even more specific and discover exactly what elements on a page are working well and what needs to be updated.

Use Video Content

There are a few powerful statistics that suggest that video content can drive significant traffic for your website. A white paper from Cisco states that internet video traffic made up 69% of all global consumer internet traffic in 2017.

Meanwhile, a report from HubSpot showed that when given the choice to skim or consume thoroughly, 55% of users will pay close attention to video – more than any other type of content analyzed.

Create Long-Form Blog Content Consistently

Just because video is a powerful content marketing tool doesn’t mean that you should ignore blogging. Long-form content is still king when it comes to generating traffic from search engine results. In fact, posts with at least 2,000 words are more likely to rise to the top of search engines than any other article length.

Keywords alone won’t ensure the top spot on search engines. To increase your ranking, create high-quality articles and guides on a regular basis so that Google knows your site is relevant and engaging. This also increases your brand awareness and credibility with leads.

Capture Leads on Every Site Page

Your blog and video content gives visitors a reason to come to your site, so be sure to give them an opportunity to stay. At least one newsletter sign-up form, comment form, trial sign-up button, or other lead capturing form should be available on each page of your site.

To make capturing leads through forms even more effective, structure your content so that it naturally segues into the sign-up form. Be sure to test and analyze how well each page or post is at capturing leads, then adjust accordingly.

Use Lead Magnets

Lead magnets are offers such as white papers, ebooks, or other free resources that are used to entice visitors into giving you their information. These resources also help you qualify leads, as they can help indicate the lead’s needs and pain points.

To create an irresistible lead magnet, follow these examples and come up with a resource that solves a problem, is specific, easy to digest, and has high actual and perceived value.

Score Captured Leads

Not all leads are created equal. Lead scoring is the process of generating a number, typically between one and 100, that shows just how qualified that lead is. The process can be done manually with a formula, although this is time-consuming and has a lot of variables.

Luckily, there are some options for automating the lead scoring process, as you’ll see in the next section.  

The 8 Best Tools for Optimizing B2B Lead Generation

All these strategies and best practices might seem overwhelming, but there are several tools to help you automate, execute, and optimize your lead generation strategy. Best of all, many of these tools are free or free to get started.

Best Lead Scorer: LeadBoxer

B2B lead generation

LeadBoxer doesn’t just score leads captured through forms or lead magnets on your site. It’s able to identify 50% of site visitors who would otherwise remain anonymous. Not only that, it can populate data such as contact information, the prospect’s industry, and their specialty.

LeadBoxer also tracks visitors’ online behavior while they engage with your brand (website visits, social media engagement, email opens, ad clicks, etc.) It uses this information to automatically calculate a lead score, which tells your sales team who is most likely to convert.a

This saves your team time, increases sales, boosts morale, and ultimately saves you money.

 

Best Landing Page Creator: Instapage

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Price: Professional Plan – $11.25/month, Turbo Plan – $41.25/month

Free trial: Yes + limited free forever plan

What it’s all about:

LimeLeads is a great tool for sales prospecting as it doesn’t cooperate with fake data.

The tool was built by a bunch of B2B marketing veterans that were sick of a lack of credible data being available. Its main goal is getting you prospect lists that are accurate.

The tool integrates with CRMs and will enable sales teams to put together a list of prospects in 30 seconds or less.

 

Salespanel.io

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Thanks to an intuitive interface and a slew of features, Instapage is the perfect tool for building landing pages that integrate seamlessly with your PPC advertising campaign.

You can easily optimize pages for lead generation by using features like heatmaps, A/B testing, mobile-responsive pages, and drop-in pixel tracking for easy remarketing. Best of all, Instapage’s drag-and-drop interface is user-friendly, negating the need for a web designer to get your campaign started.

With Instapage, you can create several landing pages that are individually tailored to target unique buyer personas, all with a few clicks of the mouse.

 

Best Site Optimizer: Hotjar

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While Instapage has several features that help you create optimized landing pages, you need to make sure the rest of your website is working just as hard for your business. A well-optimized website is an essential part of the user experience and can generate more leads, regardless of whether or not they discovered your brand through a landing page.

Hotjar tracks users’ journeys through your site and shows you exactly where they’re dropping off and why. Powerful tools like heatmaps, visitor recordings, form analysis, and feedback polls eliminate all the guesswork about why certain visitor behavior is happening and what can be done to improve their journey.

 

Best Social Media Automation: Buffer

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A robust social media presence helps your business establish credibility and trust. Luckily, you don’t need an overly complex strategy or need to devote a lot of time and manpower to sustaining your social presence.

A tool like Buffer keeps all your posts organized and automated. Use it to schedule posts in advance, then review the analytics to see how well posts are performing.

Buffer also collects conversations from your followers in one inbox, making it easy to respond to questions or comments about your business.

 

Best Content Planner: Google Analytics and Keyword Planner

Creating high-quality blog content that visitors will find extremely useful and interesting is one of the best ways to attract new leads. Free tools like Google Analytics and Keyword Planner can help you pick article topics that are sure to perform well.

Keyword Planner is actually a function of Google Ads, but it can help you pick blog topics, too. Use it to check out average monthly searches and competition for a potential keyword and its variations. You can quickly see if there’s an interested audience, room to rise to the top of the search page, or a keyword variation where your future content might perform better.

With Google Analytics, you can observe user behavior on your site and see what content you’ve previously published is performing the best. With this insight, you can plan follow-up content to build on the success you’ve already had.

 

Best Email Drip: Mailchimp

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One of the best ways to nurture leads and keep your brand top-of-mind is through email campaigns.

Mailchimp makes it easy to visualize, create, and test welcome email sequences designed with conversions in mind. It also collects and analyzes information about how subscribers are interacting with your emails, helping you optimize and create more effective campaigns.

Mailchimp integrates with most of the tools in the average B2B marketing stack. For example, data about your subscribers’ email behavior can automatically sync with lead scoring software like LeadBoxer, giving you even more insights about leads.

 

Best CRM: HubSpot

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A customer relationship management (CRM) tool is necessary for tracking potential prospects and keeping a record of all their details.

HubSpot’s sales software is an extremely powerful tool that starts at $0/month. It’s able to track lead behavior on your website, then send personalized email sequences based on their actions.

HubSpot also tracks where leads are in their buyer journey, helping you visualize your pipeline at a glance. Integrate HubSpot with some of your other tools, such as LeadBoxer, to get an even better idea of who’s ready to convert and who needs a little more nurturing.

 

Best Pitch Assistant: Crystal

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It’s time to turn your leads into clients. Take all the guesswork out of how to pitch to them by using a tool like Crystal.

Crystal analyzes a prospect’s LinkedIn profile, then provides actionable insights about their personality based on what kinds of posts they’re writing and engaging with. It also collects the feedback of people who have previously interacted with that person, increasing the accuracy of the assessment.

Use Crystal to decide the best ways for communicating with a prospect, that way you’re never flying blind when entering a sales meeting.

Grow Your Sales with Strategic B2B Lead Generation

Automatically generating leads is the key to closing more deals and growing your business. There are several different strategies you can take, but the ones you choose will ultimately hinge upon the online behavior of your ideal buyers.

By following the best practices and using some of the tools outlined in this article, you’ll soon have an optimized, automatic system for generating and scoring leads that keeps working even when you’re not.

The next time you log back on, there’ll already be several prospects with high lead scores ready for you to reach out to.

12 Pipedrive Integrations You Need To Be Using

12 Pipedrive Integrations You Need To Be Using

Pipedrive is built to help you close more deals and keep your sales team on track.

But one of the perks of Pipedrive is the number of tools you can integrate to save your team time and enable you to ramp up your marketing and sales efforts.

In this list, we’ve found 12 of the best integrations for Pipedrive and broke them down into four categories:

Let’s dive into how you can save your sales team from data entry and lead gathering using integrations in Pipedrive that will provide them more time to do what they want to be doing—closing deals.

 

Best Integrations for Lead Generation

 

LeadBoxer

LeadBoxer is a sales tool that grabs information from your leads when they start their buying journey. The tool identifies and collects information like a visitor’s company name, when they visited your website, and even what actions they took when they were there.

In other words, LeadBoxer collects your website and email newsletter data and identifies, segments, and scores your leads automatically based on their behavior and profile data.

Once all this valuable data is collected, it is fed directly back into your Pipedrive database, which will automatically update deals, persons, and companies.

Looking for more qualified leads?

We offer Website Lead Identification or Lead Generation through emails & newsletters

Adlots

This integration from Adlots gathers leads using an algorithm. Every time a lead interacts with your website, Facebook page, or submits a form, Adlots will scrape their details for you.

Adlots will store the information from every website visit and also track the lead media source. Leads and deal cards are then automatically created for you based on the data scraped by Adlots.

The tool also gives your lead a quality score. If they’ve visited your site a bunch of times or handed over their contact information, their score will be higher on the tool’s dashboard.

Once your leads have been found, you can then distribute them amongst your sales team and even put them into different pipelines. Adlots allows you to assign values of specific fields in leads, deals, and organization cards so you can match them with the perfect rep on your team to close a deal.

 

SnapADDY

With snapADDY, your sales team can automatically transfer newly found contacts and addresses directly into their Pipedrive dashboard.

The big win with snapADDY is that it’s built to shorten the pre-qualification process for your sales team. All your sales reps need to do is highlight the address data in an email or a web page, and snapADDY will transfer it into your CRM. You can also use it to transfer data from Linkedin and automatically send company data straight to Pipedrive.

No matter what the format of the email address, snapADDY recognizes the data reliably.

The tool can stop sales reps from doubling up on lead information, too. It has a duplicate recognition tool, so your rep will know if a contact already has a spot in your Pipedrive account. If a contact already has an email address in your Pipedrive account but you’ve found another address, snapADDY will add to their contact information.

 

Best integrations for boosting productivity

 

Zapier

If you don’t already use Zapier, chances are you are missing out on a massive opportunity to implement your current tools using the king of integrations!

Zapier is an app that allows you to automates tasks between other apps by following a recipe you create. Simply put, you tell Zapier what you want to happen when A meets B. For example: “When I get a new lead in Leadboxer, add that contact to a Trello card”

By integrating Zapier into Pipedrive, you’re able to connect Pipedrive with more than 500 business apps and create a workflow with unlimited steps. Some sales teams use Zapier to connect marketing platforms to Pipedrive, while others find it useful for taking care of the boring stuff like inputting business cards.

However you use Zapier, one thing is for sure—you’re going to save time.  

 

Dealbot for Slack

Team collaboration tool Slack has built a special integration specifically to work with Pipedrive—Dealbot for Slack.

Using the integration, your team can send and receive instant deal updates. This is ideal for coordinating multiple people to help close deals across your sales teams, or if you just want to keep everybody in the loop about what’s going on with a deal.

You don’t need to do anything. No more meetings or lengthy emails with your sales team. The Dealbot will automatically handle it directly within Slack from the information being passed around in your Pipedrive dashboard.

 

Fireflies

Fireflies is an AI integration that joins in on your sales meetings and takes notes for you. It works by recording the audio from your meeting and translating it into call notes and a complete transcription in your Pipedrive dashboard.

Not only will this save your team a load of time completing manual data entry, Fireflies will also make sure records of every single meeting are kept automatically on file.

It also works for interactions with prospects, too. Once you turn it on during a phone call, the integration will make a full transcription of your conversation with your prospect. This will help you build a more powerful relationship with them, and you won’t ever have to take notes of your phone calls again.

 

SigParser

SigParser crawls your emails and looks for new email signatures.

This integration is super handy because a lot of email signatures also have juicy contact details like phone numbers, addresses, and titles in them too. Whenever SigParser finds a new signature, it scrapes all of the details, feeds them into your Pipedrive account, and creates a new contact for you.

If your sales team sends a lot of outbound emails hunting new leads, this can save them a ton of time. Plus, the data will be valuable as it comes straight from the prospect’s own email signature.

 

Best integrations for lead engagement and email marketing

 

Klenty

This integration from Cliently allows sales teams to manage lead engagement within Pipedrive.

Using Cliently, your sales team can stay on top of their contacts and engage them by sending personalized emails. Not only that, but the integration also gives you the power to send quirky engagement messages through video, physical postcards, handwritten notes, and gifts directly from within Pipedrive.

Sometimes, prospects want something more than just a bulk standard cold email. Cliently can help you bridge that gap with your prospects.

 

Autopilot

Autopilot is a smart integration for your email marketing campaigns because it gives you a birds-eye view of exactly what your campaign will look like. From start to finish.

By using Autopilot’s visual marketing automation, you can build campaigns using a drag-and-drop builder. This allows you to automate repetitive tasks, improve your sales workflow, and win more business by nurturing leads that aren’t ready to buy.

Autopilot’s big advantage is nurturing your leads automatically based on where they’re at in your pipeline. The tool can also schedule tasks based on activities like someone filling in a lead form.

It will also score your leads based on their buying behavior and feed the information straight to your Pipedrive dashboard.

 

Best integrations for accounting and invoicing

 

Paycove

Invoicing tool Paycove can automatically create custom quotes and invoices that sync with your data in Pipedrive.

The integration allows sales teams to move a deal to a selected “trigger” stage in their sales pipeline, and Paycove will automatically generate and email an invoice. Worried that the invoice or quote won’t be 100% accurate? Don’t be. The quotes and invoices in Paycove are always synced with deal, contact, product, and custom fields data in Pipedrive.

Once an invoice is sent, the app will update all your deals automatically, and alert you once a client has paid, too. It’s a perfect way to cut out an element of time-wasting data input from your sales team, so they can spend more time selling.

 

Socket

Socket was built with one goal in mind—making sure you get paid faster.

The cloud-based integration can eliminate mistakes in your quoting process through a simple template system. The tool automates the process of configuring, pricing, and quoting so your reps can send off quotes in seconds without second-guessing the end figure.  

When a quote is created in Socket, the client’s information will be automatically added to your Pipedrive account, and a deal will also be built in the CRM dashboard. The quote will be attached to the deal, so you can follow up with a lead about an opportunity without having to rummage through emails.

 

Use the Right CRM Integrations to Help You Save Time & Increase Results

If you’re using Pipedrive, there’s a good chance you’re using the tool to keep your sales team on track. But if you aren’t taking advantage of Pipeline’s massive list of integrations, you aren’t using the CRM to its full potential.

Pipedrive has teamed up with some of the biggest names in productivity, lead generation, and engagement to automate tasks that will save your team a huge amount of time, and ensure they stay on track.

Don’t be afraid to automate daily tasks—your sales figures along with your bottom line will thank you in the long run.

Looking for more qualified leads?

We offer Website Lead Identification or Lead Generation through emails & newsletters

Leadfeeder vs Lead Forensics vs LeadBoxer

Leadfeeder vs Lead Forensics vs LeadBoxer

Your company has a website up and running, the blog is full of valuable content, and your sign-up forms are ready to go. But without lead identification and generation tools, you don’t actually know who is visiting your site, what they are interested in, or how to push them down your sales funnel.

Lead identification software enables your team to convert visitors into leads, and leads into customers.

LeadBoxer is a powerful lead identification tool — but it is not the only one. It can be time-consuming to look through different lead generation tools to know which solution to invest in. We’re here to make it easier for you.

In this article, we’ll cover three popular options for lead identification software: Leadfeeder, Lead Forensics, and LeadBoxer. We will break down the features, pricing, and unique qualities of all three so you have a clear picture of what these solutions can do for you.

 

LeadBoxer 101: Meet Your Visitors, Capture Leads, and Boost Sales

LeadBoxer is a lead and customer identification tool that automatically identifies your website visitors and their companies. It can measure visitor traffic engagement with your site and emails — whether they are new visitors or logins. LeadBoxer gives you automatic insight on their companies, their company contact information, details on their industry, their LinkedIn profile, and calculates a leadscore. All before they have filled out a form.

All identified leads, including those who have been identified by email or submitted their information on a form, are automatically ranked with a leadscore. With LeadBoxer, you can track all interactions with your online and email touchpoints.

You can see leads’ interactions with pages, email opens and clicks, contact forms, sign-ups, PPC click-throughs, and downloads. When the lead information is ready to be passed on to your other tools, LeadBoxer exports the information to your CRM, sales software, collaboration tools, or task management tools.

LeadBoxer can be set up in a matter of minutes. All you have to do is sign-up for the free trial, receive your Lead Pixel, and insert that Lead Pixel into your site. You will get immediate, real-time results on your leadboard. Once you are signed-in, you will see your leadboard. This leadboard lists all your leads, their leadscore, and all relevant information:

 

If you want to continue after your free trial, all you have to do is sign up for a subscription plan.

LeadBoxer is not the only lead identification software on the market. Leadfeeder and Lead Forensics are two alternatives that marketers and sales reps consider before making their decision. Here is a comparison of the three solutions broken down by features, pricing, and unique sales propositions.

 

Key Features of Lead Identification Software

There are some key features of any lead identification software to keep your eyes out for. Before jumping into each software, it will be good to have an understanding of what the key features are and what they do.

  • Automatic visitor identification: Identify your site visitors by name, company, and links to social profiles
  • Lead Scoring: Rank visitors and/or leads based on activity and other information
  • Email Alerts: Be notified about dream customers or lead updates
  • Page Tracking: Track how long leads are on certain pages, where they came from, where they go to next, what they click on, etc.
  • Integrations: Different softwares integrate with tools you already use like Google Analytics, CRM solutions, Sales Solutions, Email Management Platforms, Collaboration Tools, etc.
  • Compliance: Is up to date with the latest regulations, like the GDPR

 

Features of LeadBoxer, Leadfeeder, and Lead Forensics

 

LeadBoxer Features

LeadBoxer features work together to bring a holistic picture of leads to both your sales and marketing teams. These include:

Automatic visitor information and lead scoring. LeadBoxer ranks visitors and automatically updates rankings when visitors fill out forms.

 

LeadBoxer captures leads and integrates them into the viewing platform.

 

 

Leadboxer tracks their customer journey and data. This solution tracks all their web and email behavior.

 

 

LeadBoxer sends you notifications for when a lead is ready-to-buy.

 

Companies can set custom scheduling based on custom segments to route this information to relevant team members. Team members will be notified when data shows that it is the prime time to talk to the email leads.

Other LeadBoxer features include:

  • Email & Newsletter tracking
  • Full Data Search
  • Auto Form Tracking
  • Campaign Tracking
  • Traffic Dashboard
  • GDPR Compliance
  • Share and Assign Leads
  • Lead Tags or Labels
  • Channel Groupings and Source

LeadBoxer integrates with 25 business solutions that you probably already use. This includes popular CMS, communication, CRM, marketing automation, and other business solutions:

 

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 Leadfeeder Features

leadfeeder

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Leadfeeder is a website visitor tracking software platform. It tells you who your visitors are, where they come from, and what they are interested in. Leadfeeder offers alerts when your target companies visit your site. The software breaks their features down into four action areas: identify visitors, see what they look at, get email alerts for when they visit, and send leads to your CRM.

This software integrates with Google Analytics to identify the companies that visit your site and how they engage with your pages. Leadfeeder provides company contact information and shows if your users have LinkedIn connections with any of their company representatives. This solution is also GDPR compliant. Teams have unlimited amount of users on this solution, no matter the plan.

Leadfeeder integrates with twelve other business solutions, including MailChimp, various CRM solutions, Pipedrive, Slack and more.

 

Lead Forensics Features

lead forensic

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Lead Forensics allows companies to see their visitors in real-time. This solution can identify anonymous visitors and provide the company, contact information, demographics, search behavior, and financial data. The goal in using these features is to “convert ready-to-buy prospects, before your competitors even get close.”

This solution features lead scoring, auto-assigning of leads, notifications, labeling dream customers, and a customizable portal. This solution helps sites convert visiting traffic into leads, track them from their first click to sale, and measure digital ROI.  

Lead Forensics integrates with Salesforce, Zoho, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Workbooks, and Infusionsoft.

 

Comparing Pricing

 

LeadBoxer Pricing

LeadBoxer offers a two-week free trial. After that, pricing is based on monthly or annual subscription plans. The Starter plan starts at $79 per month (billed annually). The Business Plan is $199 per month (billed annually). The Corporate Plan is $399 per month (billed annually).

Leadfeeder Pricing

Leadfeeder offers a free “Lite” plan that only shows 7 days worth of leads. Premium pricing is based on the number of leads you have:

leadfeeder pricing

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Lead Forensics Pricing

Lead Forensics offers a free week-long trial. Based on this trial, Lead Forensics will understand how much traffic your site receives and will determine pricing for a future contract based on your volume of visitors. To learn more, you must contact Lead Forensics directly.

lead forensic pricing

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What Makes LeadBoxer, Leadfeeder, and Lead Forensics Unique?

 

After delving into the research, it can be hard to determine what features differentiate these solutions. Even though there is significant overlap in use cases, each tool is different in some way.

 

LeadBoxer: Bringing Sales and Marketing Together with Data

LeadBoxer stands out from competitors because it acts as a bridge between marketing and sales teams. It stores all visitor, lead, and customer information in one platform, unlike other lead identifying tools. It doesn’t just track online visitors. It also keeps tabs on all email activity of the companies on your newsletter list and knows when leads are signaling that they are ready to buy or are up for contract renewal.

Your sales team will know exactly when to reach out to them and have the details they need to make the right pitch. Not only that, but LeadBoxer informs your sales reps of when to push up-sell opportunities, which other solutions of its type don’t do.

The LeadBoxer team has more than a decade of analytics and software development experience. For this reason, this solution uses its own algorithm to boil all the data down to a simple view for clients. Ask the search tool any data question, and you will find the answers you need.

 

Leadfeeder: Putting GA to Use

Leadfeeder does not have its own algorithm, but uses Google Analytics data. Customers don’t have to install a pixel — they only need access to their Google Analytics account.

Leadfeeder offers a unique tool that filters out leads that aren’t that interesting or valuable for your team. This way you don’t have to sift through visiting bots or visitors who certainly won’t buy your product.

 

Lead Forensics: Dedicated to Customer Success

Lead Forensics offers many of the features that LeadBoxer and Leadfeeder do, but is unique because their solution comes with a customer success manager for each client.

They offer consultation and proactive support to marketing and sales teams on how to use this tool to generate the most ROI.

The Takeaway: Keep Your Goals in Mind

Capturing qualified leads doesn’t happen overnight. Your website, online content, chat bots, social media campaigns, email newsletters and advertising efforts all work together to attract clients.

But once your prospects visit your site, it is up to you use the most powerful tools to identify visitors, capture leads, and track the success of your content. Lead identification and generation software provide a path for visitors to become customers. It’s up to you to determine which software will work best with this goal in mind.

 

Looking for more qualified leads?

We offer Website Lead Identification or Lead Generation through emails & newsletters

30 Sales Prospecting Tools to Fill Your Pipeline

30 Sales Prospecting Tools to Fill Your Pipeline

Are you struggling to find enough time in the day to fill your prospect pipeline?

Truth is, every sales rep has the same amount of time in their day. But the difference? Only some of them use sales prospecting tools to help them find prospects faster, and close deals quicker.

In this guide, you’ll find:

Let’s look at the best 30 sales prospecting tools on the market that can fill your prospect pipeline:

 

Tools to Help You Find Prospects.

 

1.LeadBoxer

Price: Starts at $99/month

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:  

LeadBoxer is a sales prospecting tool that tracks activity on your website and email behaviour and finds prospects before they even contact you. The tool provides vital information you need to follow up with a prospect such as their interests, their company name and the size of their organization:

By giving you a birds-eye view of the lead or customer, you can then decide if they are worth following up, or if they aren’t a good fit for your company.

Plus, you can set criteria to exactly what you need from a website visitor to flag them as a prospect. LeadBoxer will automatically assign the profile with a leadscore. This gives you a super clear visual of prospects who are a good fit for your product.

If you’re prospecting and would like to focus on identified leads, you can do that easily with LeadBoxer. When you’re setting up your criteria in the LeadBoxer dashboard, all you need to do is adjust the email address slider and visitors with a known email address will be given a higher lead score.

The same criteria can be added to company size, phone numbers and number of times the person has visited your site.

No more dead ends, LeadBoxer only puts verified leads into your pipeline.

 

Looking for more qualified leads?

We offer Website Lead Identification or Lead Generation through emails & newsletters

 

2. Dux-Soup

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Price: Professional Plan – $11.25/month, Turbo Plan – $41.25/month

Free trial: Yes + limited free forever plan

What it’s all about:

If you find the majority of your prospects on LinkedIn, this tool is about to save your life.

Dux-Soup automatically scrapes leads for you and invites them to connect with you over LinkedIn.

What the tool does is looks at your LinkedIn prospect profiles, tracks their movements and then, sends them a personalized message from your account. What’s more, the tool will also follow up on warm leads through 2nd and 3rd LinkedIn connections for you.

Not only does it contact prospects for you, but the tool interacts with your CRM as well. Once Dux-Soup reaches out to a prospect, it then tracks the progression of the interaction and transfers everything into your CRM. This means your entire team will stay in the loop with the clients you bring into the company’s pipeline.

 

3. LeadSift

Price: It’s a mystery! The company offers “custom” price plans.

Free trial: Yes + forever free plan for first 50 accounts

What it’s all about:

How many times have you contacted a prospect and found out that they aren’t actually ready to buy?

It’s not only frustrating, but it takes a big chunk of time out of your working day as well.

That’s where LeadSift comes into play. It tells you when you’re prospecting and only targets people who are on the buying journey.

No more wasted time on those who aren’t ready to buy.

According to LeadSift, only 3% of leads are actually interested in buying a product, which means a lot of people you’re putting an effort into are never going to buy your product. This tool eliminates prospects who are months or years away from purchasing and leaves you with a pool of prospects who are ready to buy. Right now.

But we’ve saved the best until last with this one. LeadSift steals some of these prospects from your competitor’s websites. The tool automatically watches your biggest competitors and, if a prospect begins engaging with one of them, you’ll be the first to know (along with getting their email address, too).

 

4. Capterra

Price: It’s free!

Description:

Not exactly a prospect scraping tool, but Capterra is great for finding new companies to target.

Depending on what industry you’re selling your product to, Capterra can filter through millions of companies in a matter of seconds and give you a list of potential targets.

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From there, your sales team will be able to filter through them and find prospects a lot quicker than they would if they stuck to Google searches.

 

5. MatterMark

Price: Starts at $49/month.

Free trial: Yes! You get 14 days.

Description:

Mattermark is a sales rep’s best friend because it searches for prospects using super specific filters.

Want to narrow down a prospect search by company size? How about a business model? B2B? Industry? Niche?

You can do all of that on Mattermark.

It’s also integrated with a lot of the big name CRMs on the market, so the tool can cut back on dreaded admin time.

A neat hack with this tool is it lets your sales reps save a specific list. If one of your reps has searched for B2B companies with 50+ employees in the Seattle area and found promising results, they can use the same search for next time (and change it up when they need to).

 

6. CrunchBase

Price: Starts at $29/month, then moves up to a custom plan

Free trial: Yes, CrunchBase offers a free plan

What it’s all about:

CrunchBase is THE tool to use if your company is looking for prospects in growing companies and innovative startups.

For sales teams, the tool gives your reps an important insight into a company’s funding rounds, business category, and their date of establishment. A lot of companies on the database also have contact information on their listing, along with a bit of information about the company’s structure.

Once you’ve conducted a search, you can export your findings into a CSV file and add them straight to your CRM to make following up easier.

 

7. LimeLeads

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Price: Professional Plan – $11.25/month, Turbo Plan – $41.25/month

Free trial: Yes + limited free forever plan

What it’s all about:

LimeLeads is a great tool for sales prospecting as it doesn’t cooperate with fake data.

The tool was built by a bunch of B2B marketing veterans that were sick of a lack of credible data being available. Its main goal is getting you prospect lists that are accurate.

The tool integrates with CRMs and will enable sales teams to put together a list of prospects in 30 seconds or less.

 

8. Salespanel.io

Price: Custom pricing plans depending on your needs.

Free trial: Yes + free forever plan.

What it’s all about:

Salespanel.io is a relatively new tool in the sales space. The tool scrapes your website visitors and tracks their activity.

It finds the person’s social media profiles, company details and bio before feeding them straight back into your dashboard to follow up.  

9. ZoomInfo

Price: Custom pricing depending on your needs

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:

ZoomInfo is a huge database that can help your sales team qualify prospects.

It gives you more than just a company’s name and address. It can also find an email address of key decision makers in a company.

 

Tools for Finding Email Addresses

 

10. ViolaNorbert

Price: Starts at $39/month

Free trial: Yes, your first 50 leads are free

What it’s all about:

To use VoilaNorbert, you’ll need a prospect’s first name, last name, and company website. In return, you’ll get their email details:

11. Hunter

Price: Starts at $39/month

Free trial: First 100 email lookups are free

What it’s all about:

Hunter is a Google Chrome extension that can dig up any email addresses linked to a specific domain name.

If you are looking for an address for a key decision maker but you can’t find it, Hunter will figure out a pattern behind the company’s email addresses so you can effectively guess the email.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to get in touch with Mirko Rakic, a software engineer at Hunter. Just let the tool do its thing:

We are going to hazard a guess that Mirko’s email is mirko@hunter.io

The tool also has a Google Sheets add-on so you can gather email addresses in bulk automatically, and then add them to your CRM.

 

12. Prospect.io

Price: $99/month for 1000 leads.

Free trial: No

What it’s all about:

Prospect.io is one of the few tools on this list that can integrate with most big name CRMs.

Apart from being able to work with CRMs like Salesforce and Hubspot, you can build and manage email campaigns from the tool’s dashboard as well.

If you’re working on Google Chrome, Prospect.io has a custom extension to use on the browser.

 

13. SellHack

Price: Starts at $3/month for 100 leads

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:

SellHack sells itself as a tool for sales reps who want to completely automate the prospecting process.

The tool can gather a list of prospects automatically, so sales teams can spend more time closing.

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But you won’t get a list full of bogus emails either—SellHack verifies every single email it pulls through LinkedIn.

 

14. LeadFuze

Price: Starts at $97/month

Free trial: First 25 leads are free

What it’s all about:

Here’s another tool that works well with LinkedIn. It takes a look at your prospect list, with a focus on those on LinkedIn, and switches them from contacts into prospects.

If you feel like you’ve run all your resources dry, LeadFuze has an email finder tool that can fish out emails from a bunch of third-party sources.

According to LeadFuze, they “find the most accurate email possible.”

 

15. AeroLeads

Price: Starts at $49/month

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:

AeroLeads is more than an email finder, it provides a full breakdown of information on a prospect.

With the tool, a sales rep can do a simple web search and find out not only an email of a prospect, but also their business name, key decision maker names, phone number, location, and even social media profiles.

It’s a tech tool. AeroLeads has an algorithm that filters through all the results and only gives you the best ones.

Not only does the tool scrape the entire internet for you, but when you’re finished, you can download your results into a CSV file and add them straight to your CRM.

 

16. Skrapp

Price: Starts at $49/month

Free trial: Free for your first 100 emails

What it’s all about:

Skrapp is built with one goal in mind—finding email addresses from LinkedIn accounts.

The tool has a Google Chrome extension which you can use when you are on a prospect’s LinkedIn profile to see what email address they used to sign up to LinkedIn with.

Once you’ve found their email, you can save it to a list to use later while you search for more targets.

 

Tools to Help Pitch Prospects

 

17. Charlie

Price: It’s all very hush and varies by team size

Free trial: No

What it’s all about:

If you want to set yourself up for a pitch with as much information as possible, Charlie is your guy.

Just provide a prospect’s details, and it’ll return to you a one-page sheet on your prospect. You’ll be given information on prospects like their passions, hobbies, professional history, and any news about their current company.

Who knew prepping for a pitch could be so informative?

 

18. Owler

Price: It’s free!

What it’s all about:

Owler is a free database that’s filled with information about who a company’s top competitors are.

Plug in the company of a prospect, and you’ll not only find out who they’re up against, but you’ll also be given their social media accounts, number of employees, and annual revenue.

Plus, you can find about their funding history and any acquisitions that have taken place.

19. Crystal

Image source

Price: Starts at $29/month

Free trial: No

What it’s all about:

Crystal is like having a coach for pitching prospects.

It doesn’t give you links to a prospect’s Twitter account. But what it does do is provide eerily detailed insight into how your prospect talks, how they behave, and what drives the decisions they make in their business.

The tool uses social media and text analysis and runs them through an algorithm to figure out exactly what conversations and tone you should approach a prospect with.

It’s like a mind-reading tool for sales teams.

 

20. Nudge

Price: Starts at $19.95/month

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:

Nudge digs into the background of a prospect so you don’t have to spend hours doing it yourself.

Ever prepared for a pitch and thought, have I contacted this person before? Maybe I’ve dealt with their company on another occasion? Is there anyone at the company who has actually worked for your company in the past?

Instead of spending hours of your day trying to find out yourself, Nudge does it for you. Plus, it can rate the relationship you have with a prospect from “very weak” to “very strong”, so you know if you need to put in a bit more work with them.

 

21. Mention

Price: Starts at $25/month

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:

Struggling to get a prospect on board? Try sharing in their successes with the help of Mention.

Mention is a media-monitoring tool that can help you follow a prospect’s success. If a prospect’s company just celebrated a major win, or they were recognized for an award in their industry, congratulate them first.

What better way to shine a good light on yourself and your product by shining the light on them first?

 

22. Siftery

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Price: Starts at $160/month

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:

Siftery does one thing and it does it well: finds competitors. You can plug in a prospect’s company to find out exactly what products they’re using so you can plan your next move.

Not only that, Siftery can filter what tools your prospect’s company is using down to individual departments. So if your prospect is in the marketing department, you’ll uncover all the tools the marketing team uses.

 

23. Apollo.io

Price: Custom plans available

Free trial: Yes + forever free plan

What it’s all about:

Apollo finds the perfect things to say to your prospect for your next email or call.

The tool gives you recommendations on what to say by judging a prospect’s online persona. It also integrates with your email, CRM, and professional networking sites like LinkedIn so you’re covered no matter what platform you’re using.

 

24. Emissary

Price: Custom plans depending on your needs

Free trial: No

What it’s all about:

Emissary was built by a product leader at Google, so you know it has to be good.

Using the tool, you can unlock critical information. Information that goes beyond the standard analytics and data you’ll find on other tools.

Is a prospect you’ve been working on really a key decision maker in the company? Or is there a hidden influencer that you’ve failed to spot? Emissary can tell you.

Plus, the tool will chart the best paths on how you should approach your prospect.

 

Tools to Automate the Boring Stuff

25. PandaDoc

Price: Starts at $49/month

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:

Nobody likes doing admin work, especially your sales team. We all know they would rather be out selling than creating quotes.

This is where PandaDoc comes in. The tool can save your team a massive amount of time by automating daily tasks like quote creation and tracking contracts. It also gives your sales team access to a bunch of proposals so they can just fill in the blanks, rather than drawing one up from scratch.

Everything is kept in the PandaDoc dashboard, so your team can track sales activity and check if a contract has been signed. If it hasn’t, the tool will automatically send a reminder.

 

26. Calendly

Price: Starts at $8/month

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:

Back and forth emails to organize a meeting with a prospect is high on the list of the worst parts of preparing for a pitch.  

If you’re constantly getting caught in a 15-email exchange before settling on a meeting time, you need Calendly.

The tool lets you set up a schedule, and then your prospect can choose what times suit them best.

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Once your prospect has picked a date, Calendly automatically removes the time slot from the system so you won’t be double booked, and adds it to your chosen calendar.

 

27. Outreach

Price: Custom pricing depending on needs

Free trial: Yes, a demo is available

What it’s all about:

Outreach sets up touchpoints for your prospects so that when they’re interacting with you, they are replied to straight away.

The earliest stages of a customer’s journey are the most important, and if they aren’t looked after, they’ll leave. Outreach will automatically reply to a prospect, and then if you don’t receive a reply from them, it’ll follow-up with them again.

Don’t think of it as a bot, but more a sophisticated messaging system. It’ll A/B test every message that’s sent, so you know which ones work best and why.

 

28. Boomerang

Price: Starts at $4.99/month

Free trial: Boomerang offers a free basic plan

What it’s all about:

Are some of your prospects in a different timezone? Maybe you get distracted by new emails hitting your inbox every 5 minutes?

Boomerang can help your team stay on track with scheduled emails. It has a function that will let you schedule an email to be sent in advance, so it hits your prospect’s inbox at the perfect time.

Plus, you can set it up for automatic follow-ups. If a prospect hasn’t replied to an email in a couple of days, Boomerang will follow up automatically.

 

29. Yet Another Mail Merge

Price: Starts at $24/year

Free trial: First 50 emails of the day are free

What it’s all about:

Want to see who’s opening your emails?

Yet Another Mail Merge links your Gmail with Google Sheets and tracks your email opens. If you’re casting a wide net to prospects and want to know who is actually biting, this tool is for you.

 

30. GlobalMeet

Price: Starts at $12/month

Free trial: Yes + limited free forever plan

What it’s all about:

Every company uses different tools for meetings, so it can be frustrating when you end up with dozens of tools on your desktop.

GlobalMeet lets you have meetings through their cloud-based software, so no download is required.

To get a prospect to join you in a meeting, all you need to do is send them a link and the meeting is ready to go!

 

Smarter Prospecting Closes More Deals

If filling your pipeline is taking up too much time, there are ways to automate a lot of the work that goes into landing a new client.

Spending hours trawling through LinkedIn, following up on emails, and preparing for pitches are all tasks that can now be done with a sales prospecting tool.

Picking the right tools will save your team hours of time on admin work and get them back to doing what they do best—closing deals.

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B2B Sales 101: Definition, Techniques & More

B2B Sales 101: Definition, Techniques & More

We all know that making a sale is the act of exchanging a product or service in return for cash, but there is far more to selling than what meets the eye.

With B2B e-commerce sales predicted to exceed B2C e-commerce sales by 2020, B2B selling is constantly growing. So, what are B2B sales, and how are they different from B2C sales?

In this article, you’ll learn how businesses use varying strategies to sell to each other and what type of software they can use. Using the information provided, you’ll be able to determine which selling techniques are best suited for your company and how you can use these to effectively increase B2B sales.

Use the links below to navigate each section:

What Are B2B Sales?

B2B sales refer to business to business selling: when one company sells products or services to another company. B2B selling uses a multitude of strategies; some which we’ll cover later in this article.

Business to business selling is often a complex process, involving several decision makers to close a sale.

There are two types of B2B sales that can be made:

  1. A business selling products or services to a company which can then use these to manufacture or sell their own products. One example of this is a food wholesaler selling ingredients to a bakery, so they can produce their own baked goods.

BidFood is an example of a B2B business providing food for businesses who serve their own customers.

  1. A business selling products or services which meet a company’s needs. For instance, a company selling software services, such as email or an e-commerce platform.

Decision makers in the B2B selling process can include sales representatives, senior executives, board of directors, the financial department, legal services, researchers, CEOs, and more.

In a business with between 100 and 500 employees, an average of seven decision makers are involved in B2B sales.

 

How Are B2B Sales Different from B2C Sales?

In contrast to business to business selling, B2C sales refer to business to customer sales: when a company sells products or services to an individual customer.

A few examples of B2C selling include:

  • A sales representative selling a gym membership
  • A grocery store selling groceries
  • An online fashion store selling clothing to an individual
  • Retail stores selling a range of goods

Essentially, the buyer of the goods or service is the end user of the product.

It’s possible for a company to offer both B2B and B2C selling – a hotel selling rooms to individual consumers and conference rooms to businesses is one example.

B2C selling strategies can include using marketing campaigns to provoke an emotional response from the buyer, using social media influencers to create a connection with the buyer, and hosting contests.

B2B sale techniques require marketing strategies which are usually directed to a company’s specific requirements.

Let’s delve into eight B2B strategies you can use to make sales.

 

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How to Do B2B Sales: 8 B2B Sale Strategies You Can Use

Every product or service needs a sales strategy, no matter how great it is. With several decision makers to impress, using an effective marketing technique is the difference between a no and a yes.

So, how can B2B businesses close more deals? Here are eight sales strategies to use:

Research Your Prospects

Knowing who your prospects are can make or break your sales. Research has shown that at least 50% of prospects are not a good fit for your business.

While 100% conversion is relatively unknown, gathering data from your prospects will give your sales team an increased chance of closing a sale.

Researching your prospects doesn’t need to be time-consuming, especially if you have a large pool of potential customers to contact. Knowing which specific aspects to research before that important phone call or email will enable you to create a tailored conversion.

Your research can include:

  • The Prospect’s Background
  • What is your prospects mission and values?
  • How many employees do they have?
  • What do they offer?
  • How large is the company?

Search their website or LinkedIn page to find answers to these questions. For example, here’s a look at ConvertKit’s LinkedIn with a link to a list of people who work there:

Additionally, explore their social media platforms, search for company mentions in publications, and read any blog posts they’ve written to help shape your conversion – what products or services are they talking about? Have they attended any events? 

 

Who Are the Decision Makers?

Reach out directly to key decision makers to save time on your sales process. You’ll often find key decision makers are listed on your prospect’s website, which may appear in the ‘about us’ section or ‘our story’.

For example, Eight Hour Day Studio use their about page to provide visitors information about their founders:

The contact page may also provide suggestions on who to contact for purchasing decisions, for instance, a contact name in a specific department.

LinkedIn is a goldmine for finding key players in a company. See if you can find information on who works for the company, their job role, and how long they have been employed at the company. Those who have only just started working at the company may not have as much influence in decision making as others.

Once you’ve found a few potential prospects, you can use an email finder to identify the prospect’s email address.

 

What are Their Pain Points?

Before you contact your prospect, you’ll need to be aware of how your product or service addresses their pain points.

  • What does your prospect require that you can offer a solution to?
  • Are they currently using any products or services which you can offer a better alternative to?

You can include this information in your conversation with your prospect. For example, if your prospect is using social media adverts to drive traffic to their website, you can ask them if this method has been meeting company goals. This presents the opportunity for you to offer an alternative which may be cheaper, more cost-effective, or provides improved results.

 

Who are Their Competitors?

Analyzing your prospect’s competitors allows you to determine what they’re doing better.

While decision makers don’t enjoy hearing which aspects of their business are not performing as well as their competitors, you can use this to your advantage by showcasing how your product or service will give them an advantage over their rivals.

 

Focus on Building Relationships

As the B2B sales process is longer than the B2C selling process, developing a close relationship with your prospects can be highly beneficial. Relationships are important as the majority of B2B businesses lose 45 to 50% of their clients over the course of five years.

In comparison to B2C businesses which tend to have one-off payments or small subscription payments, B2B sales are generally of higher value than B2C sales, representing thousands of dollars in revenue. Losing just one customer can create a huge dent in revenue, so it’s essential to place your customers at the heart of your business.

Focus on developing valuable relationships with your customers to fuel your marketing efforts. Customer satisfaction prevents your customers from leaving and helps you to hook prospects.

Having a valued relationship with your customer also encourages them to talk about your product or service. Word of mouth is the most powerful aspect influencing a purchasing decision.

With the B2B sales cycle increasing by 22% over five years due to more people becoming involved in purchasing decisions, building a relationship with your prospects is extremely valuable.

How can you build meaningful relationships with your prospects?

  • Create a lead nurturing strategy. In other words, help your prospects to get to know your business. According to Forrester Research, businesses with an effective lead nurturing strategy generate 50% more sales.
  • Educate and inform via your marketing strategies. This can include content marketing.
  •  Build trust by acknowledging your prospects concerns. We’ll go into detail on this topic shortly.

When it comes to building customer relationships, think about the long-term focus of your B2B business. Stop concentrating on closing the sale and start putting customer satisfaction at the center of your goals.

 

Build an Effective Website

94% of B2B buyers conduct online research before making a purchasing decision. This includes social media, online reviews, blogs, search engines, and websites. Having a dedicated website for your B2B business helps prospects to understand more about your business.

Your website helps you to stand out from your competition by allowing you to present your company’s mission and values.

What is your unique selling point?

One way to develop your unique selling point is to state a result plus target sector plus guarantee. For example: “we help B2B businesses to implement a content marketing strategy and increase leads by 10% or we’ll return your money.”

Additionally, your website is the center of your content marketing strategy, such as blog posts and lead magnets. Your website is where you can present your products and services to your prospects.

Your content plays a key role in lead generation. However, if your website is clunky or poorly designed, it’s not going to entice potential customers. Your website design should focus on being accessible and aiding business goals with a simple navigation, contact page, social media links, designated pages for specific resources, and optimized for mobile usage.

 

Establish a Social Media Presence

Being present on social media helps you attain customer research, as well as discovering more information about your competition.

Social selling is another option to consider. Companies incorporating social selling into their B2B sales strategies perform 15% better than those without a social selling strategy.

Social selling helps you to find and target key decision makers, focus on real people, and establish warm leads, helping guide them through the buying process. In contrast, traditional selling involves cold leads and finding random contacts, making the selling process more difficult.

67% of a buyer’s journey is now through digital means. Research has found that 90% of decision makers never respond to cold callers, emphasizing the importance of nurturing your prospects before closing a sale.

Using social media as part of your content marketing strategy helps you to establish yourself as an expert in your industry, aiding trust with your prospects. You can share content you’ve already published on your website or share exclusive content, such as interesting statistics, behind the scenes information or stories from satisfied customers.

One of the best places to start with your social strategy is LinkedIn. LinkedIn boasts over 560 million members and 80% of B2B leads are generated via the social platform.

Why is LinkedIn so successful for B2B lead generation?

  • Many business decision makers are present on LinkedIn
  • These decision makers use LinkedIn to actively make business decisions. Let’s face it, they’re not on LinkedIn to scroll through your family photographs
  • LinkedIn has 260 million active users each month – 40% of which, log in daily

So, how can you use LinkedIn to your advantage?

  • Promote your website content, including blog posts, eBooks, white papers
  • Connect with decision makers
  • Use your company page to generate leads by stating your mission, values, promoting a piece of content, and regularly posting updates
  • Join relevant B2B groups which are in your target audience
  • Create your own LinkedIn group to help establish your authority
  • Publish tailor-made content directly to LinkedIn publisher

 

Create Content to Aid Your Prospect

Your content marketing strategy should include resolving any queries your prospect has, helping you to build trust. Your content also helps you to establish your brand as a leader within your market as you can share your expert knowledge.

Your content should focus on teaching rather than selling to nurture relationships with prospects. Creating high-quality content early in the buyer’s journey aids this process. Educational and authoritative content which is consistently published can drive organic traffic to your website via search engines and inbound links.

Gated content allows you to offer your best content in return for your prospects email information, allowing you to add more prospects to your lead nurture strategy.

Your content marketing strategy might include:

  • Blog posts
  • Educational articles
  • Webinars
  • eBooks
  • Videos
  • Whitepapers
  • Reports
  • Guides
  • Quizzes
  • Courses

For example, HubSpot has their own academy, featuring a range of recognized free courses which are available in return for a prospect sign up:

Create a content library to guide prospects through the buyer journey and provide knowledge to help them make a buying decision. Your content library should include content which answers your prospects queries.

As an example, Credit card processing software company, Square Up, addressed a potential concern from restaurant prospects via a blog post on how new customers can find their restaurant:

This can help to ease concerns from prospects worried that they won’t be able to afford the software.

Your content library can also be shared by your sales team when interacting with prospects. Research has demonstrated that decision-makers are more responsive to salespeople who include articles, case studies, and/or white papers in their outreach.

Utilize Email Marketing

In a survey by Marketing Sherpa, 64% of respondents believed that email marketing delivers the biggest return of investment in comparison to other marketing tactics.

Email marketing is a crucial part of your B2B sales strategy, assisting in turning prospects into buyers. Once a prospect has given their consent for you to email them, you can use a variety of content to nurture them.

Types of emails you can send include:

  • Newsletter – an announcement, blog post round-up, events, or recent news. Think about what information you can offer to benefit your prospect. Maybe you could announce a free guide on one of their pain points or announce a free workshop where they can learn new skills.
  • Educational content – this could be an extract from one of your articles, a preview of an eBook, or a separate piece of content which your prospect will learn from. Remember to focus on education rather than selling in your emails.

Personal email – when your lead is getting closer towards the end of your sales funnel, you may wish to send a personalized email. This type of email enables you to directly contact an individual rather than addressing a group of people. Personal emails can address an individual’s queries and personal pain points, potentially closing the sale. As an example, LiveChat use a personalized newsletter to hook prospects:

Provide Real Results

Prospects don’t just want to know about your product or service; they’re interested in real results! What can you do for your prospect to help them achieve their goals? Be specific with numbers.

Real results can be fantastic for presenting in case studies on your website. Your case studies allow prospects to see your success stories, viewing your strategies and work process.

Really B2B use case studies on their website to showcase client results:

An engaging case study can use a question and answer format, a who, what, where format, or your own unique format – just remember to clearly state what your prospects goals were, what you did, and the specific results you achieved.

 

Attend Events

Attending events or hosting your own brings you closer to your prospects. 69% of B2B marketers say events are effective, while 64% of marketers use events and trade shows for lead generation.

Your event marketing plan could involve one of your sales team speaking at an event, hosting an exhibit at a trade show, sponsoring an event, or co-hosting an event with a company not in direct competition with yourself.

 

Sales Software for B2B Sales

Sales platforms assist B2B businesses in serving their customers. B2B sales software can involve order processing, nurturing prospects, membership only areas, marketing, and more.

There are varying sales software for B2B sales. Here are 5 sales software to consider:

 

LeadBoxer

LeadBoxer is a lead generation platform which provides real-time information about visitors to your website. LeadBoxer helps you find new leads by analyzing your web traffic to identify and segment users. All website data is examined, including logins, downloads, forms, and clicks.

You can generate new leads for your business, pursue them quickly due to real-time analytics, and create segments.

Who is LeadBoxer suitable for: Any business with an online presence.

Free trial available: Yes.

Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor is an email marketing platform that allows you to send personalized emails to leads and customers. Sign up forms can be customized and transactional emails can reflect your brand image.

Campaign Monitor offers an array of templates for your email campaigns. A drag-and-drop email builder provides simplicity to users.

Who is Campaign Monitor suitable for: Any business using email marketing as part of their B2B sales strategy.

Free trial available: No. However, users can access all features for free. Payment only occurs once emails are ready to be sent.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

We’ve already noted that LinkedIn is an effective platform for lead generation. LinkedIn Sales Navigator assists you in this process by offering an advanced lead search, an easy way to saves leads, lead recommendations based on an algorithm, and a method of engaging with prospects.

Pursue the right people in your target audience and keep track of any changes.

Who is LinkedIn Sales Navigator suitable for: Any business searching for new leads.

Free trial available: Yes, to eligible users.

ClearSlide

ClearSlide is a sales engagement platform that allows users to share sales materials, track email campaigns, host materials for sales calls, provide web conferencing, and create slides for presentations.

Clearslide can be used for product demonstrations, sharing presentations with customers, and recording meetings.

Who is ClearSlide suitable for: Any business using video in their B2B sales strategy.

Free trial available: Yes.

HubSpot

HubSpot is an inbound marketing software platform containing a content management and customer relationship management system. With HubSpot, you can convert visitors into leads, drive web traffic to landing pages, and get your content in front of your target audience.

You can record every interaction you have with a customer, organize a workflow for teams, automate marketing, and much more.

Who is HubSpot suitable for: Any size of business

Free trial available: Yes, HubSpot offer a free customer relationship management system for clients.

Business to Business Selling with Multiple Strategies

B2B sales is often a complex process with several decision makers. Several strategies can be used to gain leads and close sales, with some businesses using multiple strategies for lead generation.

The first step starts with customer research and knowing who your prospects are. Once you’ve established a target audience, you can use content marketing, social media, and events to build an online presence and build a trusted relationship with your potential customers.

B2B sales software like lead generation software makes sourcing leads and creating a warm relationship easier.

Using the strategies and software in this article will give you a great head start in the B2B sales sector.

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