Sales Enablement 101: A Guide For Empowering Your Sales Team

Sales Enablement 101: A Guide For Empowering Your Sales Team

There’s a new buzzword on the minds of sales managers across the country: sales enablement.

It’s not a new concept, just a new name. The idea is to provide your sales teams with the resources they need to excel. Doesn’t sound too revolutionary, right?

Unfortunately, many offices are structured in such a way that a few top earners carry the entire office and the rest of the reps don’t get much attention.

In reality, some people are just naturally great at selling things. That doesn’t mean the other guys can’t perform at the same level, or even that they don’t perform at a high level themselves. They just need a little help to develop their skills, and that’s where sales enablement comes into play.

Read on or use these links to jump to a particular section:

What is Sales Enablement?

At its core, sales enablement is the process of providing sales training, coaching, enablement technology, and content to your sales and marketing teams to improve performance across the board.

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It doesn’t matter how great your top-earning sales reps are, there’s almost always room for improvement. Sales enablement helps everyone on the team excel by teaching, motivating, and enabling them to exceed office quotas and expectations.

Sales enablement is sales empowerment, and it’s more important now than it’s ever been. Of course, we could repeat that statement every week because the competition is always on the rise, and buyers continue to become more informed than ever before.

Sales enablement provides the clearest avenue for sales and marketing teams to take their game to the next level regardless of where they are now.

The Importance of Sales Enablement

Consumers have more information and power at their fingertips than ever before. A study by Salesforce & Publicis.Sapient found that 87% of consumers begin their buying journey with online research. The study also found that 64% of shoppers say they feel that brands don’t truly understand their individual needs and desires.

Brands have to work hard to personalize their approach, and selling to informed customers has become a nightmare for many in the sales game.

There was a time when interruption ads stood a chance. Many buyers were naive, and if something popped up and caught their attention, they clicked. They didn’t know any better, but these days, they do. In order to break through and start a genuine conversation with potential buyers or clients, your sales and marketing teams need to be equipped with the most advanced resources available.

Four Benefits of Sales Enablement

The benefits of a sales enablement strategy are vast so long as the sales reps within the team are capable and the products or services being sold are valuable.

1. Better Teamwork

Sales enablement enhances the team as a whole, not just the best sellers and not just those that need help. By implementing sales enablement strategies, companies no longer have to rely on top earners to carry the sales team.

2. Better Data

Sales enablement provides a superior framework for the collection and organization of data from engagements between reps and consumers. Data relating to pain points, customer personas, buyer intent, historic behaviour, and more, all combine to help salespeople personalize each engagement.

3. More Efficiency

Better data and organization also increase team efficiency. With valuable resources at their disposal, salespeople are able to make faster data-driven decisions, decreasing the time it takes to go from prospect to client.

4. More Collaboration

Sales enablement increases collaboration between sales and marketing teams. Sales reps have to provide valuable, personalized content to prospects in order to persuade them to make the deal. The marketing team is often the source of that content. With that being said, marketing is invaluable and, in many cases, inseparable from the sales process.

Sales Enablement Resources

Sales enablement empowers sales and marketing teams to enhance their performance near the end of the cycle, where the actual sale takes place when it counts most.

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Sales enablement is proven to increase sales efficiency. Booking.com for Business is the B2B division of the popular travel website. They used LeadBoxer to improve the quality of the leads being presented to the enterprise sales team.

After implementing a variety of sales enablement solutions, LeadBoxer helped Booking.com disqualify false-positives, qualify false-negatives, and even provide the enterprise sales team with invaluable behavioral data, allowing them to focus their efforts on consumer interests and buyer intent. Check out the case study here.

It seems like a no-brainer to want to give your sales and marketing teams better resources, but it’s not always the case for many companies. In most cases, when a sales rep fails to meet a quota, the blame falls squarely on their shoulders. They didn’t listen. They didn’t work hard enough.

While there are reps out there who simply don’t belong on a sales team, more often than not, better training, coaching, enablement technology, and content can improve the performance of almost anyone. These elements make up the foundation of sales enablement, but what do they truly entail?

What is “Better Training?”

A lot of companies are using the same onboarding process they’ve had for 25+ years. There’s no way the company is in the same position it was in two decades ago, but the onboarding and training materials still reflect that version of the company. The goals have likely evolved, the products and services have likely evolved, and the average customer has most certainly evolved.

In this context, “better training” means more relevant training. You could hire the most capable sales rep in your state, but if they’re not accustomed to your products, your services, and your culture, they won’t perform at the level you anticipate.

What is “Better Coaching?”

Sales coaching is essentially the process of putting proven leaders in front of your sales and marketing teams and allowing those leaders to guide your reps to better performance. For companies that offer no coaching at all, any type of coaching is an improvement.

When we talk about coaching, a lot of sales managers probably think of professional speakers who travel around the world giving live presentations. Of course, it’s valuable to have one of these sales and marketing gurus speak to your teams in-person, but this isn’t always an option – and it’s not always necessary.

You likely have one or two employees among your staff right now that are ready to step up and lead the pack. You likely have a manager that could take the initiative and coach your teams to more success.

What is “Enablement Technology?”

Most sales managers and marketing directors are familiar with the various types of sales enablement technology available today, even if they don’t make the connection right away.

The most common of these include Content management systems (CMS), customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, lead nurturing software and learning management systems.

Content Management Systems

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Buyers today want personalized content. They need education and entertainment. If you educate consumers about various problems they face, not only can you reveal problems they may not have known about, but they’ll trust you as an authoritative source of value.

The problem is that there’s a growing sea of content readily available and anyone with a keyboard, a monitor, and an internet connection can create and distribute with the click of a button. Consumers have come to ignore the majority of what they see online, so your content has to catch and hold their attention.

In order to stand out, companies need a lot of content. Sales and marketing teams must work together to create and curate personalized content that speaks directly to consumers. Without a good CMS, this process is nearly impossible.

You need to be able to provide relevant content at different steps in the buyer journey. If the buyer is just looking for information on a particular product, hitting them with sales copy is not the answer.

Customer Relationship Management

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While a good CMS helps you identify the right types of content to use, a good CRM helps you identify the right time to use it.

The path a customer takes from learning about your brand to purchasing your products is called the customer journey.

As previously stated, a buyer who’s just looking for information about a product or who’s researching possible solutions to a problem is not ready to be hit with sales copy. They need informational copy that educates them about their problem and about your solutions, but they need content that does this in a way that’s not pushy or “salesy.”

The right CRM helps your team achieve this and much more.

A CRM helps your team organize customer or client relationships. Every interaction is a touchpoint, and every touchpoint must be documented. When an initial email goes out to a potential client, the team marks that interaction in the CRM. This keeps your sales and marketing teams from going overboard and pushing prospects and current customers away.

CRMs help with lead management, as well. When a new lead is entered into the CRM, the entire team has access to this data. This type of teamwork is key to the success of your company, and the right CRM allows and encourages this collaboration.

The sales process racks up a ton of data. Without a great CRM, the data alone will overwhelm your team and crush productivity and morale.

Learning Management Systems

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All of the enablement tools in the world won’t make a bit of difference if your sales reps aren’t capable and well-informed. At the end of the day, the success of your company depends upon the expertise of your sales and marketing teams and their ability to persuade prospects to invest.

There are several roles played by the LMS. The role it plays for you will depend on your goals and objectives. Most LMS solutions allow you to create and deploy training initiatives for your teams and track the progress of individual employees.

You can also utilize training and coaching content from other professionals in your industry. These high-profile coaches bring a lot of energy and expertise. Names that come to mind include Brian Tracy, Grant Cardone, and others.

SalesHacker.com released a list of the best sales training programs and coaches of 2019. The top five included:

Importance of Better Content

One of the most important functions of sales enablement is ensuring that your teams have the right content and that they utilize that content at the right time.

There’s a wide variety of sales enablement content, but three of the most common types are:

  • Case studies
  • Blog posts
  • Emails

Case Studies

Case studies document real-life examples of a product or service in action. They’re essentially glorified testimonials, as they help identify the struggles faced by your customers as well as solutions you bring to the table.

They’re versatile as they can be distributed to customers to highlight the advantages of working with your products and services, but they can also be distributed to sales and marketing teams to highlight consumer behavior and customer pain points.

Blog Posts

Although content marketing and sales enablement are two different fields of study, there are some obvious applications that are worth highlighting here. Blog posts provide value to readers without asking for anything in return. Not only can you build a wealth of trust and establish your brand as a source of authority in the industry, but you can also reveal to readers problems they didn’t even know they had.

Emails

For many brands, email is the first touch with potential customers. While this may be true, email marketing is an invaluable tool for the closing stages of a sale. It can be difficult to discern which types of emails to send and the best time to send them, but the combination of a great CRM and a great CMS will make the job much easier. There are several types of emails that are perfect for the closing stages of a sale. They include:

  • Order confirmations
  • Thank you emails
  • Abandoned cart emails

Most people check their emails on a daily basis. There are several elements to a great email marketing strategy, and we won’t dive into them here, but emails are personal and you can personalize them in a number of ways.

Bringing it all together

Using a Lead & Customer Data Platform like LeadBoxer helps you to bring all this data together. Build rich customer profiles and track all behavioral events to get a complete picture of your audience.

Key Takeaways

Sales enablement is still a buzzword. But as the B2B and B2C landscape shifts in the coming years, it will become an indispensable element of the sales process.

Sales managers must deal with growing competition, a growing sea of content, and a new generation of sales reps.

LeadBoxer offers proven sales enablement solutions that can help your sales and marketing teams excel. By embracing smart sales enablement techniques, they can help their teams excel and perform at a higher level than ever before.

25+ Account-Based Marketing Tactics & Software Solutions

25+ Account-Based Marketing Tactics & Software Solutions

Not seeing the sort of close rates you want? If your primary marketing strategy has been to “cast a wide net”, consider only going after your white whales – your ideal accounts – instead. Known as account-based marketing (ABM), companies that treat individual prospects like an entire market can generate 208% more revenue than those who don’t according to MarketingProfs.

In this article, you’ll learn 20 of the best ABM techniques, from how to choose which accounts to focus on, to mapping out their personalized marketing experience. You’ll also discover 7 ABM software solutions; since there are more moving parts in an ABM strategy versus a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy, you’ll need the right tools to keep everything running smoothly.

What is Account-Based Marketing?

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategy of making marketing decisions based on the characteristics of target accounts and prospects. It involves creating a highly specific list of potential accounts, then creating personalized marketing experiences to engage those prospects.

This strategy requires that a business’s sales and marketing teams work more closely together. Sales reps in charge of those accounts can give crucial insight to their marketing peers, who can then develop custom content, targeted ads, and other unique methods of engaging with prospects.

Depending on the needs and resources of an organization, ABM can take either a one-to-one approach or a segmented approach, where a few or many accounts with common traits are targeted with similar content.

Account-Based Marketing Tactics & Techniques

Since ABM is a more holistic marketing strategy, plan to incorporate at least a few of these techniques into your final marketing plan.

1. Market to current customers

Before filling your target account list with companies you don’t yet work with, take a look at your list of current customers. Upselling to current customers is proven to have greater ROI than converting new customers; SaaS companies on average spend just $0.28 to earn a dollar of revenue from an existing customer, whereas they’ll spend $1.18 on a new customer.

To market to these existing customers, make content that will help them get more out of your product. Blog posts are just the beginning. Consider offering free training sessions or reports that analyze how effectively they’re using your product.

Another way to market to this group is to target them with ads for discounts or special offers on additional products that are relevant to them.

2. Define target accounts with look-alike modeling

You should also look at your current customers to see who is the most valuable, in other words, which existing accounts have the highest ROI or send the most referrals your way. Highlight what attributes these customers have in common, then use them to build a look-alike model to help you identify the best prospective accounts.

Once you have your look-alike model defined, search for companies with similar characteristics in places like LinkedIn. A data vendor like D&B Hoovers can also help you zero in on accounts that fit your look-alike model.

3. Identify accounts using intent data

These days, the average B2B buyer is 67% of the way through the buying journey before seeking out a salesperson. That’s a long time to wait before engaging with a prospect. Intent data can tell you who is researching topics that are relevant to your product before those accounts ever land on your website, helping you target them sooner.

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Vendors like Bombora and Aberdeen can identify companies who are expressing intent but haven’t yet interacted with your site. However, they can’t give you details about the individuals doing the research. A solution like LeadBoxer can provide the contact information of individuals who are engaging with your site but haven’t yet reached out to your sales team.

4. Build a list of role-based contacts

While building a list of target accounts, you’ll also want to build a list of contacts within those companies. Researching people based on their job title can be tricky, especially if they’re part of a small company and tend to wear many hats. Instead, focus on what roles people have within a company.

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This isn’t easy to do manually, but some vendors exist that can help compile lists for you, including ReachForce. ReachForce can enrich your contact data and validate it for you, so your CRM will never be clogged with defunct contacts.

5. Map an account’s decision-making structure

It’s imperative to know exactly who is responsible for making purchasing decisions, as well as how they work with or answer to other people within the organization. Says Scott Albro, founder and CEO of TOPO, a research and advisory firm:

“Detailed account profiles that focus on organizational structure can be effective tools….but the holy grail is understanding how things like power structures, personalities, and coalitions impact purchasing decisions.”

6. Engage with target accounts on social media

Once you have your list of target accounts, it’s time to engage with them. One of the most immediate (and free) ways you can do that is by following them on social media, then interacting with them. Here are a few tips for keeping engagement authentic and effective:

  • Comment on their content only when you have something of value to say
  • Reshare their content to your feed when it makes sense for your audience
  • Join groups they’re in and establish your expertise by answering questions or offering free resources

For more ways to generate leads through a channel like LinkedIn, check out this guide.

7. Pay attention to current events

What’s going on at a company can play a big role in the kind of messaging you incorporate into their marketing. Follow their Twitter or LinkedIn and keep an eye open for any press releases, announcements, or other news that they’re putting out.

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You can also set up a Google Alert, which will scan the web for certain content and inform you of any relevant article. If something significant changes with the company, you’ll be able to pivot your marketing strategy or rework the messaging.

8. Segment and personalize email campaigns

Evidence abounds to support the idea that one-size-fits-all email marketing is going the way of the dinosaur. According to Experian, personalized subject lines are to thank for a 26% increase in open rates, while DMA claims that marketers who use segmentation have seen a whopping 760% increase in revenue.

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If you’re not already taking advantage of this tactic, here are some tips to get started:

  • Segment email lists by job role and where prospects are in the buyer’s journey
  • Adjust messaging of emails to reflect segments
  • Personalize the subject line and content with dynamic tags, such as the ones above used in HubSpot’s platform

9. Create custom content for individual prospects

Though you might groan at the thought of creating even more content, this is a strategy that’s proven to get people’s attention. A survey from CEB shows that prospects who received content personalized to their specific needs were 40% more likely to buy from that supplier.

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Custom content also doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Take the video above. Kyle Jepsen, a HubSpot Academy Sales Professor, received this personalized video from Cole, a representative at Vidyard.

Cole doesn’t stick to a script but instead mentions Jepsen’s colleagues and the interactions he’s had with them. Not only is this guaranteed to grab someone’s attention, but it comes across as a more natural and genuine attempt at forging a connection. It also took Cole only a few seconds to make and is on-brand with Vidyard, a video making and hosting solution.

10. Mention target accounts in content

One way to get on an account’s radar is to feature them in your published content. By giving them free publicity, you’re benefiting the prospect as well as opening the door for further contact.

Featuring target accounts in content is just one of nine different ABM tactics employed by Thomson Reuters Legal Professionals, a company that  offers legal management solutions. Including the tactic in their holistic approach contributed to their astonishing 95% win rate.

11. Target individuals with custom ads

The ability to target particular demographics through PPC ads has never been more sophisticated. However, you can get even more specific by uploading a list of email addresses or phone numbers of individuals you want to target, then serving them a custom ad.

With Facebook, this works if the person has their Facebook account registered to that email address or phone number. This isn’t always going to be the case, especially if they’re meticulous about keeping their work life separate from their social life.

Google Ads offers a similar targeting option in the form of Customer Match.

12. Create custom ads for retargeting

Retargeting is placing an ad in front of someone who has already interacted with your website. This is crucial for nurturing leads over time and keeping your business top of mind.

Creating a custom retargeting ad is a good first step, but even better is having an ad that’s tailored to an account’s previous behavior on your site.

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Demandbase is one ABM solution that has made exciting innovations in ad retargeting. By placing carefully targeted and personalized ads on a network of properties, Demandbase can cut past the clutter and get clicks only from your key accounts.

13. Create personalized landing pages for ads

If you’re going to be investing the time, effort, and money into creating personalized PPC ads, then you’ll want the messaging of your landing page to match the messaging in the ad. This means building personalized landing pages tailored to different audiences.

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Luckily, there are plenty of solutions to make this a painless process. Instapage is a drag-and-drop style landing page builder that simplifies the personalization process. They also have a product called AdMap, which makes it easy to visualize the flow of ads to landing pages, then connect them.

14. Send a personalized gift

A sure way to grab someone’s attention is through a physical gift. This doesn’t mean you should send a box of branded thermoses or pens that will get shoved to the back of an office cupboard. The key is to send something fun, unique, and charming.

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Influitive, makers of advocacy and engagement software, experimented with three types of personalized gifts for their ABM campaign. The most notable were pinatas shipped directly to companies. The pinatas contained positive online reviews of the account, social proof about Influitive, and candy (of course). The pinatas received a 36% response rate and a 3.4% sales-qualified opportunity rate, making it their most successful gift-giving tactic.

15. Build one-on-one, c-level relationships

Some accounts will require multiple relationships across different levels of the organization. This ensures that all the decision-makers or people with influence over the buying process are on the same page.

Rather than have one sales agent connect with multiple contacts at the same company, pair employees from different hierarchy levels and divisions with their counterpart at the account. For example, pair a CMO at your organization with a CMO at the prospective company. The CMO should lead with an email or direct mail about the reasons for connecting, then follow up with a phone call and an invitation for a meeting.

16. Send direct mail to executives

Executives have plenty on their plate. They’re not known for promptly answering unsolicited emails or spending a lot of time engaging with other businesses on social media, and rightfully so. Initiating a meaningful connection may take old fashioned direct mail and a little creativity.

Matt Heinz of Heinz Marketing relayed an anecdote about using this tactic to Craig Rosenberg at TOPO:

“We sent two-day packages to executives in advance of a big conference. The package was an empty iPad box. We wrote in the direct mail to come by our booth to pick up the iPad. Most executives came by just to compliment us. It worked.” (Source)

17. Look for an “in” elsewhere in the account

It’s not just your sales reps, marketing managers, or c-level executives that you should be tapping for connections. Reach out to the rest of your organization to see if there are employees in other, seemingly unrelated departments that might have a relationship with a contact at the target account.

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Still struggling to find a way in? The TeamLink function through LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a handy tool for unearthing unthought-of connections between organizations.

18. Offer a free, in-person evaluation

Despite the rise of digital communication, meeting in-person is still critical for business success. One study claims that face-to-face meetings are what it takes to convert 40% of prospects to customers.

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One way to tweak meetings to fit your ABM strategy is to offer free, in-person evaluations of a target account’s current situation. For example, if you’re an advertising agency, offer a session where you compare the account’s current advertising efforts to their competitors’.

Even if you have to travel to the prospect to hold the meeting, take heart: for every dollar spent on travel, businesses on average reap $12.50 in revenue.

19. Plan ahead for conferences

Conferences are jam-packed with opportunities to meet contacts face-to-face, and that level of familiarity is sometimes what’s needed to push an account over the finish line. Here are some tips to plan ahead and make the most of those few days:

  • Research sponsors and cross-check it with your list of target accounts
  • Monitor accounts’ social media activity for mentions about conference attendance
  • Reach out to known contacts and invite them to your booth
  • Set aside personalized gifts or swag for contacts that swing by

20. Host a local event for prospects

Whether you’re organizing a thought leadership session or something as simple as a mix and mingle during happy hour, in-person events are prime places to invite contacts from target accounts. This gets you valuable facetime while also offering the prospect a free resource or experience.

Inviting accounts to events is another one of the ABM tactics that Thomson Reuters used in their journey to achieving a 95% win rate.

Software Solutions for Account-Based Marketing

ABM can be more complex than traditional marketing strategies, but the right tools can help you find the data you need and use it to create customized marketing experiences from start to finish.

LeadBoxer

LeadBoxer is a lead generation solution that can assist your ABM strategy by identifying anonymous or partially identified visitors on your site and automatically populating the rest of their contact information.

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This helps you flesh out your list of target accounts. It also allows you to find and engage with qualified prospects on social media, send them custom content, target them with custom ads, send direct mail or gifts, or invite them to in-person events.

LeadBoxer also gives your prospects a leadscore, which tells you which accounts are most qualified and worth pursuing.

Marketo

Marketo is one of the heavy hitters of the ABM industry. Its products can help you identify ideal target accounts, discover contacts, and engage with accounts across channels with personalized content.

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While certainly a powerful product, Marketo’s solutions come in the hundreds of dollars per month to the thousands of dollars range, making it a serious (or unrealistic) investment for small businesses.

Terminus

Terminus is an ABM solution used by customers like Thomson Reuters, the case study from the previous section who used tactics such as inviting contacts to in-person events and creating content that featured accounts’ expertise.

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Terminus comes with features such as the account breakdown above, which shows how engaged accounts are and how much you’ve spent nurturing each one.

Aberdeen

Aberdeen is a vendor of intent data, so it can help you identify accounts that are expressing interest in topics relevant to your product. This can help you add target accounts to your list that you might not have thought of otherwise.

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Aberdeen integrates with Salesforce, so team members can immediately see which target accounts are expressing intent. Use this as a cue to start targeting those accounts with custom ads and content as soon as they’re ready for it.

ReachForce

Never worry about old or inaccurate contact data again. ReachForce can help you flesh out a list of contacts within an account, show you who is responsible for what, and continually validates and cleans old data.

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If you’re trying to keep track of and engage with multiple contacts within one account, ReachForce is an invaluable source of information and automation.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the platform’s solution for helping businesses find, understand, and engage with accounts on the social media channel.

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Not only does Sales Navigator come with advanced search options for finding leads, but it also integrates with your CRM and can notify you of significant shifts within a company, such as job changes.

Instapage

Instapage takes the stress out of making personalized landing pages. Its big draw is a drag-and-drop landing page builder built for collaboration. If you’re a small business cranking out your own personalized advertising and web content, this tool is worth looking into.

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Instapage also has ad mapping solutions, so you’ll never lose track of which ads match which landing pages. Plus, Instapage’s affordable pricing tiers makes personalization accessible to any size business.

Take Advantage of Account-Based Marketing and Grow Your Business

Given the level of research and personalization of content involved, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed by the idea of ABM. Supplementing your existing inbound marketing strategy with ABM is a process that can take years, but the payoff is well worth it. The first step is to gather together your teams and begin discussing which tactics and tools best suit your company’s needs.

LeadBoxer can help you zero in on the right target accounts, find their contact information, and show you what content they engage with most so you can create better marketing experiences. Start your free trial today.

30 Mailchimp Integrations for Marketing & Sales Teams

30 Mailchimp Integrations for Marketing & Sales Teams

Integrating different platforms within your sales and marketing stack not only saves you time and headaches, but it also helps you close more deals and make more sales. These 30 Mailchimp integrations for marketing and sales teams leverage the power of email at every step of the buyer’s journey, turning business growth into an all but automatic process. Mailchimp has integrations that work at almost every step of the sales pipeline and marketing process, including:

By integrating Mailchimp with your preferred sales and marketing tools, you’ll be able to run otherwise tedious processes on autopilot, gain valuable insights about prospects and customers, and make more informed decisions about your business.

Integrations for Capturing Leads

The first step to increasing sales is to capture more leads. With these Mailchimp integrations, finding and recording potential customers can happen in your sleep.

Typeform

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Typeform is a tool for creating surveys, quizzes, and forms, making it easy to keep in touch with current customers or learn more about potential ones. Don’t worry about aesthetics. With Typeform, it’s easy to build content that’s beautiful and on-brand. With the Mailchimp integration, you can map any field in a Typeform survey to a field in a Mailchimp list. Not only does this negate the need to export and import data to build email lists, but it can create tags and flesh out data for more effective list segmentation.

OptinMonster

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OptinMonster offers pop-ups, floating bars, and more that helps convert visitors into email list subscribers. The designer lets you create website elements that feel on-brand and make it possible to add discounts, value offers, and countdown clocks that spur visitors to action. The program also shows you stats on which forms or pop-ups are performing best. The Mailchimp integration instantly adds captured email addresses to lists. You can create unique lists based on what form or popup visitors subscribed from. OptinMonster offers multiple account support, a big plus if you’re managing several different businesses or brands.

Unbounce

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Unbounce helps businesses craft landing pages that are primed to capture more leads with no coding required. With Unbounce you can also create pop-ups and floating bars to attract more subscribers. There are even templates to help get you started if you don’t have a designer on staff. The Mailchimp integration streamlines the process, funneling email addresses from the point of capture on an Unbounce page straight to your email list on Mailchimp. Say goodbye to the days of manually exporting and importing lists of email addresses between platforms.

Instapage

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Instapage is similar to Unbounce in that it builds landing pages with a drag and drop interface. Instapage takes it to the next level by specializing in advertising personalization and post-click optimization. With Instapage, you can easily duplicate and alter landing pages to match the messaging of the ads you link them to. The Mailchimp integration then saves all leads captured on those pages to the email list of your choice. There are several different options for saving those contacts, such as adding them to groups. You can also create new email lists from within Instapage.

Facebook

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Whether your business has a Facebook page with scores of followers or you’re just starting out, it’s important to try and get as many of those followers as possible on your email list. With email, your content will make its way straight to subscribers’ inboxes instead of having to fight its way past Facebook’s news feed algorithm. Mailchimp can add an email list sign-up bar to your page, turning those followers into email list subscribers. Even if you don’t yet have a big audience, it’s worthwhile to set up the form to capture traffic as your business gains attention.

WordPress

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Businesses that host their site on WordPress may want to make use of the Mailchimp integration. This integration adds a simple sign-up form to any post or page, giving site visitors plenty of opportunities to subscribe to your email list. Any sites operating on Jetpack version 7.1 or higher already have the Mailchimp integration installed, so adding a sign-up form is as easy as clicking a button. The option will appear as a drag and drop block that you can place anywhere you want on a post or a page.

Integrations for Nurturing Leads

Now that you’ve grown your email list, it’s time to nurture prospects into happy customers. These integrations make it easy and automatic to send the right email at the right time.

Pipedrive

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Pipedrive is a lightweight and agile CRM solution for sales teams. It’s rated one of the easiest sales tools to use on G2. It’s functional right out of the box and doesn’t require days of training before you start using it. The Mailchimp integration makes closing deals even easier by allowing you to send the right email to the right lead at the right time. It works by getting granular about the criteria for creating a list of prospects within Pipedrive, then exporting those contacts to a Mailchimp list with a single click of a button.

BigCommerce

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BigCommerce, a popular platform for e-commerce and point of sale businesses, already collects customer data when someone places an order. The Mailchimp integration makes use of that data with marketing automation solutions that follows up with customers after a purchase, collects feedback, and re-engages with potential customers who abandoned their cart.

Fresh Relevance

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Fresh Relevance makes marketing automation a breeze for e-commerce companies. It generates personalized and contextually relevant email marketing for potential and current customers, helping to increase conversion rates and revenue per visitor. The tool integrates with Mailchimp to send triggered messages after cart or browser abandonment and can also create detailed reports in real-time.

Outgrow

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Outgrow lets you build calculators, quizzes, and other interactive content to help you better engage with customers. In addition to gathering data about content users, Outgrow’s products can generate referrals and help segment leads. The Outgrow-Mailchimp integration works by importing all the data gathered by Outgrow into your Mailchimp lists. You can also design different list segments, allowing you to send more precisely targeted emails.

Smile.io

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Smile.io is the secret weapon for turning customers into loyal fans. It works by creating loyalty programs around points, VIP tiers, or referrals, incentivizing customers to keep engaging with the brand in return for perks. The Mailchimp integration simplifies the process of creating personalized emails for rewards program members and building segmented lists. With Smile.io and Mailchimp, you can let customers know when they’re close to earning a reward, send referral links, let program members know when they’ve earned points and more.

Hippo Video

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Hippo Video leverages the power of video to increase email opens and engagement among your email list. By the company’s estimates, video emails have open rates upwards of 19%, while personalized email content has open rates of at least 29%. With Hippo Video and Mailchimp working together, you can quickly create personalized videos by using text or image merge fields. You can then tweak the video thumbnail, giving you greater control over how you hook and engage with customers. Any leads captured through Hippo Video are automatically synced with your Mailchimp lists.

Integrations for Qualifying Leads

Lead scoring is the key to qualifying prospects and knowing where sales teams should focus their energy. These integrations with Mailchimp ensure that all leads’ email activity is captured and quantified.

LeadBoxer

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LeadBoxer is vital for businesses who want to increase the efficiency of their sales process. Using a lead scoring system, the tool tells sales reps exactly which leads are most worth pursuing and which to pass on for now. LeadBoxer does this by tracking a lead’s activity and engagement across websites, social media, and emails. It can even identify visitors who otherwise would have remained anonymous. The Mailchimp integration tracks when a lead opens an email, clicks through a link, and how much time they spend reading an email–all data points that you can use to adjust a prospect’s lead score.

Autopilot

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With Autopilot, understanding and designing every facet of your sales and marketing process has never been simpler. Autopilot lets you visualize and map customer journeys with a drag and drop style interface. Autopilot comes with additional lead scoring integrations that can take data from places like Salesforce, Hubspot, or Typeform and change a prospect’s lead score. It also integrates with Mailchimp, so actions prospects take with your email further influence their lead score.

SalesWings App

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SalesWings tracks visitor activity such as videos watched on YouTube, reviews read on Capterra, or (you guessed it) Mailchimp emails clicked and read. It then uses that data to calculate a lead score for that prospect. The Mailchimp integration can curate a list of email subscribers who click through to your website after receiving an email campaign. SalesWings then identifies the top 5 to 15% of prospects as the hottest leads to invest your time and energy in reaching out to.

Leadfeeder

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Leadfeeder leverages the power of Google Analytics to help you identify who exactly is visiting your website. It scores leads based on their activity and places them at the top of your list, so you know exactly who you should reach out to at that moment. Integrating Leadfeeder with Mailchimp lifts the veil on even more of your website visitors. The integration lets you see what email list subscribers are doing on your website, giving you extra insight into who is visiting your site and why. You can also check out what email campaigns they’re visiting from.

Lead Forensics

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Lead Forensics gives companies insight into anonymous website visitors in real-time. The program provides contact information, demographic details, activity history, and more. It can also generate a lead score and help you prioritize who to focus on. Lead Forensics doesn’t yet offer a proprietary integration between them and Mailchimp. In the meantime, a tool like Blendr.io can create an integration that shares some information between the two platforms, such as contact details. For more information about the differences between LeadBoxer, Leadfeeder, and Lead Forensics, check out this comprehensive guide.

Velocify

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Velocify is intended to help sales teams make sense of large volumes of prospects and increases sales efficiency by automatically scheduling contact reminders. It scores leads based on their attributes, such as company, job title, and location, but it’s not built to track visitors’ activity on a website. Like Lead Forensics, Velocify doesn’t yet have an official integration with Mailchimp. Tray.io can create a working integration for you, but it’s unclear how much this can contribute to the accuracy of lead scores generated by Velocify.

CRM Integrations

Stop wasting time syncing contacts across multiple platforms. These CRM and Mailchimp integrations keep contact lists up to date no matter what program you’re in.

Nutshell

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Nutshell is a CRM and sales pipeline management tool. GetApp named it as one of the best Mailchimp integrations, citing the software’s “timely communication and follow-up with prospects” as a key feature. This integration automatically subscribes and unsubscribes prospects based upon where they are in the sales process, reducing every sales rep’s worst nightmare of entering contact information across multiple platforms.

Salesforce

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Salesforce, one of the most popular and robust CRMs available, works with Mailchimp in a couple of ways. The most notable is that the integration automatically syncs contacts between the two platforms. Mailchimp can also send information about a subscriber’s activity back to the contact’s page within Salesforce, updating the Notes and Attachments pages of that contact. It’s an extremely useful tool for sales reps who want to know how engaged prospects are with emails.

HubSpot

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If you use Hubspot as your CRM platform, then you’re hopefully already taking advantage of the Mailchimp integration. The integration automatically imports contacts from Hubspot into Mailchimp so that you can instantly engage with prospects. The real selling point is Hubspot’s Intelligent Error Handling, which promises to identify and resolve any sync errors with minimum fuss. Instead of scratching your head wondering why your apps aren’t working together, you can get back to connecting with contacts.

Insightly

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Insightly is a CRM that promises total control of the customer experience, from how you market and sell to them to even the projects you deliver. It’s no surprise to see it integrated with Mailchimp, where it goes above and beyond to help you get the most out of both platforms. With the Insightly-Mailchimp integration, you of course get the basic function of syncing contacts across both platforms. The real draw is the informational display about each subscriber, including their activity and a lead rating out of five stars.

CapsuleCRM

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Capsule is the ultimate in user-friendly CRM tools. Businesses can install and start using Capsule intuitively, so there’s no painful learning curve like there is with more intricate programs. As such, the Mailchimp integration is similarly straightforward. After integrating with Mailchimp, you’ll be able to subscribe and unsubscribe contacts from email lists from directly within Capsule. No more switching back and forth between platform doing duplicate data entry. It’s a dream come true for small teams already stretched thin on time.

Zoho CRM

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Zoho CRM is a robust tool that can automate many facets of your business while still being intuitive enough to use out of the box. Over 150,000 businesses around the world use Zoho, so it’s only natural that it integrates with Mailchimp. The Mailchimp integration does the standard duty of syncing contacts between both platforms. However, you can also sync it so that all campaigns created within Mailchimp get saved with Zoho’s campaign modules.

Analytics Integrations

To make data-driven decisions about marketing or sales processes, you need access to website, social media, and email analytics. These integrations with Mailchimp ensure that you’re covering all your bases.

Google Analytics

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Google Analytics is perhaps the analytics platform that most businesses are familiar with using. It offers data on almost every facet of your website’s activity, down to even being able to identify the company that visitors are coming from. Its integration with Mailchimp brings that same level of thoroughness to tracking stats for your email marketing. The integration can pass data both ways, sending Google data to your campaign reports and vice versa. This helps give you a more complete picture of conversions, as Google will be able to follow visitors from email clicks to final purchase. If you create campaign pages hosted on Mailchimp, Google can track the metrics for those as well.

Power BI

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Power BI is Microsoft’s answer to the need for analytics and insights. It’s much more sophisticated and customizable than something like Google Analytics, as it’s able to help enterprises like Heathrow Airport run more smoothly. Still, no job is too small for Power BI. It integrates with Mailchimp to bring that same enterprise-level of detail to analyzing your email marketing. With the Mailchimp integration, Power BI hones in on the most engaged subscribers, which campaigns get opened the most, and other trends that can help you get more out of your email efforts.

Dasheroo

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Dasheroo lets you compile all of your business KPIs and metrics into one dashboard. No more switching back and forth between Google Analytics and the sales reporting tab of your CRM to find trends or problems with marketing. Dasheroo integrates with dozens of platforms and Mailchimp is no exception. With the integration, you can see overall list health, campaign details, engagement, bounces and unsubscribes, and more all within the Dasheroo platform.

Geckoboard

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Geckoboard is a close competitor to Dasheroo, letting you create customizable dashboards that teams can see in real-time. Geckoboard is specifically meant to be projected on TVs around the office. This keeps business health at top of mind so everyone is clear on what needs to be done to move forward. The Mailchimp integration can take key email campaign metrics and incorporate them onto the TV dashboard. Whatever data is most important to you and your team, you can select from Mailchimp and project onto the TV for a constant reminder of how your performance is stacking up.

Klipfolio

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Klipfolio is another real-time performance dashboard for business. Trusted by brands like IKEA and GrubHub, Klipfolio allows you to compile dashboards from apps, spreadsheets, databases, and more. There are over 100 different services available for connection. The Mailchimp integration does everything you’d expect from a product like Klipfolio. It can pull the standard metrics from Mailchimp and import it into Klipfolio’s dashboard, giving your team access to data at a glance. However, with Klipfolio you can also create custom queries to specify unique data sets and time periods to pull from Mailchimp.

AgencyAnalytics

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Marketing or advertising agencies may be interested in integrations to help streamline their client reporting process. AgencyAnalytics helps agencies create analytics reports for clients about SEO, PPC ads, social media, email, reviews, and more. The software integrates with Mailchimp to automatically generate white-label reports about a client’s email performance. Instead of wasting hours each period creating reports about Mailchimp campaigns from scratch, AgencyAnalytics does it for you and sends them to clients with a click of a button.

Automate Your Sales and Marketing Process With the Right Mailchimp Integration

From capturing leads to measuring email marketing performance, there are Mailchimp integrations that can help automate almost every step of your marketing, sales, and analytics process. The only question is, which of these integrations will you take advantage of? For sales teams that are trying to get a more complete picture of who their leads are and which ones they can best help, an airtight lead qualification tool is key. Lead qualification sorts through the hundreds or thousands of people who visit your site after clicking through a Mailchimp email and tells you which ones are most poised to buy. LeadBoxer integrates with Mailchimp in seconds to accomplish this very thing. Request a free trial today.

Cross-Domain Tracking: A Guide to Tracking Visitors Across Multiple Websites

Cross-Domain Tracking: A Guide to Tracking Visitors Across Multiple Websites

If your business operates across multiple domains and you aren’t already taking advantage of cross-domain tracking, then you’re probably missing out on the sort of insights that could turbocharge your marketing and sales. Cross-domain tracking is a tool that’s all but essential for businesses with two or more sites, such as a main website, a cart checkout site, a knowledge base, or a marketing campaign site.

In this guide, you’ll learn what cross-domain tracking is, why it’s important, and what tools are available to help you access it. By the end, you’ll know if cross-domain tracking is right for your business and which tool is best for your needs. With cross-domain tracking in your tool belt, you’ll be able to market more effectively to individual users and earn more sales.

What is Cross-Domain Tracking?

Cross-domain tracking gathers data about two or more sites, in particular, the navigation path from one site to another during a single session.

One Domain Tracking

For businesses with one domain, such as www.example.com, Google Analytics has made it simple and free to install a tag so that you can monitor data like:

  • Pageviews
  • Unique visitors
  • Average session duration
  • Acquisition
  • The flow of traffic between pages

You can even see what specific businesses are viewing a site thanks to Google’s ISP identification.

If your business has a second domain, you can install a separate Analytics tag that will record data for that site. However, the reports for both sites are kept separate.

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Therefore, if a user begins a session on www.example.com and then navigates to www.mysite.com, the data report from www.mysite.com will treat it as a new session instead of a continuation of an activity that began on www.example.com.

Cross-Domain Tracking

If you want to treat a session that begins on www.example.com and ends on www.mysite.com as a single entity instead of two unique sessions, then you’ll want to use cross-domain tracking.

The data for both sites will then be presented as a single report, like so:

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It’s possible to use Google Analytics or other software to enable cross-domain tracking, as you’ll see in a later section. Depending on which tool you use, you’ll either get a bird’s eye view of how the average user engages with your sites, or you can follow the experiences of unique visitors and then get actionable insights that your sales and marketing teams can use.

Why is Cross-Domain Tracking Important?

Cross-domain tracking can have different benefits for multiple divisions in a business, chiefly marketing and sales.

For Marketing Teams

Marketing teams who are looking to improve the buyer’s journey across multiple sites likely need to use cross-domain tracking.

For example, if your business has some form of Lead Generation component or shopping cart checkout housed on a separate domain, cross-domain tracking allows marketing teams to analyze what’s working across multiple domains to help convert visitors to buyers and what needs more refinement.

Here’s an example of how this might look in Google Analytics:

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This User Flow report shows what pages visitors navigate to and from over the course of their sessions. You can see which paths are most common, as well as which pages users are more likely to bounce from. With cross-domain tracking, you can observe this flow across more than one site.

Cross-domain tracking can also make it possible to serve specific content to users across multiple domains based on their previous behavior, especially if you’re using a tool that’s designed to identify unique visitors and respond to their behavior. This kind of targeted marketing can increase conversion rates.

For Sales Teams

Sales teams who prioritize a user’s level of interest when qualifying leads will find cross-domain tracking useful. Cross-domain tracking  provides a more detailed picture of visitors’ engagement with one brand across multiple domains, giving sales teams a better frame of reference for how engaged, qualified and possibly interested a lead is.

Data about a user’s engagement is often used to calculate a lead score, or a number value that describes how promising the user is as a lead. The example below shows a site user with a lead score of 83.

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Tracking engagement across multiple domains is essential for qualification and accuracy. Without cross-domain tracking of user engagement, you might be missing out on leads who are more engaged on one site but not the other.

How Do You Install Cross-Domain Tracking?

There are a few different tools that can enable cross-domain tracking, including Google Analytics and LeadBoxer.

Google Analytics

Setting up a Google Analytics tag for one domain is pretty straightforward. Most people with basic web maintenance skills can figure it out on their own.

Things get more complicated when it comes to cross-domain tracking. If you decide to go with this method, it’s best to bring an experienced engineer into the picture who can install it correctly and maintain it as necessary.

Check out this guide for a complete rundown of how to install cross-domain tracking with Google Analytics. As you’ll see, it’s a fair bit trickier than installing single domain tracking.

Even with this method, you won’t be able to track individual users. Google Analytics can give you a sense of what businesses are using your site and how users on average are engaging with the site, but it’s not designed to get any more granular than that.

LeadBoxer

LeadBoxer is platform for identifying  and tracking individual users and their actions across one or more sites, where it is enriched, segmented and used  to calculate a lead score. This lead score helps sales teams know who they should invest their time and energy toward to nurture that lead into a customer.

Marketing teams can also benefit from LeadBoxer. They can get under the hood of individual users and see what content they’re engaging with across one or multiple sites, then target them with content that’s reflective of their previous behavior.

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In short, the big difference between Google Analytics and LeadBoxer is the ability to zoom in on a single user and take action based on their behavior. LeadBoxer also makes it possible to identify visitors who would otherwise remain completely anonymous, so you can reach out and make contact with these users in the event of B2B sales.

Cross-domain tracking is a standard feature included in LeadBoxer and can be enabled for you without doing any additional work.

To get started, schedule a call with LeadBoxer and ask for a trial with cross-domain tracking.

Installation is easy, simply install the same pixel in all your domains and we will take care of connecting the users/sessions without the use of 3rd party cookies!

All in all, LeadBoxer is a painless way to get cross-domain tracking at your fingertips. For more information about how to install cross-domain tracking with LeadBoxer, click here.

 

Opentracker

Opentracker offers a blend of Google Analytics and LeadBoxer features. Its primary purpose is to track unique visitors in realtime. Cross-domain tracking comes standard with this tool and is easy and intuitive to access.

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Unlike LeadBoxer, Opentracker doesn’t calculate a lead score or provide actionable insights about prospects to sales teams. It can identify a visitor’s company, but it doesn’t capture name and contact information the way LeadBoxer can.

Turn Visitors Into Buyers With Cross-Domain Tracking

If you have multiple related websites that users are likely navigating between during the same session, then cross-domain tracking is essential for capturing a complete picture of visitors’ online experiences. Cross-domain tracking is possible with Google Analytics but installation can be tedious and prone to mistakes. Analytics also doesn’t allow you to identify unique visitors.

If you want the ability to give visitors a face and a name, gauge their potential as a lead, and notify your sales team about when they should reach out and turn that lead into a customer, then LeadBoxer is a more appropriate tool. Best of all, installing cross-domain tracking with LeadBoxer is so easy that anyone with basic web maintenance experience can install it.

Sign up for a demo call of LeadBoxer today and try out cross-domain tracking in minutes.

Looking for more qualified leads?

We offer Lead Identification and Lead intelligence through website & email tracking 

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.

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.

 

 

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

Image source

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. Sales enablement tools can help you make this process even better.

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