Just prior to Seth Godin stepping on stage, for what was an entertaining and thought provoking keynote, HubSpot CMO, Mike Volpe, announced that "We saved the world from 2 Billion cold calls!" And they did. I personally may have benefitted by 1 or 2 a day.
Inbound marketing techniques continue to evolve, and HubSpot is the pioneer for Inbound. The tribe they've created in the past few years is amazing. Almost 6,000 attendees to this year's Inbound conference were gathered for lots of marketing goodness, not just the orange kool aid.
In the world of sales, selling doesn't start until a conversation starts with the prospect. Getting that conversation going has been revolutionized with Inbound Marketing. The prospect is typically educated more than an outbound generated lead, they are thinking about the topic that your product or service addresses, and the time is fresh to start the conversation. In short, they may be further along in the funnel (waterfall if you're a SiriusDecisions follower).
The top outbound marketers have embraced inbound marketing, not shied away from it. Compared to a purchased list or even a list of prospects warmed up with other marketing assets, an inbound list is the cream of the crop. However, unless your inbound lead comes in the form of a calendar invite, date, time and phone number booking one of your sales reps for a appointment, there is still work to do. The outbound function assigned to these leads is typically referred to as Inbound Response.
Things to remember:
- Scrub the data. Have a data team do list hygiene to correct and/or append needed data fields. Or use tools such as DemandBase to dynamically append data.
- Know your history. Use tools such as HubSpot, your CRM, or other tracking systems to know how your company has interracted with the prospect in the past.
- Intel. Research the prospect on LinkedIn, Google, Social Sites. The more you know, the warmer that lead.
- Score your inbound leads. Don't assume they are all orders ready to be had. Don't waste your time on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pounce! Once you have your ducks in a row, call them. If they don't answer, email them. The effective value of leads deteriorates every hour after they submit a form.
I just tested the above with a lead that came in through our HubSpot system within the hour. It took me 2 minutes to correct their missing title, see that her colleague talked to us at the SiriusDecisions conference in May, add her LinkedIn url to her profile, note that we're connected by 8 people, and she visited 5 blog articles today. Reviewed and scored -- 2 minutes.
Create great content. Socially surround your market. Optimize all conversion techniques. Gather these inbound leads, then follow the process above, and your ROI will go through the roof.
Let's get back to the 2 Billion cold calls saved. Inbound marketing certainly does reduce the number of cold calls an outbound marketer has to make to get the conversation started. It streamlines the process. The blended approach of Inbound and Outbound will increase the top line faster than any other methods available.
Is that lead an Innie or an Outie?
(took restraint not to post a pic of a belly button)
I'm just coming off 19,000 miles, 3 countries, and both coasts of the US (back and forth twice) in a 5 week period. I met lots of new people, and noticed a trend that interestingly reflected a concept Craig Rosenberg, The Funnelholic, and I presented at our case study session at SiriusDecisions Summit -- Social Surround.
It's not new, and wasn't coined by us, but Social Surround is the technique of using every social platform available to connect to your colleagues and prospects. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, you name it. The more you connect, and the more you share with them or about them, the more you build that relationship. Let's face it, a retweet by any means is flattering.
Here's a surround scenario for you:
- I met the director of Demand Gen for a software company a few months back, brief handshake, intro and card exchange. There wasn't an immediate need for Green Leads work at the time...nurturable
- That night I sent an email with the contact info of a mutual colleageue we both knew from years ago that he had fallen out of touch with
- I then linked to him on LinkedIn
- From LinkedIn, I found his twitter handle, and followed him. Hopefully he monitors his new followers.
- I also followed his company account, learned a bit there
- Found him on Facebook, and instead of offering to connect, I simply shared Green Leads' facebook page with him. He liked it
- I notice his company tweets something retweetable, and give it a retweet. Maybe he'll notice
- He's an avid LinkedIn Update poster. So I liked a post
- Saw he was on the attendee list of #SDsummit, so sent a "Look forward to seeing you at the event" email
Fast forward to the SiriusDecisions Summit. Craig and I are in the case study presenting the Social Surround concept, and who's sitting in the middle row smiling? Yep. He comes up to me afterwards and told me how he personally experienced Social Surround by me and had come to the conference with the intent of talking with me about a b2b appointment setting project. Now that he knew the concept had a term and it worked, he was sold--surrounded and sold.
Benefits of Social Surround:
- Passive branding
- Ongoing networking
- Rapport building the social way
- Non-intrusive to the prospect
- Multiple touch points
- Warms up outbound activies
- Can trigger inbound responses
ps. What I like the most with Social Surround is that I'm seeing the prospects surrounding me. That is the ultimate Inbound Lead!
Photo: Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Surrounded Islands
Turkey and B2B Lead Generation? What is the gravy that makes your demand gen programs sing?
Even companies such as Green Leads do our own lead gen. Here's a quick list of what I'm thankful for this year as it pertains to b2b lead generation in hopes that you might find an idea or two that you could implement:
- Alumni - Our largest source of leads. After 5 years of 2x plus growth year after year, the tribe is huge. Nurture your alumni, don't just let them move on. Deliver quality service and stay in touch with your clients. They will come back if you did a good job. LinkedIn is your tool.
- Expand - In one day we acquired a company that overlapped 90% with Green Leads' offerings, delivered the market a one stop shop for Americas/EMEA b2b marketing, and doubled our size again. We were able to expand many of their European clients to the US and many of our US clients to Europe. Look at your existing client base and ask "how can we expand?"
- Inbound - Yet again, our inbound leads consistently came in and our SEO was kept fresh by using HubSpot. Our blog subscriber list doubled, and our rankings improved. The two key elements we find to a successful inbound program is content and social activity. Keep the visitors interacting and coming back and SEO will follow.
- SiriusDecisions Summit - By far the best place to be if you are into b2b sales and marketing. We sponsored both Scottsdale and London and in both cases walked away with tons of valuable information and new network contacts. Always be learning.
- Technology - No inside sales/outbound lead gen team should be without VoIP, Click to Dial, and some sort of power dialing system (we use 8x8, Skype, Salesforce CTI adapter and ConnectAndSell). Selling doesn't start until a conversation starts with the prospect. Do what you can to have more conversations.
What are you thankful for? What filled your pipeline this year?
If you've used an outsourced lead gen company before, you have most likely been asked "What titles within the target companies do you want us to target?" What they are most likely asking, and should ask more clearly, is "What ROLE within the target companies do you want us to identify and target?"
Not all titles explicitly tell you what a job function is. So tasks such as building lists from data services aren't as easy as searching for titles and then exporting the names. If you are looking for prospects with a specific function, or role, then that is where you should begin.
For example, the most common mistakes occur when targeting IT departments. There are 86,087 results when "director of IT" is searched for in Jigsaw. I just randomly sampled 5 of them in LinkedIn. These were their roles:
- IT Security
- Data Warehousing
- IT Security
- Desktop Helpdesk
So if you're selling a network security package, who do you target? Obviously, the first, second, and fourth. But you wouldn't have known that by the title alone.
- Use LinkedIn to identify roles. Some LinkedIn lead gen tips here.
- If you can't get specific roles up front, power dial the list with the goal of identification and research.
- Consider a role based list development project done internallly or by a third party vendor.
Ask yourself, "do we want to target by machine gun or sniper rifle?"
We all know LinkedIn is the hidden gem of all sales people, and we're all looking for better LinkedIn Lead Gen Tips. At Green Leads we have a custom button that can query a person's LinkedIn profile with the click of one button. It doesn't hit 100% of the time, but I would say 85% isn't bad for an automated task. We train our reps to not just review the profile, but use it for better selling--especially the public URL. This allows you to find the record again or share the record with others.
Save it. You could bookmark it in a folder called Prospects. But why not go a step further and save the prospect's public URL in your CRM system. It's simple enough to do. We have a field called LinkedIn URL, and we copy and paste it from LinkedIn to the field. This allows our sales reps never research again, it's one click away. It also stores it so that the URL is shared with other reps that may be looking at the same prospect.
Got any other LinkedIn Lead Gen Tips? Send em on.
Guest Post from Gareth Morfill, Inside Sales Blackbelt at Green Leads.
If you were talking to a prospect face to face, do you think that would make you pitch any differently? More confidently? We feel that it absolutely does. The simple act of having a real person to look at while you are having the conversation makes the building of rapport much easier.
If they have a photo in their LinkedIn profile, look at it. You may even be able to click on it and enlarge it.
Science backs this up. Physiological studies show interesting correlations between perceiving and responding to eye contact, a salient social signal of interest and readiness for interaction. And although the response to a picture is less than to a live face, there may be an impact. Our reps have been practicing it and the general consensus is, Put a Face to a Name:
- Improves the ability to quickly build rapport
- Personalizes the conversation
- Humanizes the typical "cold call"
- Make dialing all day a bit less mechanical
- Looking at the photo means you have to look at their LinkedIn profile first -- scan it
...ps: If you're an Inside Sales Blackbelt, we're hiring.
A few weeks ago I was digging around one of my favorite sales and marketing tools, LinkedIn (my LinkedIn Lead Gen Tips), and noticed the Company Stats area. It shows statistics on things such as Job Function, Years Experience, Growth, etc. and compares company stats to those of their peers in the industry.
Looking at the charts for Green Leads, the issue of "Years Experience" stood out to me because Linda and I have been discussing the topic during our recent hiring efforts. When we first started out, we hired people with 10+ years of experience, and in fact if you look at the chart below, we are way over the industry average. However, now that we've grown our philosophy may have shifted a wee bit. Let me explain...
Trish Bertuzzi, the inside sales guru, uses a term for new hires with less experience. She calls them "junior woodchucks." She shared her philosophy with us, and when we compared our own experience hiring a couple of woodchucks recently we thought she was spot on. on.
Trish's woodchuck words of wisdom:
"Hire a mix of talent -- veterans to lead, set standards and coach. Then hire some newbies that stand out from the crowd. If done right, you'll find some diamonds in the rough.
"Be cautious though, only hire newbies if you have a solid hiring model and onboarding process. If not, it will be chaos."
So, how much quota could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck quota?
Since I was spouting all about LinkedIn at Chris Brogan's New Marketing Experience last month, he has recently been on a LinkedIn crusade to find all the tips and tricks burried inside. Although I love taking a little credit, his recent articles have been full of LinkedIn Goodness.
Use LinkedIn Effectively
Your Network News
Keep LinkedIn Clean
With all the momentum, I thought I would share another LinkedIn tip, use Google to search the public profiles. If contacts aren't in your network, they will still show up!
Google using the site:linkedin.com parameter. For instance, looking for Mike Damphousse,
google: mike damphousse site:linkedin.com
Not only will it find my profile, but it will find answers I have provided and comments in groups.
Let's try another one. Looking for companies in the field of Demand Gen that work with Appointment Setting?
google: demand generation appointment setting company site:linkedin.com
Trying to find a lead at a company that has a specific title, try something similar to this example where I'm trying to find someone at the director or VP level responsible for network security at company.
google: "network security" (dir OR vp OR vice) companyname site:linkedin.com
You think you can find some quality leads through LinkedIn now?
Most sales people today have found that using LinkedIn as a research tool to identify specific prospects has been a fantastic way to find the needle in a haystack of potential leads. However, LinkedIn doesn't always show you all the names of the individuals your search produces:
So how do you find this specific person's name? Just three more clicks according to Green Leads' BDR Mira.
- Click on the Title, which brings up the full profile.
- Remember the Title, and look to the right where it says Viewers of this profile also viewed... Once there, find a contact with a similar title/company -- In this case, Gerardo (hard to see).
- Now while remembering the title/company of the prospect you want "Research Engineer Intern at VW Electronics Research Lab", click on the name of the person with the most similar title/company that we found above, Gerardo.
- Up pops Gerardo's profile, now look to the right again, and find a contact with a similar title/company to Gerardo in the "also viewed" section -- this is most likely your prospect. So Tanya, expect my call.
If you have any LinkedIn tips, or Lead Gen Tips in general, please share them.
I know my colleagues in the sales consulting industry are going to fill this page with comments telling me why their Lead Gen Tip of the day would be to craft the perfect voicemail script. My response is -- Don't Bother.
As a result of the recent question on Focus.com regarding "should we leave a voicemail?" we decided to conduct a LinkedIn poll asking only C/VP level respondents (our appointment setting targets) what they do when they receive a well crafted voicemail that is sales oriented:
The results were as I expected, so let the debate begin:
Want to know the mix by department? It's interesting that the geeks listen more than others:
What do you think? Leave one or Don't?