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Subject: A Business Owner's Guide To Better Lead Generation in 3 Steps
(Posted on Aug 19, 2013 at 10:46AM ) Tags:
The way your buyer's purchase and your competitors are going to market is changing rapidly and fundamentally. Many business owners are finding their tried and trusted lead generation techniques and tactics are failing to yield sufficient results.

But knowing you need to change and knowing how to change and specifically how MUCH to change sits at the heart of the challenge.

Understanding the buyer's journey lies at the centre of good lead generation practices. Marketers should allow the journey their buyers go on...


  • from uninterested and unaware in their products or services, 
  • to defining their problems and their need,
  • to expressing interest in your solutions,
  • to purchasing and becoming a loyal customer
...to inform every action, every campaign, and every piece of content.

Funnel maths - Measuring Your Lead Generation EffectivenessTraditionally, one of the major issues business owners face is not being able to measure the financial return on their marketing investments. There was no way to gauge the real impact on revenue of say, print advertising or direct mail. Even knowing some data, such as email open rates isn't sufficient to understand the dollar return on that particular marketing investment.

However, a new era is upon us. An era where “Smart Marketers”, armed with the right tools, have the ability to calculate real marketing ROI. We refer to this as "knowing your funnel maths.”

Say you have 1000 visitors to your website in a given month (ie the top of the funnel). You target those visitors and turn them into leads by providing content that best suits their needs. Of those initial 1000 visitors, 50 of them become leads and enter your lead nururing campiagn (middle of the funnel). Of these 50 leads, 8  of them become sales ready leads, of which 2 of them become customers (bottom of the funnel.) The two delas are worth $5000  in new revenue to your business.

Smart lead generation is knowing the "leakage rate" of each stage in their funnel(how many propects you lose along the way) knowing the lag time from first engagement with prospects to the time they become a loyal customer. Armed with this valuable information, together with their current and planned revenue goals and average selling price,organisations can model their lead generation funnel accordingly.

Why is this important? Because it means business owners and their marketers now know the velocity they need to run their funnel to meet their revenue goals.

They know how many visitors and contacts they need at the top of the funnel in order to drive revenue at the bottom of the funnel. Now that's smart!

Employ a digital, inbound marketing methodologyEmploying a lead generation strategy using digital or inbound marketing strategy saves business owners time and money. On average an inbound lead is 62% cheaper than an outbound generated lead.

Good inbound marketing attracts buyers to your site via carefully selected tactics that highlight the problems and challenges your buyers are facing in their business. Nurturing those leads using relevant targeted messages further deepens the engagement.

Now, instead of your sales team caught up cold calling or email spamming, they can establish and develop a credible and trustworthy relationship with buyers who are educated and motivated.

But perhaps the single biggest benefit of an inbound marketing approach is the ability to measure your lead generation funnel at every step of the process and then adapt your approach and retest to evaluate the success of the change. This incremental, iterative, adaptive approach yields much better and faster returns.

Use content to nurture your leadsNow we now know that people commence online searches and visit websites for a solution to a problem. What’s the most effective way to engage? Provide content such as an eBook, current industry trends or a more technical whitepaper. Nurture your lead through their buying process. If your prospect is “sitting on the fence” provide more relevant information such as product demonstrations, free trials and video testimonials to enhance your reliability whilst educating and informing buyers too.

According to Hubspot here's how your offer types change as the buying process progresses.

 

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Posted by Joe Fell
By focusing on these three key elements:

  • Your funnel maths
  • Inbound marketing
  • Content that speaks to buyers
Business owners will be well on the way to revitalising their lead generation activities and providing the right volume and quality of leads to sales. If you would like to read more about this topic please feel free to download this complimentary ebook
Posted by Joe Fell

DealerNet Services

Subject: Reeling Them In! How to make your Website Work Harder For You
(Posted on Jul 19, 2013 at 06:04AM ) Tags:
First! Watch this video (click here)






Previously seen as an afterthought, more companies are seeing the value to be had in actively improving their website.

Is your company’s internet presence going unnoticed? This might be because what you thought was the hard part, has only just begun. These days it’s not enough just to simply have a website to bring in visitors, you have to actively make it an attractive destination for consumers who are surfing the web. The Internet can play an important role in marketing your business, however you have to know how to make it work for you.

Your online presence can be seen in two phases. The first is successfully bringing people to your page, while the second is keeping them there long enough for your message to have been communicated. The following are some tips that can both increase the traffic that is coming to your site and encourage people to continue looking once they have arrived.

Reeling them in
Events on the Internet happen in the blink of an eye. This means that you need to keep your website fresh and up to date if you want to see it coming to the top of the Google and Bing searches. Strategies like maintaining a blog or a current news feed are easy ways in which to keep the content on your website fresh and give people new reasons to visit your site.

Having said that, it is important to keep the content you publish meaningful. If you are simply posting the same thing using slightly different terminology, not only are you compromising the quality of your website, you are not doing meaningful work to improve your website’s search engine optimization, as search algorithms can decipher deliberate attempts to put as many keywords on your website as possible. But if you truly believe the work that you do is important and can offer invaluable service to your customers, content should be able to flow with a little bit of insight.

Keeping visitors engaged
So you having given them a reason to visit, the challenge is being a good host and giving your guests a reason to stay. Inc. Magazine explains that websites can be viewed in a sense like newspapers. In the “olden days” of hardcopy newspapers, the attention grabbing news stories would be listed “above the fold,” meaning they would be the first thing that a reader saw so as to draw them into the paper. This concept can be applied to your website as well, by making the most attention grabbing and attractive pieces of content the easiest to access. It is only so much to have a great piece of content – you have to put it in a place that makes visitors want to see it.

Software can now point out where the highest and lowest amounts of traffic on your website are arriving, and in doing so, see what sections are receiving the most action. If you notice that a particular page is not being visited nearly as much as others others, you may want to consider where its short comings lie. It could simply be that it is in a difficult to reach spot or it could be that people are not interested in the information it has to offer. This should prompt you to evaluate what it is this particular page is doing for your site. If you feel that information is important for your visitors, it should be put in an easier to access location, but if you feel like it might be extraneous, it probably is.

A website is all about giving potential customers a reason to visit and a reason to stay. What forms of content have you used to accomplish these goals?

Article by by Chelsea Segal Intro by DealerNet Services
Subject: 7 Critical Web Design Considerations You Can't Overlook
(Posted on Jul 18, 2013 at 01:49PM ) Tags:

Planning a website redesign can be an extremely exciting process. You have a blank canvas to which you can easily add your own creativity and flair. It's tempting to get carried away.

Unfortunately, most designers and creative teams will use this opportunity to focus entirely on the visual design of the site, and overlook SEO, content, and functionality.

Sites with a history of good search traffic can see most or even all of that traffic vanish after a redesign. That new site may look great, but that won't be much consolation to their owners!

Yes, it's important to have a great looking website. It needs to look great if it's going to convert your visitors into paying customers, but traffic, conversions, and functionality are what will ultimately govern its success or failure.

So, what are the key considerations when implementing a site re-design?

1. Have You Done Your Research?

To design a website that's going to deliver results, you need to know who you're targeting. The design, functionality, and SEO focus should all be dictated by informed research. That means market research, keyword research, and community mapping.

This should be your first port of call, not an afterthought. If you have this information from the very beginning you can then use in in every aspect of your redesign.

Benchmarking your existing data will allow you to identify what is currently working, and what has worked in the past. Be sure to evaluate which pages are the most popular, convert the best, rank and deliver the most leads/sales. Doing so will fuel the new site with proven techniques and allow you to gauge the site's success post-launch.

2. Website Structure

A redesign isn't simply a chance to give your website a fresh look. It also gives you the opportunity to reorganize the way your site is structured.

To make sure your information architecture is set up for optimal visibility and conversions, your priority should be analyzing the effectiveness of your current site:

  • Which pages convert the best? 
  • What's the most common route through your website? 
  • Do some pages have a high bounce rate?

Use all of this information to improve the architecture of your new site.

Mobile phones, tablets and alternative devices must also be considered. There are a few primary approaches:

Each approach has their advantages. You'll want to consider factors like site goals, personalization, site complexity, timeframe, and budgets.

3. Redirects – 301 & Canonicals

Inventory all pages, incoming links, and pages that rank well from the very beginning. Don't forget about subdomains.

As the URL structure is changed, a redirect strategy will be incredibly important to retaining any SEO rankings and rerouting referral traffic to the new pages/URLs.

Audit and analyze where all incoming links are coming from, and going to. This can be done using tools like Open Site Explorer and Majestic SEO, among others.

Once you have an inventory of backward links, you'll want to map them along with all pages to their new location using 301 redirects. This is also a great time to establish your canonical strategy for "www", index files, and other forms of duplicate content.

Tip: The redirect strategy will likely change based on design, navigation, and content, among other factors. Knowing this in advance will help alleviate future frustrations.

4. Navigation

How easily your site can be navigated, by both human visitors and search engine spiders, will have a significant effect on the visibility and success of your new website. You need to look at site structure from two different standpoints:

  • How are people going to find your site? This is where you need to be thinking about your URL structure. Can it be shortened? Are there lots of unnecessary characters? Does the URL give pride of place to the term you'd most like that page to rank well for?
    A redesign gives you the chance to give your entire URL structure a reshuffle and cut away any dead wood that may have developed as part of your existing site's development. Your new URL structure and sitemap should make it easy for the search engines to see what each page is about and make sure that you're using the most important terms for each of your campaigns.
  • How your human visitors will navigate the site once they've found it? Which pages have you identified as your primary entry points? What action do you want visitors to each of these pages to take? What journey will they need to take in order to take that desired action? Can you do anything to shorten this journey or increase conversions?
    By taking an informed, data-driven look at your existing site structure and optimizing it in line with your new site's primary objectives, you have a chance to drastically improve the performance of your site.

5. Where Does the Content Fit In?

We all know that content is the most important aspect of any digital campaign. So why is it still so often an afterthought when sites are designed?

The quality, visibility, and relevance of your content will be the most influential factor in determining the success or failure of your new site. Shouldn't it be given some attention during the design process?

One primary consideration is what type of content will be published on-site.

  • Are you going to have a blog? 
  • Is that blog going to be mostly visual or will you be publishing long, informative articles?

These questions should always be answered before you start designing the site. This gives you the opportunity to effectively integrate the blog into the overall design of your new website. It will also give you a chance to make sure that visitors can always find the most relevant content for them – and that they can find your blog, no matter what page they're on.

Another consideration is whether you'll be offering any other content through your site.

  • Will you be publishing whitepapers, eBooks, video tutorials? 
  • If so, how will they be delivered? 
  • Will you offer them in return for an email address? 
  • Will they be available to anyone, or only available to members?

As with each of the previous points, considering your content before you finalize the site design will make it far more functional, profitable, and effective.

6. Technical SEO

Your site's position in the SERPs depends on many different factors (more than 200, according to Google). This means that your redesign gives you more than 200 different areas that you can look to improve, condense, and build on to increase your search visibility, site authority, and trust.

Three key areas you should pay close attention to during the redesign process are:

  • Page load times: Far too often companies launch a site that looks great, but only if you wait around for long enough for the homepage to load. Unfortunately, visitors to your site won't put up with it, and as a result, neither will the search engines. Your redesign should be seen as an opportunity to speed up your site, not slow it down.
  • Compliance: This area is also often overlooked by site designers. If you want your site to work in the modern online marketplace it needs to conform to recognized standards. This means it needs to adhere to section 508 and W3C compliance factors as well as EU Cookie laws (if applicable).
  • Coding: Your site redesign should be seen as an opportunity to give your code a spring-clean. As you know, search engine spiders can only read text. Images, videos and other web elements can all hide and disguise this text so that search engines have difficulty reading it. This means that they are also very unlikely to give your pages high visibility for those disguised terms. To ensure that your site has the greatest possible search visibility, you need to make sure that your code makes it as easy as possible for the spiders to crawl your site. If you're in any doubt, use a tool like this to see your pages from a search engines point of view.

7. Testing

In an ideal situation, budgets and time would be unlimited. If we had the budget and time, every single component of the site would be pitted in a death match fight to the death based on analytical data. This would include all wireframes, mock-ups, images, color, content and the list goes on.

Obviously, we can't do this. But don't forget about the advantages gained if we could, and remember to incorporate testing into your process.

Conclusion

Digital marketing is quickly evolving into an entirely integrated discipline. A website redesign is a major event in any digital marketing campaign, so it makes sense that this process should also be as integrated as possible.

If a site is going to deliver real value, it shouldn't be left to just designers and aesthetic considerations. Your SEO team, copywriters, sales team and social media managers should all be heavily involved, right from the start.


http://dealernetservicesonline.biz

Subject: How to Reach Today's Buyers with Modern Prospecting
(Posted on Jul 11, 2013 at 08:56AM ) Tags:

Face-to-face sales interactions are typically viewed as the most valuable activity by Sales Leaders.  5 years ago they were right. Nothing was more important than executing in the trenches.  But during those times, the trenches were out in the field.  In this post describe the imagewe will explore how the trenches have changed. Today, getting in the door is more difficult than executing face-to-face sales calls.

Today your sales people have multiple product specialists, overlays, and management support.  But these resources don’t engage until they get in front on someone.  The vast majority of training is focused on selling once you are face-to-face.  But buyers are much more informed today. This fact makes getting in the door more than half the battle.

The primary differentiator of today's top Sales Rep is the ability to prospect.  This could be prospecting for new business or different buying centers within existing customers.  Both are difficult.  Both are where the potential is.  Managing a relationship or taking orders from existing customers are table-stakes.  Opening new doors is a unique and difficult skill.  Few are really good at it. 

We have captured 5 modern prospecting best practices from top performers.  Download this tool to rapidly improve your prospecting results. 

I recently had a discussion with a Sales Leader about his team’s ability to prospect. 

He told me that, “Prospecting is a basic skillset all my reps should have.”

I asked what skills he was referring to.  He couldn’t articulate their prospecting strategy.  He basically told me they should make cold calls and “beat the streets”.  I then asked how they make phone calls and what their success rate is.  He gave me a blank stare.  "What do you mean?  They call and explain who they are and why they are calling.  Then they ask for an appointment."

As shocking as this example may seem, it is the norm.  A majority of sales people are terrible at prospecting.  They call the same buyer each week hoping something has changed. They open a phone call with what their company provides.  They knock on a door and leave a business card.  The success rate using outdated methods and poor messaging is under 5%.  And Sales Managers wonder why their people aren’t prospecting.

 

Why do sales people inflict so much pain on themselves?

 

  • They are instructed to use outdated prospecting techniques
  • They are resistant to change and make excuses such as, “our buyers aren’t on social media”
  • Most sales training is focused on execution once in the door
  • Organizations inhibit the use of modern prospecting methods
  • They make the mistake of relying on someone else to prospect

 

How to get in the door:

 

  1. Approach the right doors - some doors aren’t worth approaching.  Is your sales team focused on customers with the highest potential to buy your solution?  Or do they call on low value prospects and saturated customers?  Clearly define your target audience first. 
  2. Buyer Centric Messaging - have you ever had a feeling that an advertisement was meant for you?  It may have been 1 out of 100 advertisements.  The goal is to make every communication speak directly to your buyer.  You should understand them so well they think you have their job.  Speak directly to the buyer’s fears, objectives, and personal wants.
  3. Use Social Listening – understand what your buyer cares about.Social Listening  Is there a better way than watching their behavior first hand?  This works whether using social prospecting, email, or phone.  Your buyers will give you the answer to the test and you aren’t cheating. 
  4. Refine Writing Skills – produce succinct, clear, and compelling copy that drives an actionable response.  Think of how many more emails you send than conversations you have each day.  We communicate via the written word much more frequently than orally.  Yet we focus most of our time on improving oral communication skills.  Your prospects spend more time reading about you than listening to you. 
  5. Incorporate Social Prospecting – LinkedIn is not a clogged channel.  Email and the phone are.  You can use relationships to get access to buyers.  Using social is more effective and less painful than cold calling.

Use this tool to spread these best practices across your sales organization.  Prospecting can be enjoyable and effective if approached correctly.