So many b2b companies don’t have a documented new client qualifying process for the sales team to reference when speaking to prospects for the first time.

What is the cost of lacking a qualification process?

  • sales reps waste precious time
  • sales reps lose motivation by sending out proposals that will never close

OUCH!

What is the upside to an amazing qualification process?

  • shorter phone calls
  • clear objective for first call
  • reduced follow up
  • monster win rate

YAY!

What would life look like with a 90% Qualified Lead to Win rate?

How much extra time would the sales team have if 50% of follow up time was reduced? Longer Lunch Break Anyone?

HOW DO WE FOCUS ON PROSPECTS THAT ARE LIKELY TO BECOME LONG TERM HAPPY CUSTOMERS?

Ask These Four Simple Questions: 

  1. What is your need relating to our product or service?
  2. By when do you want to have a solution in place? (Options: Yesterday, In the next 30 days, Not Sure)
  3. What is your budget range for this solution? (Provide range options: Under your minimum, Over your minimum)
  4. Who else needs to be involved in the decision to move forward?

Next steps: TAKE ACTION NOW!!

  1. Print out these four questions and TAPE them down to the desks of your sales team!
  2. Set up 15 minute roleplaying mini sessions once a week to train with your sales team and improve
  3. Record your sales team phone calls and review them weekly to tweak the prospect qualification process

This is the moment of truth!! ACT NOW!

Want to add even more? Include your ideal company filter to further weed out the wrong type of business

Ajax Union company type filter is as follows:

  • B2b is primary target
  • Over 3m in annual revenue
  • Over 3 years in business
  • Recurring revenue structure
  • High avg client annual revenue over $10k
  • Relationship based accounts
  • Looking to grow 10 – 25 % depending on top line revenue volume
  • Located in the NYC metro (not a deal breaker)

Share your comments below or email us at amazing@ajaxunion.com on how you would improve this qualification process.

See original LinkedIn Article Post

A field of change: contemporary marketing.

The marketing landscape is a perpetually changing scene, the only constant in this industry is that it will inevitably change. What once was an in-print advertorial is now a lifestyle blogger with 300k Facebook followers capable of mass promoting a brand by posting a single photograph with a #hashtag. It’s challenging to stay current in this dynamic environment to say the least.

A relatively new frontier is the social media sphere. A sphere where one in seven people in the entire world reside. Take a moment to think about that, one-in-seven human beings on this planet utilizes social media platforms, like Facebook. Now how are you going to harness the power of this considerably large group of potential customers?

Most marketers think of social media as a way of building a brand. While they are correct, this methodology is limiting the scope of reach available to businesses worldwide. A steady flow of leads most definitely can come from social media, it is far more than just a way to build a brand and engage with your community. Social media is still one of the most powerful channels for building a brand and generating buzz, and now it is progressively used for lead generation.

The efficient marketing dollar.

Social media is a cost effective method of generating leads. Bringing people into your sales funnel is what lead generation is all about. Lead generation is very similar to an intelligence agency gathering data on their users. As marketers, this data about the leads is used to find out who the target audience is, which products you could sell to them, and how you can eventually turn them into paying customers.

Today, methods of generating leads include distributing gated content, email opt-ins, viral video marketing, and social media – all aimed at landing the leads into your sales funnel. With the ability to execute these tasks online, it is now quicker, more effective, easier to track, and cost efficient.

Ready, set, goal.

By now I hope you’ve gathered social media is a powerful lead generation platform that runs on minimum cost with maximum benefits. But, you can’t start any type of marketing without a goal. This is an opportune time to sit with your team, a diverse group of employees from different departments preferably, and create a set of lead identification goals.

Specific questions to ask:

  • How many leads and in what period of time?
  • Who is your lead, who do you want as a lead?
  • What does a perfect lead look like?
  • How would you attract this perfect lead?

Once goal parameters are initiated and decided upon, it’s time to focus on a strategy on how to get those leads.

Content content content.

Before embarking on the quest for more leads, you must first chart your plan, in other words you need to create a content strategy. Said strategy should focus on creating content for your website, blog, and all social media channels. But not just any content will do. Create content that is purpose driven; content created for content’s sake not only diminishes the credibility of your brand, but wastes time. Instead of turning out 5 blog posts a week, write 1 great post – the time spent on it will reflect the caliber of your business. Every team member involved in writing content should be a part of the content strategy creation plan, this will motivate everyone to create content that is purpose driven. A lead generating plan will be less successful if the quality of your content is questionable or not purpose driven.

Share great content.

Capturing leads on social media is not as simple as posting a newsletter signup link on your Facebook page. If you want to turn a lead into a prospect, you’re going to have to dedicate work to it. And that means creating and sharing great content. Great content implements imagery, graphic design, video, audio, is relevant to your audience, and inspires them to engage with it.

Use social media to tell stories. You’ve already outlined in the content strategy plan that you intend to create great content that will generate leads. How you deliver this content is just as important. The unique thing about social media is that it’s, well, social. People are sharing, telling stories, shouting their accomplishments from their virtual rooftops. Take advantage of this by crafting and delivering your content in a way that mimics what is already happening on the social channel. Tell a story. Don’t talk at people on social media, talk with them. Ask for feedback, engage with the community in an organic way, and your content will perform better.

Peer-to-peer.

With one in every seven people on this planet on social media, there’s inevitably going to be a lot of sharing. Social media is a place where most people feel safe to share information. People readily share information from an array of subjects – from whom they’re voting for to what type of organic peanut butter they’re into.

Marketers have the ability to cater each campaign to a very specific group of people based on this open sharing platform. But with more information comes a big change. Social marketing is shifting away from company-to-buyer messaging. The new shift is in the empowerment of the individual, where influence reigns supreme. Peer-to-peer influence marketing is where current customers become brand advocates. Leveraging the power of this communication delivers increased brand authenticity at little to no cost to you, and it is one of the most credible forms of advertising.

Facebook news feed.

Facebook’s news feed uses an algorithm to determine which posts get displayed on a user’s news feed, their personal homepage on the network. Why is this important? In order for a lead generating campaign to be successful, you have to get your content in front of the people you created it for. It doesn’t matter if your team spent 20 hours crafting an award winning promotional video, if it doesn’t land in your potential leads news feed, there’s a big chance it will be missed entirely.

So how do you get your posts to appear? This algorithm is under constant construction, but like Google, it always responds to the users engagement. The word engagement is thrown around social media frequently, it’s importance is highly underrated. Engagement with your content is what will make your content, well, for lack of better words, more engaging. Basically, the more users interact with your content, the more it will show up on the news feed, where more people in their networks will be able to see it, and in turn, engage with it themselves. If engagement with the content is low, Facebook drops it from the news feed, where it will then live in your business page forever, or until you delete it.

Here are some other factors that the algorithm considers:

  • Affinity: How close is the relationship between the user and content?
  • Weight: What type of action was taken on the content?
  • Decay: How current is the content?
  • Post Types: What types of posts does a user typically interact with?
  • Hide Post/Spam: What types of posts does a user usually hide or mark as spam?
  • Clicking on Ads: Do users interact with the ad?
  • Device Considerations: Can multiple devices handle your content?
  • Story Bumping: A post may be older, but is it still being interacted with?

When creating your initial content strategy, take this news feed scenario into consideration. Don’t overcomplicate it. The type of content you create should relay your message, but consider making it fun, engaging, and native to the social channel.

Boosting your visibility.

So you must be wondering, can we buy our way into the news feed? Why, yes, yes you can. You can promote a post aka boost it. The amount you invest in boosting depends on how many people you want to reach. In this case more is not necessarily better, it depends on your content strategy, and marketing objectives.

Not only does promoting your post boost visibility, it extends the life of the post. With more visibility, comes more responsibility, and that means making sure there is a strong call to action in the post. A strong CTA can be anything from asking followers to download an asset, or fill out a quick form, or engage in a contest – whichever the CTA, just make sure there is one.

Invest a little more.

Facebook was launched in 2004, advertising on the platform was introduced one year later. Facebook advertising is a unique method of digital advertising, as no other portion of your marketing budget can mimic the potential value of social advertising. The concepts we touched upon earlier, like peer-to-peer influences, current customers becoming brand advocates, word-of-mouth, are all intensified through advertising. When someone sees that a friend already likes a product or service that came across their news feed, the barriers to entry are lowered, and trust in the brand is increased.

Facebook advertising is most effective when marketers take what is already being said about the product, and scream it from their proverbial virtual rooftop. It is word-of-mouth, propelled. With Facebook ads, users see the ads on a regular basis, they also get to see if their friend likes it too. Over a short period of time users get to see your ad multiple times, developing familiarity with your brand. This builds a level of trust and comfort, ultimately relieving some of the pressure for your website or landing page to deliver the message and immediately perform.

Facebook ads make people talk about your business. It creates brand advocates, influencers, and builds word-of-mouth. The ads on Facebook not only help you generate leads, but they help you build a long-lasting trusting relationship with your customer.

Lookalike audiences and predictive analytics, it’s fun stuff.

You know how when you own a minivan, all of a sudden you see hundreds of minivans on the road? Lookalike audiences is Facebook’s way of re-creating this phenomena. When you create an advertising campaign on Facebook, you have the option to reach people similar to your known audience, using a technique called “lookalike” audiences. Using your customer relationship management tool (CRM) to import a database, or list, of prospective clients, this tool allows you to create a segmented list composed of qualified identification information, like social handles and emails. Facebook then creates a “lookalike” audience using fancy algorithms. From there, you and your team can craft a specific marketing campaign to this lookalike audience, and tailor it however you’d like. Technology, man.

I bet you’re wondering where the bulleted tips section is? See below.

au-site-quicktips (2)

Quick tips for social media lead generation:

  • Organic traffic needs help; don’t be afraid to invest a portion of your marketing budget into social
  • Develop incredible content
  • Create strong and friendly call-to-actions
  • Always add value
  • Never forget that social is a two-way street
  • Tag relevant influencers
  • Post your content in relevant groups and communities
  • Develop a strategy before posting content
  • Know your target market
  • Engage, respond to comments, questions, and messages
  • Use industry leaders as guest writers to help build your content
  • Cross promote from your page, your other social channels, from partners, and at every chance you get
  • Reach out to industry partners, develop sharing partnerships
  • Take analytics seriously

Fun and sophisticated.

Social media platforms are becoming more and more sophisticated. Marketers now have an immense amount of opportunities to strategically attract leads. Gone are the days of simply building a following. The appeal of social media marketing is focused on turning those followers into warm leads, and these leads genuinely trust what you have to say, and are interested in hearing from you. So go get ‘em tiger!

Need help with your social strategy? Our team at Ajax is here to help you in using social media to generate leads. Contact an Ajax Union representative today!

Looking to generate leads for your company? Try out the following methods using social media.

Run A Facebook Giveaway

Facebook ContestsEveryone loves a freebie–including your potential customers. Offering goods or services as a prize on social media is a great way to generate leads, motivate your audience to engage on social media, and build brand awareness. Try these these easy to follow steps to run a contest or giveaway on Facebook.

 

  1. Decide on the Prize

First, chose what you are going to give away. If your company offers products, a small gift card or specific item you sell is the perfect choice. If your company offers services, offering a free consultation or voucher for a free service will do the trick.

  1.   Contest or Giveaway?

Is this contest more focussed on lead generation or branding? If it’s about lead gen, a simple giveaway makes it easy for participants to give you their contact info for a chance to win. Since it is so easy you’re likely to get more participation than a contest with intricate rules.

A contest, on the other hand, requires a more engaged consumer. Making it more difficult for people to participate has the potential to provide greater rewards. For example, you could ask participants to share a few sentences describing why they need your product or service–i.e. “I need a visit from #cleaningco because I’m a busy mother to four cats!”

Better yet, you can ask participants to share an image. If your company sells organic dog food and you are giving away a year’s supply, ask fans to share images of their pets, then vote with their likes for the contest winner. Because the stakes are higher for the audience in this kind of contest, it works best for businesses giving away larger prizes.

  1.   Apply Yourself

Next, develop a simple Facebook application with custom graphics and a form fill. The more specific you can be with your form fields, the better you can qualify your leads. Common and necessary fields should be first name, last name, and email. Be sure to include a check-box on the email field so users can choose to opt into your mailing list. To further qualify leads you can include questions relevant to your business and target market.

Once the contest is completed, you will have a pool of qualified leads to reach out to and turn into customers.

  1.   Follow Up

Recognize your contest winner publicly. If you don’t, it can seem like the contest isn’t really closed–or worse, the prize wasn’t actually given away. A photo of the winner with their prize is a great way to prove the success of your contest. A brief quote or paraphrased quote on why they are excited about the prize can further legitimize the contest. For instance:

“Our contest winner, Cara, is a busy mother of four cats who also runs a successful bakery. She’s looking forward to coming home to a super-clean house, courtesy of The Cleaning Co!”

Additionally, thank all contest participants for their interest in the competition. Follow up both on social media and via email, if you collected email addresses. A coupon offering discounted rates is a great consolation prize–and one they may be especially eager to use, after seeing how happy your contest winner is!

Promoted Posts

Advertising on Facebook is essential to maximizing your reach. Many companies fail to utilize the extremely useful promoted posts feature. Using promoted posts, you can target viewers based on demographics, other interests, and more. Promote posts about a contest, sale, or special event to your existing audience, their connections, and beyond using the targeting feature.

Boosted Social Media

 

Twitter Chat

Whether you are joining in on an existing Twitter chat, or creating your own, utilizing this feature is a great way to obtain quality leads for your business.

For those not acquainted with Twitter chat, it is a discussion held on the Twitter platform–simply created via hashtag. Using Twitter chat you will be able to find users interested in your goods or services. For a list of already existing and active Twitter chats, check out this awesome resource.

Below is an example of a Twitter chat that may interest someone in the medical industry. As a lead gen resource, it can be quite effective. Take a look at #LivingWellChat.
Advertising On Twitter
While these three tools are effective means of obtaining leads via social media, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many ways which your business can obtain quality leads to turn into loyal customers! Check back on the Ajax Union Internet Marketing Blog for more helpful tips, tricks, and advice!