How to Qualify Leads via Social Media

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How to Qualify Leads via Social Media

  1. 1. Your Lead Qualifying Machine How to Make Social Media © Copyright 2013 InsideUp, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  2. 2. What’s Inside 1. Background 2. The Case for Qualifying Leads 3. How Are Your Prospects Using Social Media 4. Some Ways to Qualify Your Leads Using Social Media 5. Analyze and Adapt 6. Steps You Can Take to Get Started 7. Some Tips for Getting the Most from LinkedIn 8. Conclusion 9. About InsideUp Table of Content Ready to Learn More? Contact UsToday Call (800) 910-7638 Click insideup.com/getleads Email getleads@insideup.com
  3. 3. Background1. © Copyright 2013 InsideUp, Inc. All Rights Reserved Social Media Networks are a Growing Lead Resource ? ? ? ? ? More than 665 million people now use Facebook every day. Over 70% of Internet users say they are more likely to purchase from brands they follow on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. The number of active LinkedIn users has grown to over two million, and 35% of them access the site daily. So potentially one third of your leads can be contacted on LinkedIn. Hoping to go global? 64% of LinkedIn users are outside the U.S. Does your company tweet for leads? You're not the only one; 34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter. And we haven't even touched on Pinterest or Google +, two rapidly rising social media platforms. In one recent survey, 69% of respondents said they use social media in their business. If your company provides services to the business community, these business social media users are your potential customers. Executive Summary * Source: MarketingSherpa But a major challenge lies in qualifying all these leads. The reality is, whether your leads come from social media, traditional marketing, word of mouth, or a lead supplier, once they're in your pipeline, it is up to you to gauge their level of interest. As you've probably discovered, leads from any source are often still in early stages of the buying cycle when they find you. The question that of course follows is how to qualify these leads. What's so important about qualifying leads, anyway? Why not just work with every lead we get? Doesn't that increase our chances of making a sale? The more leads we talk to, the better our odds of (eventually) closing a deal, right? FACT: Although 61% of B2B marketers immediately turn all leads over to sales, only 27% of leads are actually qualified.*
  4. 4. © Copyright 2013 InsideUp, Inc. All Rights Reserved The Case for Qualifying Leads2. The three main benefits to proper lead qualification are: Lead generation, lead qualification and lead nurturing are all closely related, even overlapping at times. The same channels you use to generate leads can be the ideal setting for qualifying them. Regardless of the source of your leads, social media lends itself naturally as a way to discover more about them, such as their position in their company and their level of interest. Having a conversation is what social media is all about, after all. And engaging in dialog, whether face to face, on the phone or in cyberspace, is the best way to uncover the information you need to qualify your leads. Qualifying leads using social media is friendlier—it's the digital form of networking groups. And it can be a much easier and more intuitive way to get to know your prospects. Plus, the more you take advantage of social media, the less you will need to subject your prospects to lengthy forms in order to learn about their needs. 1. If you've ever worked hard to land a client who turned out to be more trouble than they were worth, we don't have to tell you why this reason tops the list. 2. and less likely to be a waste of time for sales reps. If a business person is interested in learning more about a service, this doesn't always mean they are in a position to make the purchase. 3. to make sure a lead is ready and able to buy (or soon will be) before handing it over to sales. Better leads make better clients. Qualified leads are more likely to close, It is much more cost-effective Lead Qualification Benefits the Sales Process Why Use Social Media to Qualify Leads?
  5. 5. Knowing the research behavior of the typical B2B buyer is the place to start, and can help you build an action plan for qualifying your leads via social media. Here are a few things to keep in mind: Buyers download an average of nine informational assets during the purchase process. By the time you've made a prospect's short list, they have most likely perused several brochures, white papers, case studies and blog posts, watched videos, sat through webinars and podcasts, and pored over infographics and ebooks. While this type of research activity used to be limited to the pre- sales phase, now buyers say they find a variety of content valuable throughout all phases of the sales cycle. One study of B2B buyers asked the question,“How did you use social media to research your solution purchase?”Participants were instructed to check all responses that applied to them. Here is what they found out: (Source: Eccolo Media) § § © Copyright 2013 InsideUp, Inc. All Rights Reserved How Are Your Prospects Using Social Media? 3. (Cont.) Social Media as a Research Tool ? ? ? ? ? ? 78% start off their research by doing a web search. 54% get involved in group discussions on social media sites to learn about specific services. 50% turn to social media for peer reviews. 24% used social networks to connect with industry thought leaders. 22% posed questions on social sites to learn about solutions other companies have used. 14% connected directly with potential solution providers via social networking channels.
  6. 6. 3. © Copyright 2013 InsideUp, Inc. All Rights Reserved 10%How B2B Buyers Use Social Media to Research Purchase Web Search Group Discussion Peer Reviews Connect with Thought Leaders Ask Questions Connect with Vendors 75 — 100 — 50 — 25 — 0 — 78% 54% 50% 24% 22% 14% How Are Your Prospects Using Social Media? (cont.) Tap into a Pipeline of Useful Data How did these intrepid marketers in the survey put their research findings to use? Which factors were most critical when choosing a vendor? 36% collected information in order to build the business case. 30% considered the breadth of information from each vendor as a critical factor in their buying decision. 1. Timeliness of response to questions 2. Relevance of the information based on questions 3. Amount of content/thought leadership vendor provided The takeaway?“B2B marketers must adopt sophisticated strategies for monitoring social media conversations and tracking buyer behavior – even when they don't necessarily make direct contact with buyers.” (Source: 2012 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey Report, from DemandGen Report and G3 Communications)
  7. 7. How Can You Put this Information into Action and Start Qualifying Leads with Social Media? First, do your homework and find out what you can by looking at the LinkedIn profiles of your individual contacts as well as the company profile. This can give you a great deal of information and insights about the company. Are you talking to the right person? If not, you might eventually ask to be introduced to someone involved in the buying decision. Then, do what your prospects are doing; get involved in group discussions, pose questions, create a poll. Learn all you can about the pain points that are driving their quest for a solution. Pay attention to what your target audience is saying. Follow them and learn about their concerns, even taking note of what key phrases tend to come up a lot. This will provide excellent fodder for discussion in your own blog posts, group discussions, emails and networking activities. Use what you observe to create engaging content that addresses the needs you've uncovered. But remember: don't be salesy, just be helpful. Think about: Why does this prospect need my product or service? What might their objections be, based on what they have said about previous experiences? How can I communicate the benefits of our solution and how our company differs from the competition? ? ? ? © Copyright 2013 InsideUp, Inc. All Rights Reserved Some Ways to Your Leads Using Social Media Qualify4. As a bonus, what you learn during the process of qualifying leads can also help you to develop your future blog, website and email marketing content to attract new leads. Your target market will likely have similar needs, questions and objections as the leads you are currently qualifying and nurturing. Additional Social Media Opportunities (Cont.)
  8. 8. A Continual Stream of Actionable Insights The data you gather when generating leads will often give you insights that help you determine your prospects' level of interest, motivation, and ability to purchase. Keep track of all your findings, preferably by adding the data to your CRM system so you can easily refer to it later as you build on what you know about each lead. Connect with your current followers by getting involved in the conversation; pose open-ended questions that may spark an interesting discussion. 1. What prompted your interest in this service? 2. Are you using a similar product/service? 3. What are you currently doing with this service? 4. What problems do you encounter with your current provider? 5. Have you thought about getting a competitive quote on this service to compare to what you are currently paying? 6. What features are you looking for in this service that you don't currently have? 7. When would be a good time to talk? © Copyright 2013 InsideUp, Inc. All Rights Reserved Some Ways to Your Leads Using Social Media (cont.) Qualify4. (Cont.) Here are some questions you might ask:
  9. 9. © Copyright 2013 InsideUp, Inc. All Rights Reserved (Cont.) Be alert to clues that will help you qualify them even further. Keep in mind the questions you need answered about your prospect, such as: Are you talking to someone directly involved in making the purchase decision? If not, is this someone who can influence the decision and/or introduce you to or otherwise help you connect with the decision makers? What is the prospect's greatest challenge? What objections or roadblocks to purchase might they have? What solutions have they tried in the past that worked or didn't work and why? What vendors have they worked with or considered, and what did they like or not like about those companies? As you learn more about your social media contacts, their position in the company, their buying process and their company's specific needs and pain points, you will be able to tailor your messages and social media content to their needs to keep them engaged and further the relationship. Always approach such leads with a helpful attitude as they research their options. Taking a consultative role will build trust and increase the likelihood that they will choose your services when they are ready to make a final choice. ? ? ? ? ? Some Ways to Your Leads Using Social Media (cont.) Qualify4. Use Social Media Channels Nurture and Qualify the Leads In the on-going process of lead generation, lead nurturing and lead qualification, social media can be an invaluable resource to increase results. Marketing Social Media CRM/ Support 10%Social Media is a Part of the New Marketing Database Sale PROSPECT ENGAGEMENT
  10. 10. Analyze and Adapt5. Tracking a few key factors and comparing your social media activity over a period of time against your sales for that period can give you a good idea of what is working and what is not. Where are your most highly qualified leads coming from? What specific tools are you using and how often? What is the best way to get your sales messages to the decision makers? How can you better address your prospects' concerns and reduce the perceived risk of purchasing from your company? What value can you offer to keep leads engaged through the research phase and into the buying process? What else can you do to help your prospects move forward into the buying process? ? ? ? ? ? ? Use Insights from Social Media to Your Advantage It is getting more difficult to be found in today’s multi-platform, highly-competitive marketing environment. It is getting more difficult to be found in today’s multi-platform, highly-competitive marketing environment. Each Social Media Channel has unique characteristics and strategic benefits based upon your individual company objectives and the dynamics of your industry. Optimal Mix of Channels Will Give You the Best Results in t f You Tube © Copyright 2013 InsideUp, Inc. All Rights Reserved (Cont.)
  11. 11. Steps You Can Take to Get Started6. Here are some easy ways to make that connection and start qualifying those leads. For our purposes here, we will use LinkedIn as an example, but these activities can be adapted to practically any social media platform. Most B2B marketers recognize the value of LinkedIn as a networking tool, but LinkedIn can also be a very effective means of qualifying your leads by keeping in touch throughout the sales cycle. Since LinkedIn was created specifically with businesses in mind, it is a natural choice for business networking and qualifying leads. Be sure you're following any companies you believe might be interested in your services. This is always a good way to show interest and connect with your target market. Make sure your company email template includes an invitation to connect on LinkedIn. Some of your leads may need a friendly reminder, so you might also want to send a quick connection request through LinkedIn, or via email. Personalize your messages to avoid coming across as spammy. If you're connecting with a lead that attended your LinkedIn event, for example, you might mention the event you shared in common. Have you already had a phone conversation? Add a message to your connection invite saying that you enjoyed talking to them and are available to help if they have any questions. Regularly offer value to all your leads throughout the sales cycle. You might even create special deals, free webinars, etc., especially for your LinkedIn connections. Then send out an email to your lead database, inviting all to take advantage of your offer or attend your event. Those prospects who are not yet in your network may decide to connect when given the added incentive. Let all of your prospects know that you're available to offer expert advice in your discussion groups, and encourage them to join your group for no-pressure answers to questions about your industry. Each conversation gives you the opportunity to gather additional detail such as company size, purchasing budget and details about the company's needs and interests. § § § § § © Copyright 2013 InsideUp, Inc. All Rights Reserved (Cont.) Begin with a Strategic Plan
  12. 12. Some Tips for Getting the Most From LinkedIn 7. Since LinkedIn was designed as a platform to help business people connect, it offers a number of tools created specifically for that purpose. Here are a few ways you can use LinkedIn to create awareness about your services and set the stage for qualifying your leads. t 1. Be sure you've fully fleshed out your profile with information about your company. You can embed your videos and company blog on the profile page, and add a “share”button so your content can be spread to social sites like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. 2. Add your company to the LinkedIn company directory, and give details about the services you provide. 3. One of the best ways to establish yourself as an authority in your field is to answer questions on the LinkedIn Answers page. Browse the various categories for topics in which you have expertise to share. Maintain credibility by refraining from making promotional statements and focus on supplying helpful information. 4. Join the same LinkedIn groups as your prospects and take part in the discussions. Read posts and provide answers when you can, without promoting. 5. Create and manage your own group and invite your prospects to join. By actively participating in group discussions, offering valuable tips and insights, you can expand your circle of influence and continue building those relationships. 6. Take advantage of LinkedIn applications to create surveys and slide presentations, display your portfolio, embed your blogs and tweets, and connect with prospects via professional events and conferences. 7. Keep track of all new data you find on each prospect and use it to guide your discussions, provide answers to questions, establish your thought leadership and build relationships. 8. Take care not to be invasive. Comment on your prospects' posts, show interest, be as helpful as possible, but resist the urge to sell at this point. 9. After an event or business presentation with decision makers, connect with hem on LinkedIn send a brief Inmail message. Something like,“I enjoyed meeting with you and look forward to talking to you again.” © Copyright 2013 InsideUp, Inc. All Rights Reserved (Cont.)
  13. 13. Conclusion8. A prospect's permission to contact them is one of your most valuable marketing assets, especially since most people do not give out their information freely to just anyone who asks for it. It indicates that they are already interested in what you have to offer, so you don't need to expend any effort convincing them on that count. The only thing that remains is to demonstrate that yours is the ideal company for their needs. Speak to your social media contacts out of a genuine desire, not just to sell them on your solution, but to truly help their business succeed. Keep this motivation at the core of every interaction with your prospects. 7. © Copyright 2013 InsideUp, Inc. All Rights Reserved (Cont.) Some Tips for Getting the Most From LinkedIn (cont.) Optimizing Your Connections B2B Internet Demand A Growing Trend By 2015 as Much as 75% of B2B Demand will Come from Internet Finding out where your prospects are and what type of online media they are using involves constant, diligent research followed by continual fine-tuning of your social media strategy based on your search results. 25% 75% * Source: Sirius Decisions
  14. 14. Conclusion (cont.)8. © Copyright 2013 InsideUp, Inc. All Rights Reserved (Cont.) This presents business service providers with the challenge of casting their virtual net farther and wider than ever before just to capture the interest of these potential customers. As a business service provider, you have a wide range of tools like blogs, interactive wiki articles, search-optimized white papers and active participation in discussion forums that enable you to actively communicate with your prospects. Building a genuine rapport does take an investment of time, but the results will be solid and lasting. Be the company who provides value before your lead has committed to using your service. Answer their questions and build their trust. Make sure your company's message is aligned with your prospective customers' needs. You will be building a loyal customer base while you strengthen your reputation and your brand. These are the same principles used by the best lead generation companies to generate warm leads who have demonstrated an interest in your services, supplied information about their specific needs, and are not only willing, but eager to hear about your solutions. With all the channels at their disposal to generate and qualify leads, many businesses still struggle to fully utilize them due to the labor-intensive nature of these activities and the amount of time it can take to see results. That is why increasing numbers of business service providers are using online lead generation platforms to educate their prospects, engage in regular communication and build trust. Automated lead generation systems provide a virtual one-stop shop for online marketing, social networking and high-quality lead generation. Buyers provide data about their company as well as information related to their particular needs. This data is then scored and matched in real time with service providers that are uniquely qualified to deliver the solution. Business Service Buyers Have an Ever-expanding Array of Choices When Researching Online
  15. 15. About InsideUp High-Quality Leads Easy to Set Up Optimized Lead Generation Pay-Per-LeadQualified Business Network Real-time Delivery Live Phone Transfer Online Access - We use only high quality business traffic and media partners. - No campaigns to manage. Account setup takes just a few minutes. - Using proprietary technology and lead scoring algorithms. - You only pay for qualified leads. No set-up and no monthly fees. - Leverage our community of buyers who actively use our service when making business purchases. - Leads posted to your CRM, delivered by email or accessed from dashboard for quick sales conversion. - Free automated live transfer of leads to your sales number. - View analytics, reports, billing, credits, leads and more. InsideUp was founded to solve a critical market need – to help firms effortlessly connect with a community of businesses actively looking to purchase services. What We Provide Ready to Learn More? Contact UsToday Call (800) 910-7638 Click insideup.com/getleads Email getleads@insideup.com As the leading platform to acquire new business customers, InsideUp has pioneered new ways of connecting service providers with buyers. Our unique and proprietary platform, designed specifically for business services firms, allows our customers to be matched with and provide custom quotes to targeted, ready-to-buy decision makers. InsideUp also offers a lead clearinghouse, which lets lead buyers pre-select the type of leads they wish to purchase. 9.
  16. 16. © Copyright 2013 InsideUp, Inc. All Rights Reserved The leading platform to ACOUIRE NEW BUSINESS CUSTOMERS/ For additional information Visit Email Call www.insideup.com/getleads getleads@insideup.com (800) 910-7638

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