Lead Qualification 101: How to Identify the Best Sales Leads

Lead Qualification 101: How to Identify the Best Sales Leads

Pop culture would have you believe that the most important part of any sales journey is the art of closing a deal. Equally important, however, is how you open it. Pursuing only the most viable prospects with the need, authority, and budget to purchase your product is a winning recipe for securing new accounts.

Lead qualification is an essential part of this recipe. But what exactly is it, and how do you do it?

In this article, you’ll learn how to qualify a sales lead from the moment they first visit your website all the way through to after an initial discovery call. With the information you gather, you’ll be able to effortlessly determine which prospects are worth pursuing and which aren’t, saving you time and money.

Use the links below to navigate to each section:

  • What is lead qualification?
  • Why lead qualification is important
  • How to qualify a sales leads using lead scoring
  • Lead qualification frameworks and questions
  • When to move prospects forward

 

What is Lead Qualification?

Lead qualification is a process of marketing and sales teams working together to forecast the likelihood that a prospect will ultimately make a purchase. It occurs at every stage of the sales journey and ultimately decides if the prospect will be funneled down the pipeline.

 

The first step of lead qualification happens during the inbound marketing stage. At this stage, your company’s marketing team captures contact info via site visits, email subscriptions, or social media, then decides if the lead fits the profile of your company’s ideal customer.

This qualifies the prospect to move on to the next step, which is a discovery call from a sales rep. The sales rep leads a conversation that reveals the prospect’s needs, project timelines, purchasing authority, and any budgetary constraints.

Information gathered during a discovery call further determines if the prospect is viable of the time it takes to craft a proposal, or if you’re better off pursuing someone else’s business.

 

Why Lead Qualification is Important?

Lead qualification is important because it saves you time, energy, and ultimately your bottom line. It occurs very early in the pipeline, ideally when you’re making initial contact or even beforehand. It helps you determine:

  • If the prospect is in the right industry and territory to benefit from your product
  • If they have a need your product can solve
  • If the person you’re talking to has the budget and authority to make a purchasing decision
  • If there is some way you can provide value over your competitors or the prospect’s current vendor

If the lead doesn’t meet your criteria for what makes a qualified prospect, then you can disqualify them. Disqualification may sound like a bad thing, but in reality it saves you time and allows you to focus on more promising contacts.

Bottom line, lead qualifications allows you to quickly assess whether or not you’re talking to a person that has any real intent in buying what you’re selling. This can also help make sales reps more efficient, productive, and motivated. Without it, you could waste time talking to people who will never close, and no one wants to feel like they’re just spinning their wheels.

 

How to Qualify a Sales Leads Using Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is a process of assigning a point value to a prospect at or near the beginning of the sales pipeline. It often happens before a sales rep ever makes a discovery call. In fact, it may inform whether or not a call is worth having in the first place. This ensures that reps spend their time talking to only the most promising leads.

Before you can calculate a leadscore, you’ll need to gather the following data about a prospect:

 

Buyer Profile

Does this prospect fall into your target industry and territory? Do they fit the profile of your ideal customer?

To find out, you’ll need to include fields in the forms on your landing pages that gather the relevant information. Anyone tasked with this level of qualification — be it a sales rep or a marketing team in charge of identifying prospects — should always keep the company’s ideal customer profile in mind.

 

From there, you’ll be able to award points to leads whose answers align with your buyer profile and take away points for those who don’t. You can also award points for those who fill out fields that were otherwise listed as optional on the form, as this demonstrates additional interest on behalf of the prospect.

 

Company Information

If you’re a B2B organization, then knowing the size of the prospect’s company and its contact information is essential to qualify the lead. You can add or take away points depending on how the size of their company relates to your ideal customer profile.

 

Online Behavior

The more time a prospect interacts with your site, the more likely that they’re interested in your product. Tracking page views, length of visit, downloads, and frequency of visits over a 30, 60, or 90 day period are all good data points to start with.

 

Email Engagement

Just because someone signed up for to your email list does not necessarily mean they’re ready or even interested in buying from you. Open rates and click-through rates are a more meaningful indication of interest.

 

Social Media Engagement

Tracking Facebook or Twitter likes, retweets, shares, and click-through rates from your posts are all ways of tracking social media engagement. The more engaged a prospect is, the higher their leadscore should be.

 

Spam Detection

Using all lowercase letters when filling out website forms is a red flag that the prospect may be a bot. The use of a Gmail or Yahoo email address instead of a company email address may also indicate that they don’t fit your buyer profile. These indicators can subtract points from the prospect’s leadscore if it doesn’t disqualify them altogether.

Now that you have a set of data, you’ll need to interpret it in a way that immediately communicates how qualified a lead is. To manually calculate an actual point value or leadscore, follow these steps:

 

Step 1: Set Your Benchmark

To do this, divide the number of new customers acquired by the number of all leads generated. This conversion rate is your control, which you’ll use to compare to other characteristics.

Step 2: Choose the Most Valuable Characteristics

Which characteristics did your highest quality leads exhibit? In addition to going with your gut, consult your sales reps, marketing team, analytics, etc. for their insights.

Step 3: Calculate Close Rates

As with setting your benchmark, divide the number of customers acquired by leads generated that exhibited certain qualities. Do this for each characteristic.

Step 4: Compare Characteristics

Which characteristics showed significantly higher close rates to your benchmark? Assign higher point values to those characteristics. For example, if leads who downloaded a certain whitepaper have a close rate of 25%, you might assign that characteristic 25 points on future leadscores.

Once you decide how you’re going to calculate leadscores, you can save yourself time and energy by investing in a lead generation and sales tool. Many will capture all the data you need, then automatically calculate it. Software dashboards are usually visual, easy to reference, and quickly identify who is the most promising prospect to pursue.

Here’s a look at how you can customize different characteristics or information in LeadBoxer to automatically calculate a lead score for potential prospects:

After a lead has been gathered and qualified with a leadscore by the marketing team, it’s time for a sales rep to step in and make a discovery call.

 

Lead Qualification Frameworks and Questions

At this level, sales reps determine whether or not the prospect has any real need or desire for the product. This is done by asking the right questions during a discovery call.

Several thought leaders and top sales reps have spent decades developing multiple frameworks for their lead qualification processes. The method you chose to follow will ultimately depend on your industry and the average size of accounts you typically work with. Your personal conversation style and comfort zone might also play a role in what framework you reference.

These questions have the added benefit of encouraging potential leads to open up about their needs, frustrations, and pain points. Should you decide that the lead is qualified to move forward in the process, you can use this information to tailor your pitch and deliver a more effective proposal later on.

 

BANT

BANT stands for budget, authority, need, and timeline. Although the brainchild of IBM, it’s the go-to framework for qualifying leads in a variety of markets and companies. Some relevant questions to ask during a discovery call would include:

  • Budget: How much of the budget is set aside to address this challenge?
  • Authority: Are you in the position to make a purchasing decision to address this challenge?
  • Need: What challenge are you dealing with and why hasn’t it been dealt with before?
  • Timeline: How soon do you hope to solve this challenge?

Strengths: BANT is simple and straightforward. For anyone with a low-stakes or lower priced product with no existing qualification framework in place, it’s a good option to start with and develop from there.

Weaknesses: BANT’s questions don’t follow a logical order. It would be a bit daring to open a discovery call by jumping straight to a question about money. Plus, according to CEB’s research, 5.4 people are involved in B2B purchasing decisions. When considering authority, the answer is likely that multiple people are involved and should therefore be brought into the conversation.

 

CHAMP

CHAMP was developed as a solution to the seemingly backward sequencing of BANT so that the more important questions are asked first for both the buyer and the qualifier.

  • Challenges: What problem needs solving in your business? What challenges are you still faced with that your current solution still does not solve or address as effectively as you would like?
  • Authority: In addition to yourself, who else is involved in this purchasing decision? Should we bring them into the conversation? What are the organizational relationships that influence the decision?
  • Money: What are your expectations for the investment necessary to purchase the solution?
  • Prioritization: When do you plan to implement a solution to your problem? Are you looking at any other possible solutions?

Strengths: The ordering of questions follows a more natural trajectory of conversation. For those just beginning to explore qualification frameworks, this may be the easiest to keep at the back of your mind during a discovery call.

Weaknesses: As far as conversations go, CHAMP is still a little shallow. For one, it doesn’t get into how a prospect would measure the success of the project. This leaves the sales rep ill-prepared to fully demonstrate value further down the pipeline during the proposal stage.

 

GPCTBA/C&I

Hubspot developed what is certainly the longest acronym in sales, but they swear by it. Although they break down their framework into more detail than this, in a nutshell GPCTBA/C&I stands for:

  • Goals: What’s your top priority right now?
  • Plans: How do you plan to achieve that goal?
  • Challenges: What difficulties do you foresee with your plan?
  • Timeline: When do you hope to solve this? If you don’t buy at this time, what remedial actions do you plan to take?
  • Budget: What have you spent on achieving this goal so far? What additional funds can you allocate towards it?
  • Authority: How does your company purchase products of this type? Who else is concerned with this buying decision and what are some of their concerns? What ego or ownership issues come up that need to be managed and respected that I need to be mindful of?
  • Negative consequences: What happens if you don’t reach this goal? What will it cost you and your company if you keep things the way they are today?
  • Positive Implications: What can you achieve next if you do reach this goal?

Strengths: In an era when multiple solutions to a person’s problem are just a Google search away, it’s more important than ever to get clear on how relevant your product is to their needs and how closely they fit into your niche. This framework gets into the nitty-gritty and can quickly indicate if a prospect is truly viable. Plus, it was developed by a SaaS company, so it likely translates well to other SaaS providers.

Weaknesses: Sales reps unfamiliar with this framework will likely need to practice holding a conversation that touches on all these topics in a natural way. Otherwise, you risk hosting a discovery call that comes off as more like an interrogation.

 

MEDDIC

Dick Dunkel and Jack Napoli developed MEDDIC in the mid 90’s while at PTC corporation. The framework was developed for enterprise-level B2B sales. It stands for:

  • Metrics: How would you measure the success of a project?
  • Economic Buyer: Who’s in charge of the budget for this project? How would they define success?
  • Decision Criteria: What are the technical criteria for making a purchase decision?
  • Decision Process: How does your company make the decisions to buy? Who else needs to be brought into this process? What’s the timeline for making a decision? How does the process differ for larger purchases?
  • Identify Pain: What needs fixing? Why haven’t you fixed it yet?
  • Champion: Who has the most vested interest in solving this problem? Do they have influence in the decision process?

Strengths: MEDDIC is ideal for companies with accounts that are in the range of hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. These accounts likely jump through significantly more hoops during the decision process. A qualifier needs to be clear on the criteria to meet before moving forward with a proposal.

Weaknesses: The line of questioning posed by this framework might feel clunky to a sales novice. Practice or drafting questions tailored to their specific offering is likely necessary to hold a more natural conversation.

 

ANUM

ANUM assumes that the most important thing to know first is whether or not the person you’re talking to has any real power.

  • Authority: Are you in charge of making purchasing decisions? Who are the people typically involved in this decision making process?
  • Need: What’s the biggest hurdle you hope to overcome?
  • Urgency: How soon to hope to overcome it?
  • Money: What funds are available to allocate towards overcoming it?

Strengths: ANUM attempts to make sure you’re talking to someone with spending privileges from the get-go, presumably saving you time and energy.

Weaknesses: Sometimes the case is that different people within a company are in charge of making different purchasing decisions depending on the function of the product. The person you’re talking to might not know if they have the authority to make this particular decision until it’s clear what challenge needs addressing.

 

Other Questions

It’s possible that there are questions relevant to your product or industry that aren’t covered by any of the frameworks above. In that case, you’ll want to tweak your approach so that you’re covering all your bases.

Some additional questions worth considering are:

  1. What are the concerns or roadblocks that could come up down the road and get in the way of us working together?
  2. What are the timely and relevant issues that are going on internally?
  3. What is the overall mood of the company and its leaders towards this problem?
  4. What internal resources can you leverage to try and resolve this issue on your own?
  5. How will your current vendors react to the possibility you’ll buy from us?

Whatever framework and sets of questions you go with, don’t overload the person you’re speaking with by asking them too many. The idea is to engage them in meaningful conversation, not convince them that you’re an interrogator.

 

When to Move Prospects Forward

After making a discovery call, you’ll need to make a decision about whether or not to continue the sales process. Some good signs that prospects are ideal candidates for moving forward include:

 

Pain Points

The prospect clearly identified what challenge they have and talked about it at length. It’s clear this is an issue that is a top priority and needs to be solved soon.

Specific Goals

During the conversation, the prospect was certain on measurable goals and outcomes. This shows that they’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about the challenge and will be receptive to solutions that propose to meet those goals.

Knowledge

Overall, the prospect knew the ins and outs of the challenge or project like the back of their own hand. This shows that they likely have sway over the purchasing decision if they’re not in charge of it themselves.

However, if you encounter some of these signs during your discover call, you might want to consider stopping the process:

Short Answers

Whether it’s because they don’t have the time to talk, they haven’t thought about their challenges in detail, or they don’t have a pain point you can address, this is a clear indicator that the prospect isn’t interested.

Inconsistent Answers

Conflicting responses are an indicator that the prospect might not have that much influence over the project, or it’s not enough of a priority that they’re willing to find a solution just yet. In either case, you’ll want to save your time and pursue other business.

 

Qualify Leads and Close More Sales

An optimized leads qualification process serves two main functions: to forecast whether or not a prospect is worth the time and effort of a proposal, and to help reps tailor that proposal for maximum effectiveness.

The first step to qualifying a sales lead is to generate a leadscore based on their engagement with your website, emails, and social media posts. The second step is to make a discovery call to determine their needs, purchasing authority, and budget.

While this may seem relatively straightforward, there’s a lot of data and elements that need to be taken into consideration in order to calculate a leadscore. Thankfully, there are several different kinds of lead generation software out there that can gather, analyze, and calculate that leadscore for you. In no time at all, you’ll be filling your pipeline with qualified prospects and winning more accounts.

How to Create a Sales Follow-Up Process

How to Create a Sales Follow-Up Process

It’s a commonly cited statistic that only 2% of sales are made during the first meeting. That’s about a one in fifty chance that your initial pitch will result in a done deal. A strategic and optimized sales follow-up process is your best bet for getting the results you want.

In this article, you’ll learn how to set up your sales follow-up process from start to finish so that it’s primed for success. While setting up the process may seem daunting, the right CRM tool or email tracking app can help you automate many parts of the process. This allows you to focus on the steps that require a personal touch so your leads feel valued and more willing to buy.

Use the links below to navigate to each section:

 

How to Start the Sales Pipeline

To set up your sales follow-up process for success, start by automating the process from the beginning of your pipeline. This is the point where you collect data on potential leads, pinpoint high-quality contacts, and make your initial outreach. Automating this process will help you invest time in only the most promising leads.

1. Capture Leads

The first step of your pipeline is to gather information on potential leads. Common ways of doing this include contact forms on your website, email list sign-ups and activity, or even simply interacting with certain pages and social media profiles.

Not sure how or which tool to use to generate leads? Check out this list of 19+ tools recommended by sales and marketing experts.

 

2. Prioritize Leads

Not all leads are created equal. Some will be worth your effort more than others. A leadscore is a single number that helps you quickly identify who is most likely to buy.

Many CRM tools and lead scoring software calculate the leadscore by tracking a lead’s website visits, newsletter opens, website clicks, social media engagement, and more.

Using a leadscore offers numerous benefits for your sales process, including increased measurable ROI, conversion rates, and sales productivity. The infographic below takes a look at a few of these benefits in more detail:

Kentico’s 2014 survey showed that over 60% of companies already used or planned to use lead scoring techniques. If you’re not already taking advantage of this tool, you could be missing out on benefits that your competitors aren’t.

A tool like LeadBoxer can generate the most accurate leadscore possible by comparing the criteria for your ideal buyer to the online behavior of your potential lead. From there, you can use this information to decide whether or not to continue the sales process with this particular contact.

3. Create an Alert

After setting the criteria for a promising lead, you can create an alert with your CRM tool for when that lead next engages with your website, emails, advertising, or social media. By calling a lead immediately after they express interest in your brand, you increase your chances of establishing contact with them significantly.

Source

According to a study by LeadResponseManagement.org, the odds of contacting a lead if called in five minutes versus 30 minutes after that lead expresses interest drop 100 times, therefore it’s essential to make contact as soon as possible after lead activity.

4. Initiate Contact with Leads

When it comes to reaching out to leads, the email versus cold calling debate rages on. With so many studies, statistics, and lists out there touting the benefits of one method over the other, it can be difficult to decide whether or not you should initiate contact with an email or a phone call.

Your CRM tool can help you decide.

Take a look at what you know about the lead. Is this person higher up in the organization and likely to have a packed schedule? Email might be the way to go.

Are they older or seem like they might prefer a more personal touch? Consider picking up the phone. However, if you call and leave a voicemail, it’s good form to immediately follow up with an email recapping the purpose of your call.

Whether reaching out by email or phone, follow this formula for a message that gets noticed:

  • Open with a clear reason for connecting

Skip the bland and overdone openers like “I just wanted to touch base about…”. Get straight to the point by introducing yourself, then defining how your product or service can solve your lead’s potential problem.

  • Add value

This initial contact is not actually the time to make your pitch unless you want to risk turning some leads off. Warm up and nurture leads by offering them something of value for nothing, such as a free resource, whitepaper, or consultation.

  • End on a clear call-to-action

Give leads a reason to get back in touch. Offer to schedule a meeting so you can explain how they can make the most of the free resource you just sent them.

By beginning your lead qualifying process with this automated and strategic method, you’ll be able to easily book meetings where you can make your actual pitch.

 

Sales Follow-Up Timeline: When to Send Follow-Up Emails

You’ve made initial contact, had a formal meeting where you made your pitch, and feel confident about your lead. But remember that only 2% of first meetings end in a sale. More than likely, you need a consistent sales follow-up process to bring the deal home.

However, if your initial email (or even your post-pitch follow-up) receives a “no” response, don’t give up just yet. A popular statistic confirmed by multiple studies reveals that 80% of leads will say “no” to an offer five times before they eventually say “yes.” Sending follow-up emails at strategic times is therefore a necessary and common part of the process.

If you aren’t already using one, you should use a CRM tool or email tracking app to help you complete the next steps. Knowing whether or not your emails remain unopened or not will influence when you send a follow-up message, as well as what kind of message to send. This list of 10+ best email tracking apps for Gmail and Outlook can help get you started.

Free E-Book: Click here to download LeadBoxer’s free E-Book, “7 Things to Consider in an Email Tracking App”

Here’s a list of the kinds of follow-up messages to send and when to send them:

After You’ve Formally Met and Made Your Pitch

By now, you’ve hopefully had a meeting where you formally made your pitch and the lead was qualified enough to continue the sales process. You’ll then need to send a post-pitch follow-up in order to carry you to the next stage. Follow up 1-2 days later with a message like this:

  • Show your appreciation

Quickly thank the lead for meeting or speaking with you.

  • Review their pain point

Restate any of the lead’s pain points that arose during the meeting and how your product or service can solve those problems.

  • Answer any questions raised during the meeting

If you promised to look into a lead’s problem or question during the meeting, review your findings now. This is also a good time to attach a particular resource, such as a whitepaper, that would address the lead’s question or pain point.

  • End on a call-to-action

Don’t let a good thing go to waste. Be direct in asking the lead how they would like to move forward.

When the Lead Needs to Consult with Their Supervisor

Sometimes the lead you pitched may need to consult a supervisor before making the final decision to buy. In this scenario, you’d want to follow up 4-5 days after making the pitch. This gives the lead enough time to speak with their team. Use this structure to reach out:

  • Show your appreciation

As with the first follow-up email, quickly thank the lead for meeting or speaking with you.

  • Reference the boss

Ask what their colleague or higher-up thought of your proposal.

  • Make a clear call-to-action

Ask for a quick follow-up meeting to discuss the next steps.

When the Lead Opened Your Email But Didn’t Respond

Your CRM tool or email tracking app shows that the lead opened your email or clicked a link or attachment inside but didn’t respond. This might happen when you try to make initial contact, or if you send along an additional resource after making your pitch. Contact them soon (within 1-2 days) with the following message:

Ask how they liked the resource

A simple “How are you enjoying XYZ whitepaper?” will do.

  • Offer to walk them through it

Mention how you can help them get the most out of the resource in order to solve their business problem.

  • End on a call-to-action

Offer a time and date when you can talk them through their questions.

When You Need to Follow Up the Unanswered Follow-Up

If after a few more days your follow-up remains unanswered, try engaging them with more valuable content. For businesses that create blog posts or whitepapers as part of their content marketing strategy, this is a fairly pain-free step. Use this template for composing your email:

  • Ask again if they’ve taken a look at your resource

Even if they haven’t responded to your first follow-up, remind them of the valuable asset you originally offered them.

  • Offer another resource

A second article or piece of content from your company’s website may be a better fit for answering this lead’s questions.

  • Ask how to move forward

As always, end on a clear call-to-action, in this case by asking if they’re still interested in your product or service and would like to discuss how to move forward.

When It’s Time to Break Things Off

It’s a bummer, but it happens. After several unanswered and unopened emails, it’s probably time to break things off. However, some sales reps report that this email gets as much as a 76% response rate. Consider the following structure to make the most of a graceful exit:

  • Mention that you haven’t been able to get in touch

Keep this light and non-judgemental, or you risk putting off the lead. Things happen, and maybe they’ve just been really busy.

  • Ask if there’s a better time to connect

Fiscal years, budget planning, or waiting on additional sources of funding can play a huge role in whether or not your offer can even be considered at present.

  • Ask to close their file

If timing doesn’t play a role in their decision, ask the lead if you can close their file. This final call-to-action is sometimes enough to elicit the response of an interested lead who has simply been too busy.

With any of these follow-up emails, a CRM tool or email productivity app will allow you to compose your messages in advance. You can then schedule them to send at the desired time or in the event that one of your previous follow-ups is unopened or unanswered.

 

Sales Follow-Up Tips & Techniques

The following tips and techniques can help optimize your sales follow-up process, no matter where you are in the pipeline.

Schedule and Automate Follow-Ups…

Scheduling your responses to send according to the timeline above is essential for keeping your sales process moving. Many CRM or email productivity tools will allow you to compose and schedule emails to send at a later date, or in the event that a previous email went unanswered.

…But Don’t Automate Email Content

While it’s a good idea to consult email templates for how to structure your responses, avoid leaning too heavily on the same template and language for every lead. People know when they’re receiving a formulaic response and may opt to pass on your offer. Taking the time to craft a personalized response shows how much you value their potential partnership.

Keep Emails Brief

In a world where inboxes are becoming increasingly cluttered and attention spans increasingly short, it’s best to keep your emails to the point. Boomerang, a provider of email productivity software, did a study on over 40 million emails to find out what the response rates were for different email lengths:

Source

Boomerang’s results show that there’s a bell curve to response for email lengths. Write an email that’s too short or too long and you decrease your chances of getting a response. The sweet spot for email length is between 50 and 125 words, which earn response rates of 50% or more.

Avoid Bland Statements

Opening statements like “I wanted to circle back…” are tired and signal that you don’t have a clear reason for getting in touch. Be direct instead, often by referencing the lead’s previously established pain point and how you can solve it.

Back Up Your Claims

It’s not enough to claim that you can solve a lead’s pain point. Back up your statement with a compelling result, metric, or customer testimonial. This helps establish trust between you and your lead at every stage of the sales process.

Stay Human

This long-standing advice is as true as ever: remember that you’re a human first and a salesperson second. The same goes for your lead.

Approach them with the same respect and understanding that you would afford a friend, colleague, or acquaintance. Not only will you see better results, but you may also see an increase in your own personal job satisfaction.

For more ways to optimize your follow-up process, check out this complete guide to email tracking for B2B sales teams.

 

How to Automate Your Sales Follow-Up Process

While the sales follow-up process is relatively straightforward, you quickly learn that there are a lot of moving parts. The right tools will help you automate and optimize the process for better results. While there are countless options out there, here are a five to get your search started:

LeadBoxer features automated solutions for many of the steps covered in this article. The tool collects and populates contact information for leads that visit your site, open your newsletters, or exhibit other online behaviors.

It then assigns leads a score to help you decide if you want to continue the sales process with them. There’s also an alert function so you know the best time to reach out and make initial contact. Once you do, LeadBoxer’s Gmail extension makes it easy to track and analyze all the emails you send.

HubSpot

HubSpot’s CRM has much of the functionality you need to automate your sales follow-up process. The interface features a kanban-style board so you can quickly see which stage of the sales pipeline each lead is in.

You can also schedule personalized emails, track opens and downloads so you can respond immediately, measure the performance of email templates, and show availability for easy scheduling.

 

Agile CRM

Like HubSpot, Agile CRM allows you to track which phase of the sales process each lead is in.

It records each interaction with the lead and creates events for calls, meetings, follow-ups, and more. On top of that, it analyzes lead behavior and calculates a leadscore so you can decide when and how to proceed.

 

Gmelius

Gmelius is a free solution for someone who wants a lightweight tool seamlessly integrated with their Gmail inbox. The tool tracks emails and delivers instant feedback so you can send the right follow-up.

You can even see which templates are most effective, then personalize and schedule them easily. Leadscores and contact overviews are not a feature, but Gmelius can be integrated with a more full-service CRM to cover all your bases.

 

Pipedrive

Like Gmelius, Pipedrive focuses on a few core strengths for sales teams that prefer a lightweight tool. Its key features include tracking emails and calls, an interface that provides a streamlined overview of where everyone is in the sales process, and prioritized follow-up tasks that automatically shuffle to the top of your to-do list.

However, emails cannot be composed and scheduled to send automatically and there’s little insight into how likely your contact is to buy.

Each sales team will have different needs and considerations. No matter how much or how little automation and functionality you want, there’s likely a reasonably priced (or free) tool that will optimize your sales follow-up process.

 

What to Do After Closing a Sale

You did it. With the help of the right tool, you were able to successfully nurture your lead and close the sale. However, the sales follow-up process doesn’t end there. Here are a few tips for making the most of the deal and laying the groundwork for a second sale:

Send a Thank You Note

While this step is hopefully common sense, it’s important enough to warrant repeating. Send a quick but heartfelt thank you note immediately after finalizing the deal. By thanking your customer for doing business together, you ensure a lasting partnership (ie. a repeat customer).

Check-In

After your new customer has had time to get to know your product or service, reach out to see how they’re enjoying it. Soliciting feedback is also useful for improving your product and your customer experience. This step establishes trust and grows the relationship in preparation for the next step.

Make a Second Sale

By developing a relationship with your customer, you will have hopefully primed them to resign their contract automatically. If they don’t need to resign a contract but there’s an opportunity to make an additional sale, now is the time to start that process. The work you’ve done to create your first follow-up process will help you do it.

Start Building Your Automated Sales Follow-Up Process

Reaching out to leads at the right time and with the right message can make or break your sales process.

From capturing and qualifying leads to making contact and setting meetings, a high-converting sales follow-up process can have a lot of steps and moving parts. It can quickly become too much to manage on your own, unless you like inputting data into spreadsheets and setting countless reminders on your calendar.

Luckily, the right tool for your needs can streamline much of the process. Setting alerts, tracking unanswered emails, and sending previously composed emails at scheduled times can simplify your job and allow you to focus on what matters, aka communicating in a compelling, meaningful, and human way.

30+ Email Lookup Tools to Find Anyone’s Email Address

30+ Email Lookup Tools to Find Anyone’s Email Address

Finding someone’s email is a crucial part of cold email outreach. Without it, you’re left to call or message them via Twitter or LinkedIn. All of which are likely to lead to low reply/answer rates.

With someone’s email address and the right email tracking app, though, you can reach out them directly, know that the email has arrived in their inbox, and find out whether or not they’ve opened your email.

While some prospects list their email publicly on social media and our their website, others require a little more work. The good news is you don’t need to be a professional detective to find a person’s email addresses.

We’ve scoured the internet for the most popular email lookup tools on the net, to help you source and approach your candidates with ease. Take a look!

1. LeadBoxer

LeadBoxer is the ultimate tool for finding and qualifying email contacts. This GDPR compliant marketing tool comes with everything you need to safely find and convert prospects for your business. LeadBoxer offers multiple ways to identify potential customers, filter your email lists, and qualify your leads through dynamic scoring.

With the app, you can also receive notifications and updates when specific customers engage in conversion activities on your site or read your emails. Additionally, you can identify the contact information of your website’s visitors. This reduces the need for spending time finding leads to reach out to.

Free E-Book: Click here to download LeadBoxer’s free E-Book, “7 Things to Consider in an Email Tracking App”

FREE E-Book: 7 Things to Consider in an Email Tracking App

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2. RocketReach

Find email, social, and phone links for more than 250 million professionals around the world.

RocketReach has a vast archive of contact opportunities. With a state-of-the-art database featuring more than 6 million companies, RocketReach can find almost anyone. You can even find phone numbers to follow up.

You’ll never need to waste time on manual prospecting again. $49/month offers access to the RocketReach API and 170 custom lookups.

3. Find That

Self-described as “The Yellow Pages of Email”, Find That is a powerful email lookup tool.

Simply type in your prospect’s name and company into the search box, and Find That will automatically return a list of emails for that specific person. The list ranks contacts by “confidence”. This means that the email addresses you see first are the ones most likely to be legitimate.

A free plan is available with 50 searches included per month. Premium plans start at $29/month for 500 searches.

4. LeadGibbon

Track verified email addresses with a single click using LeadGibbon.

The Sales Navigator application allows you to search by industry, job title, location, company size, and more.

You can even export the data you collect to Google Sheets. Alongside contact details, the system also records names, titles, company, industry, and location. LeadGibbon has a huge database, along with up to a 99% match accuracy.

5. Vocus.io

An email lookup tool designed for Google Chrome users, Vocus.io is a comprehensive email solution that expands your Gmail capability. Just one of the features included in the system is email prospecting. The tool also includes email tracking, scheduling, and snooze functionality.

To use the tool, type the name and company domain of the person you want to connect with into the search bar. Vocus.io will create a list of possible email addresses, which it runs through a “verification” service. There’s no bulk search available on Vocus. Pricing starts at $5/month.

6. Voila Norbert

Voila Norbert makes it easy to find any email address. Create an account and you’ll instantly receive 50 free searches. To find someone’s email, type the company domain and person’s name into the tool’s search bar, and Norbert will generate a result. You are only charged for emails that that tool is able to find.

The starter plan is available at $49/month for 1,000 leads (emails found). You can also purchase credits on a pay-as-you-go basis at $0.10/lead.

7. Hunter

Previously known as “Email Hunter,” Hunter is a popular email lookup tool that allows you to search for emails by domain. To use the tool, you simply enter in a company’s URL and Hunter will return a list of emails that belong to that company.

There is a free plan available for 100 “requests” (email searches). Paid plans start at $39/month for 1,000 requests.

8. Hiretual

Hiretual is an email prospecting app that pulls information from Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook  This chrome extension finds email addresses and picks up additional information such as a person’s compensation range and seniority level.

Using artificial intelligence, the service collects information from around the web to build a full profile on the person you’re looking for. The service integrates with Gmail and Outlook. There is a free trial available that offers 10 searches a week and a premium plan offering 200 searches for $89 per month.

9. Lusha

This email search tool isn’t just fast and efficient; it’s also personal. Companies can customize the Lusha experience by adding the service to Salesforce, LinkedIn, or Twitter. There’s also a “Contact API” available for developers to plug into their existing technology stack.

The free trial comes with 5 searches per month for a single user. After that, you can choose from the “Essential” plan, for $25/month which offers 30 searches for one user, or the “Professional” plan at $69/month with 100 searches for up to 10 users. There’s also a “Premium” option with 300 searches for 25 users at $139/month.

10. FindThatLead

Intended for account-based sales, FindThatLead is quick and easy to use. Type a company URL into the search bar and click “Find Leads” to generate a list of email addresses within that company.

The free plan includes 10 daily credits (searches) a month. Alternatively, you can upgrade to a small business plan for $29/month to access 1,500 monthly credits.

11. Toofr

Toofr is a service that sells email lists. You can search for lists based on industry, company, job title, and more. Pricing for lists varies based on the specific list you’d like to purchase.

Toofr does have an email finder tool. To find the address of a specific person, all you have to do is enter in their full name and their company URL. Toofr’s monthly plan cost $9/month plus $0.01 per credit – each credit equals one search.

12. AnyEmailFinder

With Anymail Finder, you can look up email addresses by entering a person’s full name and company URL or name. You can test the tool once for free without creating an account. After that, you’ll receive access to 20 free searches by signing up.

Premium plans are available at $49 per month for 1,000 verified emails. You only pay for emails that Anymail Finder knows won’t bounce.

13. Nymeria

If you’re hoping to gather prospects from your LinkedIn network, then Nymeria is the perfect tool for you. Offering users the chance to find emails with a single click, the browser extension scans through LinkedIn profiles to find verified email addresses. Once found, you can export emails to a spreadsheet.

Nymeria offers various plans, including their “Personal” plan at $9/month, which enables you to search for up to 1,000 emails, their “Professional” plan at $19/month for 3,000 email searches, and their “Startup” plan at $49 per month for 10,000 searches. There’s also an “Enterprise” option at $99/month for 25,000 email searches.

14. Clearbit

Clearbit is an advanced email search tool that integrates with your CRM system. It currently supports Segment, Zapier, Marketo, and Salesforce. Clearbit also comes with a “Connect” feature which works with Gmail and Outlook.

The “Prospector” system scans through 20 million companies to create lists of targeted accounts that fit specific criteria for your business needs, like the number of employees within a company, or preferred technology stack.

Once you find the contacts you need, you can import them directly into your CRM system. Pricing varies depending on your needs but the “Prospector” package for Salesforce is $999/ month.

15. LinkedIn Sales Navigator Lite

Another powerful email tool that integrates with Gmail, LinkedIn Sales Navigator Lite is an extension for Chrome owned by LinkedIn. Once you install the extension, you can compose new emails in Gmail by typing a potential address into the “To” field. The system will draw data from LinkedIn to help find email details.

This tool gives you an opportunity to guess your way to success with email prospecting. This can take more time than some of the other options on this list. The tool is free, however.

16. SellHack

Sellhack is a simple and effective browser extension. The service uses an “industry leading” 12-step email verification engine to identify accurate email addresses. You can even use one-click integration to send personalized cold emails directly from your email account to the prospects you find.

There’s a bulk email lookup option. Prices start at $19/month for 150 search credits. The “Starter” plan is $49/month for 350 credits and the “Pro” plan is $99/month for 750 credits.

17. HeadReach

With HeadReach, you can search for emails using a name, company title, or website. With the “advanced search” option, you can search for leads by job description (ex. Editor in Chief at Entrepreneur).

HeadReach also records a log of all your searches so that you can go back through your history. Pricing starts at $29/month for 100 credits. You are only charged a credit when the tool finds an accurate email for the person you’re searching. At $49/month, you will receive 500 search requests and 250 credits. At $89/month, you’ll receive 500 credits and 1000 search requests.

18. Email Permutator

Email Permutator is a free tool that allows you to enter in a person’s full name and their company URL in order to generate a list of potential email addresses. There is no type of verification service with this tool. Using it will require a trial-and-error approach to correctly identify a person’s email.

19. Email Generator

Email Generator automatically generates over 50 potential email combinations for the contact you’re searching for in seconds. Using an advanced database, the system provides the most obvious combinations, to reduce your risk of an email bouncing.

Email Generator also shows potential variations for email services like Outlook and Gmail. For example, “first.name@gmail.com” and “fname@outlook.com”.

20. BuzzStream

BuzzStream works by turning search result pages and website lists into a browsable list of prospects. When you search for blogs or influencers on Google, the tool shows up in the right-hand side of your browser to suggest possible prospects and email addresses pulled from those websites.

You can also use keywords like a person’s name to search for specific contacts and find their email address and social profiles. Once you find an email, Buzzstream adds it to a spreadsheet for you, alongside other information like the website the email is associated with, that site’s domain authority, and the prospect’s Twitter name. Pricing starts at $24/month for 30 prospecting searches.

21. Ninja Outreach

Ninja Outreach helps with finding business leads and influencers by browsing through social profiles and websites online. Simply type keywords like “technology company” into the system, and it will list possible contacts from it’s internal database. You can also use the system to track your email campaigns and conversions with a built-in CRM system.

Prices start at $69/month for unlimited searches, unlimited emailing, and customizable email templates for a single user. The most popular package is “pro” for $99 per month, which adds a team collaboration tool.

22. LeadFuze

LeadFuze is an email lookup tool and contact list generation extension for Google Chrome. With LeadFuze, you can create relevant prospect lists without all the hard work and time. The system checks through social media profiles, email addresses, and prospect information your behalf.

LeadFuze also features targeted email creation, follow-up drip campaigns, and email tracking. The system is free for up to 25 leads. Paid plans start at $397/month for 1,000 verified searches.

23. Getemail.io

A simple yet effective email lookup tool from startup in France, Getemail comes with 10 free credits to get you started. Each credit equals one email search. Although you won’t receive as many free searches with Getemail.io as some of the other tools on this list, the service comes with access to machine learning algorithms and big data for more accurate searches.

The “Basic” plan costs $49/month for 300 searches and email support. The “Standard” plan costs $99/month for 1,000 searches and instant chat support. If you upgrade to the “Premium” plan at $149/month, phone support is also available, and you’ll receive 2,000 searches.

24. Snov.io

With Snov.io, you can find all the emails associated with a single person and verify them instantly. A green dot next to a prospect’s name means that the email is valid. On the other hand, a yellow dot suggests that the email may or may not be correct.

The Snov.io free account comes with a generous 100 domain searches a month, 100 verified LinkedIn searches, and the opportunity to upload and verify 200 of your own emails.

Paid plans start at $19/month for 1,000 linkedin email searches, 1,000 domain searches, and 500 bulk domain searches. The most expensive plan, labeled “XL”, features 50,000 verified LinkedIn emails, 50,000 domain searches, and 25,000 bulk searches for $139 per month.

25. Slik Prospector

This well-known email prospecting tool, Slik Prospector, uses a database of 70 million addresses to generate highly-targeted lead lists. The system claims an accuracy of 95, and you pay on a per lead per month basis for accounts. Each search costs $0.10.

There are also paid plans available, the first priced at $70/month for 500 searches, the second at $120/month for 1,000 searchers, and the third at $200/month for 1,800 searches.

With Slik Prospector, you can filter emails by job title, industry, company size, or location. For those who want to test Slik Prospector before buying, there’s a free trial available, though you’ll need to request it via email.

26. Email Magpie

Email Magpie is an email tool that searches through available public information on the internet and its own database. Email Magpie finds influencer, company, and customer leads according to your chosen categories online.

For instance, you can look for tech companies, software brands, marketing companies, or any B2B clientele you choose. You can also search for lists according to geographical location or industry vertical. Paid plans $300 per month for 2,750 targeted emails.

27. AeroLeads

With AeroLeads, you can find phone numbers, email addresses, and social media profile information for businesses and their decision makers. AeroLeads is a Google Chrome plugin, so you’ll need to download and activate it before you start searching. With the tool, you can find emails through LinkedIn, Google, and various other blogs.

When you add a prospect name or domain to AeroLeads, the service automatically checks for verified email addresses and phone numbers. Pricing starts at $49/month for up to 500 searches.

28. Grabby

Another email lookup tool that pulls data from websites, Grabby works by browsing through a list of websites on your behalf. The tool is available on a pay-by-week fee and only offers a single plan at $19.99/week, per project.

The cloud-based system runs constantly, scanning extensive website lists automatically, so you can run multiple projects at the same time. Just tell Grabby which websites you want to search through and it will do the work in the background.

29. Name2Email

Name2Email is a Gmail extension. To use the tool, compose an email and add a full name and domain to the address bar. The tool automatically generates a list of common corporate email addresses for the person you want to reach.

To improve your chances of finding a valid email, you can hover your cursor over the generated addresses. If a popup shows the person’s name; then you’ve chosen the right address.

While using this tool will be more time consuming than using some of the other options on this list, the extension is completely free. All you need to do is add it to Chrome.

30. Discoverly

Discoverly works in the background as you search through websites and social media pages. It’s a Chrome extension that integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and AngelList, among other services, to automatically pull email addresses and profile information from pages.

The extension is completely free to use. You simply add it to your Chrome browser to get started.

31. ContactOut

A tool frequently used by recruitment teams, ContactOut helps recruiters find valid candidate email addresses. The tool installs as a Chrome extension that’s specifically designed to search through LinkedIn profiles.

The tool claims a 97% accuracy rate when finding email addresses. The extension is completely free to add to your Chrome browser.

Choosing the Best Email Lookup Tool

There you have it, a selection of the some of best email lookup tools online today.

The perfect tool for you will depend on a range of factors including pricing, whether or not you need to find contacts from LinkedIn profiles, and if you want to find email addresses at scale.

While most of the tools on the list will help you find email addresses for a list of leads you’ve already identified, what about the ones you haven’t? What about the people you have already visited your website but haven’t contacted your company?

This is where LeadBoxer comes in. With LeadBoxer, you can identify your website’s visitors and their contact information without them reaching out to your first. This way, you’ll never miss out on connecting with a potential lead. To get started, schedule a free demo here.

MQL vs. SQL? What’s the Difference and Why Does it Matter?

MQL vs. SQL? What’s the Difference and Why Does it Matter?

Our world is full of acronyms. And while there’s no shame in asking a colleague to define terms, few of us feel comfortable raising a hand in a crowded meeting and asking a speaker to unpack a sentence.

Consider MQL and SQL. You may know that the “L” in these terms stands for “Leads.” If you’re in sales or marketing, you may even be tasked with increasing MQLs or SQLs.

However, that is a basic understanding. Digging in a little deeper about the similarities, differences, and uses of these two terms can help you to be even more effective. Let’s learn more about both.

Defining Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)

The acronym MQL stands for “Marketing Qualified Lead.”

In the shortest definition we could find, courtesy of Hubspot, an MQL is a person that is more likely to become a customer when compared to a typical person.

Think of it this way: Many people may connect with your company. They may visit your website, attend your webinars, or chat with you at a trade show.

For some of these people, the goods and services you offer are exactly what they’re looking for. But for others, your product or service is not a good fit. They may never be in the position to buy anything from you at all.

The people in that first group — those who are interested and have the potential to buy your product — are your MQLs.

Separating MQLs from unqualified leads typically involves using a lead-scoring program. You’ll assign a certain set of points to actions people might take, such as:

  • Reading an email message you sent.
  • Chatting with you on social media.
  • Downloading an ebook.
  • Filling out an online form.

Once people have amassed enough points, due to all of the actions they’ve taken over time, they can be considered MQLs.

They’ve shown enough interest that it seems likely they are ready to deepen the conversation with someone — typically in sales — within your company.

Defining Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)

The acronym SQL stands for “Sales Qualified Lead.”

This person has not only shown a deep interest in your products and services, but they have also shown some sort of intent to purchase. They not only like what you offer, but they actually need to buy what you sell. They also may need to make that purchase in the near future.

While defining an MQL can be done through automated software that assigns scores, defining an SQL is a little trickier. Typically, this is something that involves a conversation between someone in sales and the potential lead.

A SQL:

  • May have specific questions about how your product works or how much it costs.
  • May not understand how your product fits into the other products they’re using.
  • May not be entirely sure the solution is right for them.
  • May not be able to find the answers they need in the marketing materials they’ve seen so far.

People like this need to have a discussion with sales.

At the end of that discussion, if the salesperson senses a real opportunity, this person moves into the SQL category.

Why Does Knowing the Difference Between MQLs and SQLs Matter?

You may be wondering why it’s so crucial to understand whether someone is an MQL or an SQL. After all, a lead is a lead, right?

Not quite.

Understanding where your leads fall into these two categories can help you understand who should be in charge of that next conversation. This could mean the difference between making or losing a sale.

For example, we’ve long been told that people move through a traditional sales funnel in which they become aware of a product, consider options, make a decision, and then become an evangelist for the brand.

While this simplified form of a sale might still make sense in some industries, others consider their sales moving through more of a “tornado”.

In this model, users are consuming a great deal of information throughout the entire journey, and they may bounce back and forth between channels.

They may use social media posts in the awareness phase, for example, and then leap back to social media to evaluate solutions and understand usage. They may swing far away from the product before purchase, rolling out to e-commerce before finally deciding to look at a product catalog.

Consumers are doing a lot of the heavy lifting here, and they’re relying on marketing resources to guide the conversation.

Pushing a savvy consumer to sales at the wrong time could cause a sense of pressure, and that could derail the sale. These people are doing their own homework. They’re not ready to talk yet.

Similarly, connecting a consumer with sales too early means sales must inform the consumer about the product’s ins and outs — and that’s a task best left to marketing.

On the flip side, sending a lead to sales too late might lead to missed opportunities. By the time these people get to the sales team, they may have made a decision and chosen a competitor.

When you have a firm understanding of the typical steps a consumer takes in order to become marketing qualified, and when you know what sorts of behaviors seem to suggest that a purchase is right around the corner, you’ll be well positioned to guide and shape these crucial conversations.

The Transition from MQL to SQL

By now, it’s probably clear to you that an SQL begins life in the company as an MQL. But this move from one state to the other isn’t spontaneous and organic. It requires an ongoing nurturing and communication process. It’s here that many opportunities are lost.

A handoff meeting between marketing and sales can be vital.

The marketing team can offer up a list of all of the resources the person has consumed over a period of time, typically pulled from marketing automation software program, which can help to guide the sales process.

For example, if the prospect has been almost exclusively researching one specific type of product, the salesperson knows the product that should open up a conversation.

Similarly, the salesperson can walk in the customer’s footsteps and read back through all of those resources, looking for knowledge gaps that the consumer might have. Those are ideal conversation starters that can pull the sale forward.

What happens if the sales call didn’t go as planned? This could be a sign that the MQL isn’t so “qualified” after all, but all hope isn’t lost.

When marketing teams are aware of this issue, they can add the person back into the content marketing program.

Maybe a series of follow up email messages about key features, or an invitation to a webinar, could help encourage a deeper level of comfort with the product. In a few weeks or months, that person really could be marketing qualified, and the next sales call could be a touch smoother.

 

Putting Theory into Action

While defining an MQL and an SQL is vital — it’s also personal. That means there’s no handy template you can download in order to sort your leads. Instead, you’ll need to have some in-depth conversations within your sales and marketing teams. You’ll need to discuss your:

  • Customer personas.
  • Typical time to close projects.
  • Marketing resources.
  • Customer/prospect lists.
  • Lead scoring method.

You’ll need to think about how each persona interacts with your company during each buying phase. You’ll define what steps are meaningful and signal a deeper commitment.

You’ll also identify the assets you’re missing that could compel action. Those are the decisions that will help set up your lead scoring method. You’ll use them to understand how an MQL is passed to sales — and what comes next.

When you have a theory in place, sales and marketing will need to keep that conversation going. It’s vital for marketing to know more about the leads that sales finds easiest to convert.

How long have these leads been in the pipeline? What assets did they touch? What sorts of companies are they from? What are their titles?

Sales teams may encourage their marketing colleagues to lock MQL rules down tight. That way, the leads they’re given almost always convert into SQLs and sales.

Unfortunately, a system that’s calibrated too carefully can lead to very empty, loose sales pipelines. And that can leave sales teams with little — or nothing — to do all day.

Meeting regularly to discuss opportunities won, opportunities lost and lessons learned can help the entire group to come up with a plan for the future.

 

Ready to Get Started?

Identifying MQLS and SQLs starts with capturing the right data. We can help you grab that data.

Use LeadBoxer to track activity from all of your leads at all stages of the purchase cycle. Try it for free to get the data you need in real time. Or, schedule a demonstration. We’d love to show you how it works.

 

How to turn your (new) website into a lead generation machine

How to turn your (new) website into a lead generation machine

Our Hypothesis – get smart – get started

In our opinion, it makes sense to put a lead pixel in a (new) website as soon as possible, as opposed to waiting “until everything is in place”. Any web designer / developer or agency should be able to put the pixel in your site within an hour or less, and once the pixel is in place we will measure all activity on your site, and this will build up the history and touchpoints needed in order to to start qualifying your leads and turning your website in a lead generation machine.

From the moment you start measuring, we will show you the businesses visiting your site in real-time, providing you with qualified leads and sales intel on a daily basis. And why is this important? Current thinking as demonstrated by Lean Methodology techniques which tell us that constant iteration (change & improvement) is a key to success.

A definition of Lean: being a customer-centric method which seeks to continuously improve based on feedback mechanisms. In this case, the feedback mechanism is: which companies are visiting your site, and are they finding what they need?

Succeed with a plan

It happens on a regular basis that companies get in touch with us to talk about lead generation and then tell us that they’ll (re)-prioritise lead generation once their website is up and running. Our advice is to put the horse in front of the cart. Your website is, in fact, a lead generation tool. Therefore, you should plan to keep the (potential) pain of trying to generate new business front and center.

Getting a new business  website up and running is a labor of love, among other things. Another important ingredient is ‘smart working’.
Many people place lead generation as a second or third priority. In this article, we argue that Lead Generation should be an initial priority. Measure what’s happening, even if you’re not seeing good news – this should be your warning system that things need to change.

When you first put up a new site – this is the time to closely monitor who is coming, and who is not coming, paying particular attention to which Companies are taking a look (firmographic information).

Use smart technology to identify leads

How does LeadBoxer help you identify relevant lead activity? We have a Filter (email notifications) for example, which segments traffic based on Industry category (automotive, tech, health, etc) and can include Employee Size, 1000+ employees, among a long list.

Why should you be concerned about this? Because you are probably trying to sell something – and you need to pay attention not only to who is looking at your site, but how long they look, if they come back, and especially interesting if your site is not sticky (interesting) enough. Now that ‘search terms’ have all but disappeared – you need to pay extra attention to which of your pages attract people. At this point, conversion becomes interesting – which pages and traffic sources deliver conversion.

Improving a website

Launching a new website business is a multiple-step process. There is complexity involved.

In our experience, launching a new site can be an exciting project, often involving multiple people or teams, putting together the best of their expertise to include strategy, design, copywriting, technology, SEO, etc. It involves significant communication, planning, coordination, teamwork, etc.

Unfortunately, for these exact reasons, the process of launching a new site almost always takes longer than expected. And even if you launch your new site on schedule, it is not going to magically bring a surge in organic traffic or leads.

It takes time before the search engines pick up the new site and index all the content and start listing your pages. Most likely you will need some additional rounds of SEO and content marketing before the desired persona’s are able to find you.

Of course, you can work around this with search engine marketing (SEM) and purchase traffic by advertising on Google/Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

This is a good approach; almost all successful organisations have a healthy mix of organic and paid traffic. However, a quality Ad campaign usually works with dedicated landing pages to optimise the conversion of these paid visitors. So you will need to ask your team to iterate these pages once an analysis has been made and even more time will pass.

Plan ahead – how will you reverse engineer leads

Last but not least – do not wait until your website is online to consider your lead generation strategy.

Another aspect to keep in mind is forward planning – in other words – we get requests on a regular basis to incorporate lead capture into an existing site. Planning is the better option – plan (reverse engineer) how you want to capture leads- what types of leads you want, what you want to know about them (literally) and how you want to manage this information. These decisions should accompany the design + build process of your site.

What does this actually mean?
Well, for example, there are about 20 tried & true touchpoints, meaning different ways of getting information from your leads. We use the Free Trial method, because we are a SaaS Software-as-a-Service company. So we use a sign-up form. We also use a Demo Please – Contact Form. Here is a list of potential touch-points.

Conclusion and take-homes

  1. Your first site should go through several iterations as your value proposition pivots and you fine tune your message.
  2. The main function of your digital assets (website, app) should be to generate leads (clients, users, trials).
  3. Old adage: fail to plan – plan to fail. This is relatively easy to avoid – by asking the right questions early on.
How the DiSC profiling method can help you manage your leads

How the DiSC profiling method can help you manage your leads

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

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

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

The basics of the DiSC profiling method

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The DiSC profiling method will help you closing deals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

yvan-salesbox

Yvan de Canson

Content Marketer at Salesbox

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