Archive | Lead generation

Outbound lead generation – overlap with social prospecting

Blending traditional and new marketing for B2B trade show

With the buzz around Social Media, online marketing and new marketing for B2B, it’s easy to overlook the importance of traditional marketing, offline marketing such as exhibitions and trade-shows. In business to business (B2B) marketing and lead generation there are huge opportunities to combine new marketing for B2B to get more return from traditional approaches. […]

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Event driven selling as the core to your B2B sales process

Selling, and buying, can be looked at as a series of events.

An event driven selling approach helps when analysing what is taking place within the sales cycle, and also in the buying cycle.

It enables improvements to be made, in effectiveness and efficiency.

What is a selling event?

There are several things that can be termed ‘events’ in the sales journey, such as:

  • Face-to-face meeting opportunities are events – including exhibitions, network meetings, presentations, first meetings and so on.
  • Online meetings – such as webinars, conference calls, skype presentations, etc.
  • Smaller touch-points – like phone calls, email, sms, that might build relationships
  • Commercial activities such as quotations, proposals, negotiations, contract signings
  • Product or service events, such as announcement of a new product or service, or the launch of a new release
  • Vendor calendar and accounting events particularly period end points, such as month, quarter and year end
  • Buyer calendar events such as their sales peaks, renewals, financial year, budget submissions, regulations
  • Buyer process events such as ITT issue, response deadline, short-list of potential suppliers, taking up references
  • Competitor events, such as release or discontinuation of a product, arrival or departure of key staff

These are just some of examples, and there may be many more that are specific to your company and your customers.

The compelling event

One thing that vendors are on the look out for are specific, time based, reasons why a buyer needs to make a decision, rather than allow a situation to drift on and keep with the status quo. There might be a compliance aspect to this, such as a new law or regulation.

In the absence of external deadlines the vendor has to work hard to make their events ‘compelling’.

Event driven selling framework

Looking at your sales cycle as a sequence of events can help you create a blueprint, template or framework for marketing and sales.

It is a way to identify the ‘next step’ that you’d like the prospect to take, and your call-to-action.

Disconnect events from time

While there can be advantages to having a specific time in the diary, for a conference or a meeting, there are advantages of allowing the prospect to attend an event at a time of their own choosing. Making a recording of a live webinar, and making that recording available for people to watch subsequently, is one way to re-use content and create additional events.

The new connected world that has been created by the Internet and new systems and applications can increase returns and reduce the costs of live events.

More significantly, especially for smaller businesses, it creates massive new opportunities, by breaking the constraints of time and place. Running an ‘event’ for one prospect, at a time of their choosing, is now a realistic sales opportunity.

Event-driven selling provides a structure and focus for many marketing activities that otherwise might not be showing a clear return for cost and time.

Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing and Attraction Marketing are just some of the latest techniques that can make a significant contribution, when aligned with a structured, sales-focused plan.

However, an end-to-end approach is far more effective overall than individual, isolated, disconnected activities, no matter how attractive they may seem.

The Wurlwind event driven selling blueprint provides a framework, methodology, and roadmap to help founders, directors and managers of small and mid-sized businesses (SMEs) in Business to Business (B2B) to respond to market challenges by taking advantage of new opportunities in a joined-up and focused way.

It will help you to identify and take advantage of new selling techniques, new technologies and applications, sort out the substance from the froth, and build a stronger pipeline and sales infrastructure.

What is a Lead Generation Review and why is it worthwhile?

Are you getting enough leads? Is your marketing generating an abundance of quality leads to feed your sales, revenue and profits? Find out how you can generate more and better leads, and build a stronger lead generation engine. Related articles: Opportunity Creation – pro-active Lead Generation and Lead Conversion Recent research results published by MarketingSherpa* […]

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Engage and gain permission to communicate

Engage is all about gaining permission to communicate with someone, or having them ‘Follow’ you in Social Media.

You need to make it worthwhile for people to choose to engage with you, through the value you offer, expressed in the content you make available. So, for a start it’s worth taking about issues the other person may have, rather than jumping straight in and talking about your products, services or offers.

Permission indicates that someone is prepared to put in some time, so offer something of value to make it worth their while. You could offer insight that may help them understand an issues they are wrestling with and help them gain some clarity. You could sign-post people to useful resources, ones you provide or ones that other people provide.

How and where can you gain permission?

There are many places you can tempt people to engage with you, depending on your market and resources to follow-up.

For example:

  • An email sign-up on your website or elsewhere
  • A ‘subscribe’ feature on your blog, or your video channel or daily newspaper (www.paper.li)
  • A ‘Follow’ to your Twitter account
  • A Connection in your LinkedIn profile
  • As a Facebook connection or fan of your business page
  • And a plethora of other social media options.

Offline contacts and connections

And let’s not overlook that you might want to reach out to contacts you have made at exhibitions, networking events, partner meetings etc. (that pile of business cards you have collected) where you may initiate the connection by requesting they connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or you add them to your email distribution list (and best practice is to ask them to opt-in).

Segmentation of contacts

People who engage and give you permission to communicate may fall into four categories:

  • ‘Buy now’ – They have a pressing problem they want to solve right now
  • ‘Buy later’ – Not yet ready to make a decision but interested in researching the topic
  • ‘Buy never’ – Inevitably some people who engage are never going to make a decision, for a whole range of reasons
  • ‘Refer on’ – Some people may not have the problem themselves but may know others who could have

The purpose of the Nurture phase next is to move the relationship forward and to help you to determine which category they fall into.

I hope you will engage with me to find out more about the ideas I provide to help you improve your sales funnel.

I hope that through my own relationship nurture activities that I can respond appropriately to you, depending on what you are looking to achieve.

So, before you leave this sign up for our ‘Hints and Tips’ to get ideas to improve your sales funnel on a regular basis.