LeadSeek Blog

Mastering the Transition from Lead to Prospect

Investments in complex marketing solutions are on the rise. Companies across all industries are spending more and more on software and consulting to make sure they’re staying ahead of the game on all the newest marketing trends. But does generating more marketing metrics like clicks and shares actually translate to more sales and revenue growth?

The unfortunate answer is no. In order to see the return on marketing investments, the products of those investments need to be able to convert into a solid pursuable opportunity for sales. While the marketing department brags about their click rates, the sales department is rolling their eyes wondering where the value is, deepening the disconnect between departments that any sales or marketing professional is already very familiar (and frustrated) with.

While email marketing is undoubtedly the most effective and preferred B2B communication strategy, the way this vital tool is utilized will determine whether the resulting leads are actionable.

A large part of the disconnect between the sales and marketing departments can be attributed to the fact that they’re focused on totally separate metrics. Marketing departments tend to monitor statistics like click and open rates and website traffic. While those metrics are valuable, a marketing campaign that scores high in these metrics and doesn’t translate to more solid prospects in the sales department’s pipeline is all for naught.

A large part of the disconnect between the sales and marketing departments can be attributed to the fact that they’re focused on totally separate metrics. Marketing departments tend to monitor statistics like click and open rates and website traffic. While those metrics are valuable, a marketing campaign that scores high in these metrics and doesn’t translate to more solid prospects in the sales department’s pipeline is all for naught.

That’s what we do. Drop us a line and let’s talk about how we can do it for you.

Avoiding Prospect Objections Before they Happen

One of the biggest challenges faced by sales people is to get your prospects, who are busy people, to see the value in working with you – a person/company that they may have never heard of. On your average cold call, once you have the prospect’s attention, the next step is to overcome the most common initial objections. An even better strategy, though, is to do everything you can to prevent objections from coming up in the first place.

If you encounter the objection that your prospect is too busy or doesn’t have a budget for your offering, the deeper implication is that they just don’t see the value of your product or service and therefore don’t see a reason to make time to hear about it. You can avoid this objection by beginning every communication with a buyer-centric value proposition. This process is all about the prospect, not you or your business, so make sure your prospect knows how you can solve a problem they’re experiencing or make their life easier right off the bat, and emphasize a respect for their time and that you won’t take much of it.

Next, make sure you don’t jump the gun and ask for the purchase right away. Your prospect is most likely not ready to discuss buying right now. This is an initial conversation, not a closing call, and you’ll lose them if you try to push the sale too soon. In your initial conversations, you’re not selling your product; you’re selling the next step in the sales process.

Of course, you will still encounter objections from your prospects. Some, like “we don’t have a budget for this” or “just send me some information” may be due to lack of knowledge about your offering. Those can often be overcome by respectfully questioning the prospect to uncover the reason at the heart of the objection and further explaining your value. But it’s still always important to keep in mind that there does come a time when no means no. A very large part of being a successful sales person lies in knowing when to move on.

We incorporate these principles into our email messaging to set you and your team up for success in every initial call. Drop us a line and let’s talk about how we can help you avoid frustration.

Basic Rules for Great Follow-up Emails

Using an effective follow-up email is a key part of a great email prospecting campaign. Often, more responses actually come from the follow-up email than from the original. But why are they so effective? What elements of a successful follow-up email are essential to ensuring those increases in response rates?

Many of the factors that make up a good prospecting email apply to both your “original” and “follow-up” emails. Things like having a clear and descriptive subject line, short and straightforward message, and clearly stated objective or “ask” apply to any type of sales email. All that’s needed is to adapt those rules to this specific type of email.

For example, a good practice is to leave the subject line of your original email intact, while adding something that indicates you are following up on the email with that subject line (i.e. “Follow up: Subject line of my original email”).

The real advantage of a good follow-up email is that it will reiterate to your prospect that you are a real person, actually interested in speaking with them, and reminds them of your original email. Your prospects are busy just like you are, so if they intended to respond and the day got away from them, the follow-up email will ensure that you don’t fall through the cracks. At the very least, a follow-up email reminds the prospect to get back to you, even if it’s to say now isn’t a good time, which after all, lets you know to focus your efforts elsewhere.

Keep your follow-up emails simple, short, and straightforward and they’ll do their job.

At LeadSeek, we are experts at writing effective emails. Drop us a line to talk about how we can craft compelling custom images to bring more interested prospects straight to your inbox.

The Ultimate Follow-up Strategy

No matter what tools you use to bring new leads in to your business, it all comes down to emails and phone calls. No matter how many great leads you’re receiving, if you miss the mark with your follow-up strategy, you will miss the mark with your quota.

But what is the best way to set yourself up for success? Thankfully, there is a robust body of research on this subject to provide us with some best practices backed up by solid data.

First, remember the importance of first impressions and speed of service. When a prospect “raises their hand” by replying to a communication, leaving a message, or requesting a contact, following up directly with that person as soon as possible will greatly increase your chances of continuing that conversation further. Not only will you make a great initial impression on that prospect, by following up within a few minutes with an inbound lead, you can ensure that you are reaching your prospect when your offering and company is still forefront in their mind.

While timely follow-up is essential, overzealous follow-up can be detrimental. The goal is to be persistent without crossing the line into annoying. As much as we may want to at times, you can’t really brow beat someone into become a customer – at least not a happy customer. The best you can do as a sales person is to make sure you are optimally presented as a good option so that when your prospect is ready, they can make the choice themselves to pursue doing business with your company. If you follow up too often and try to force the sale or conversation, you will end up losing some contacts that otherwise would have been ideal prospects for you. Just try to keep in mind how frequent of contact you would find professional if you were on the other end of the exchange.

None of these strategies should be anything new to sales people, and yet these simple steps to success are actually practiced by a shockingly small number of sales people. To be successful in sales we just need to remember to focus on strategies that expand our reach to enough people to allow us to focus on prospects that are interested on their own, rather than focusing on strategies to convince uninterested prospects that they need to buy.

LeadSeek can help you expand your reach and allow you to focus on interested prospects. Spend more time closing and less time selling. Drop us a line and let’s talk about how.

Simple Steps to a Customer-Winning Sales Email

Sales people are always looking for the perfect prospecting email. Hours are spent agonizing over subject lines, length, copy, ideas, and bullet points. Then when anyone in the office has success with a certain email, you can guarantee every other sales person will give it a try, thinking there must be some magical element that mysteriously gains customers. But really, writing effective sales emails is simple and straight-forward. There is no magic bullet. It’s the way all of these elements come together.

The first thing to remember, and the first challenge to overcome, is to limit the length of your email. Your prospects will not read through a lengthy email about you, especially if you’re introducing yourself for the first time, regardless of how well it is written. Most people don’t even like to read lengthy emails from colleagues, let alone strangers asking to take up some of their valuable time. Eliminate any sentences you could call unnecessary or too general and try to get your email down to the bare essentials of your message.

Along the same lines of keeping the message short, make sure that your message is consistent and straight-forward throughout. It’s tempting to try to fit everything that’s good about your company/product into your message to your prospects. After all, you don’t want to risk losing their interest because they didn’t see the one aspect that will solve all their problems. But the larger risk is losing the prospect with too many value propositions. You are far more likely to find prospects that are interested in one of the positive aspects of your business than you are to find prospects that are willing to read a lengthy email detailing each of the benefits of your services.

Also remember to keep the focus of your email on the prospect and their needs. No one likes to hear someone talk about themselves. People are immediately turned off by a proposition that is focused on the product or company, rather than how it can solve the prospect’s problems or make their lives easier. Especially in the B2B world, prospects are motivated to buy because of something causing them pain, not because they are blown away by a great product or service.

Finally, don’t try to get fancy. With all the buzz around finding the perfect elements of an email that will make prospects immediately buy, sales people can easily get carried away with overly fancy or elaborate email templates, which make your emails seem impersonal and immediately give the feel of mass marketing. If your email looks like an ad, your prospect will assume it’s an ad, even if you have included personalization like their first name. Making your email stand out is even easier if you keep your message straightforward and direct, and emphasize to the prospect that you are reaching out to them personally.

Keep these simple guidelines in mind when writing your next email and see if your response rates improve. We bet they will.

For help crafting and distributing your next great prospecting email, drop us a line.

How to make your sales cycle run like a well-oiled machine

Everyone wants to make more money.  Doing it faster would be great too.  The internet is crammed with different fool-proof ideas on how to do just that.  Software, outsourcing, coaching, and just general process hacks that will make you a better sales person, make you more money, and make your life easier.  How to sort through the noise and find how to actually make your sales cycle more productive and predictable?

There are some simple steps you can take. First, take a look at your typical day. What non-selling tasks are you spending the most time on? If there are tasks that are eating up time you could be spending closing deals like researching prospects, cold-calling, or sending out introductory emails, it might be time to consider automating those tasks or assigning a dedicated person to handle them.

Even determining which tasks are “selling” tasks has changed in recent years. A typical day for a sales person just a few years ago involved hammering out upwards of 80 phone calls a day to cold prospects, getting hung up on frequently and quite frankly more often making people mad than gaining any headway. Cold-calling has gone by the wayside as an effective strategy for gaining viable prospects.

In the current sales environment, every sales person needs a strategy to bring in prospects that are already interested and open to a conversation with you or your sales team. LeadSeek specializes in just that. We begin with a database of all of your target prospects and narrow that list down to those who are in a position to seriously consider your company’s offerings and interested in exploring what you can provide.

Drop us a line and let’s talk about exactly what that looks like for your organization.

What’s so great about you?

Writing Compelling Sales Communications

Writing effective emails is not rocket science, but there are a few simple rules that a surprising number of sales people don’t always follow. Obviously the message needs to grab the prospect’s attention and be interesting enough for them to want to read it once you do, but what else do we need to know?

Your message, most importantly, needs to compel your prospect to take action. If you write the world’s most captivating message but your prospect still doesn’t feel compelled to continue the interaction with your company, you’ve wasted your time. It also needs to be reasonably brief and concise. So the challenge becomes packing a thoughtful, compelling, and interesting message into an email short enough to be read in a few seconds. How do you do that?

Start by focusing on your prospect’s pain. B2B buyers are motivated to purchase new goods and services based on problems they or their company are experiencing. Why would a prospect want to buy your product or service? What problems does it solve? What pain points can you address? What sets you apart from your competitors? Those should be the first points you bring up in your sales communications.

We are experts in crafting effective sales communications. Let us help! Drop us a line and let’s talk about how we can bring more interested prospects into your sales pipeline.

Making Sense of Sales Enablement

You know you have the perfect solution for every business in your market and you could solve the problems of every prospect no matter what they are. But, since every prospect is different, the challenge becomes communicating that confidence to the prospect in a way that tells them that you have the solution to overcome their specific challenges. What is important to one prospect may be completely irrelevant for another. How do you even get to the point where your prospects are willing to have a conversation with you so you can learn what their challenges are?

Enter sales enablement – the latest buzz word in sales and marketing circles. Sales enablement solutions are everywhere and include specialized software, dedicated professionals, training solutions, strategy hacks, etc. They all claim to be the ultimate solution to improve your efficiencies and turn your sales department into a well-oiled money-producing machine. But what problems are you specifically facing? Do these solutions address that in a real and straightforward way? What is the best strategy to solve the challenges you’re facing?

If you’re in sales, the carrot on the stick that you’re constantly chasing is meaningful conversations. Successful sales people are great at talking to people. Once they’re introduced to a person that is open to having a conversation, they are extremely comfortable steering that conversation. The challenge is getting more prospects to the place where they are open to that initial talk.

That’s where we come in. Our strategy is focused on getting more real and meaningful conversations between your prospects and sales team. We communicate directly with your prospect base, inviting them to raise their hand and explicitly express interest in speaking with you.

Drop us a line and let’s talk about how we can cater our services to meet your sales challenges.

Email Marketing & Automation

Everybody’s Doing It! Should You?

Lately marketing automation software is everywhere and making a lot of promises. It will improve efficiency, and instantly allow you to sell more, faster. If it seems a little too good to be true, you’re right to be skeptical. This new software can absolutely improve your sales process, but there are a few things you need to know first.

First, you will need someone who has the time and knowledge necessary to administrate the software for you. Automation specialist is a full time job that commands a good salary. If you want to make the most of your automation software, or really if you want to get your money’s worth at all, you need someone dedicated solely to the running of your software and campaigns.

Tack that person’s salary on top of the already high cost of the software itself. The industry-leading automation software providers command high monthly fees. Then there are the costs of data procurement. To run effective email automation you will need a large database of contacts to feed the top of that funnel. The industry leaders in the data vending space also command high monthly fees with additional charges to purchase contacts.

With automation software, you may indeed get a great product, but you’re on your own as far as running it, and the results you get are all on you. If you don’t have the expertise, or have access to an expert who does, you have no one to blame but yourself for bad results.

Email is an essential piece of any successful sales program in today’s market, but buying and running the software yourself is only one of the options available to you. Rather than purchasing a complex software that requires a full-time administrator, consider a service like LeadSeek that gives you the results of direct email campaigns without the headache.

Today vs. Yesterday

Solving the three major problems facing the modern day salesperson

Even just a few years ago, when cold calling reigned supreme, filling your pipeline involved dialing as many phone numbers as possible every day and spouting off a script containing your carefully crafted elevator pitch until someone bit.

Thanks to technological advances, the power has passed into the hands of the buyer in a significant way. Your prospects thoroughly search the internet for solutions to their issues prior to speaking with any sales people, and they screen their calls, giving them the control over whom they choose to speak with and when.

You can see the shift in power reflected in the problems that the modern sales person faces every day. According to a recent study by Richardson’s, identifying which pain points your prospects have that you can best solve, and should therefore highlight, was the top problem reported by sales people, followed by identifying the target market, and qualifying leads into legitimate opportunities.

All three of those problems can be addressed with a simple shift in your sales strategy away from pitching and toward listening.

Which Pain Points?

If you’re having trouble deciding which pain points you should focus on in order to address your prospect’s main issues, let them tell you. Focus on asking the right questions, rather than giving the right answers. After that you just need to be prepared with knowledge of your offering to give a straightforward answer. Opportunities and new accounts will follow.

Identifying the Target

Identifying the ideal target market is what LeadSeek does best. We start with the characteristics your ideal customers and prospects have in common to define what your target customers look like. We then narrow that down by simply contacting those people in a professional and straightforward manner, inviting them to reach out for a conversation, getting your foot in the door with prospects interested right now.

Qualifying Leads

Once you have the ability to reach out to reach prospect in your target market directly and you invite them to respond, you hand the power to the prospect. That is what today’s buyer wants. When you have access to your entire target market and the ability to directly communicate them, you can afford to hand the power to the buyer and simply ask the right questions to let the leads qualify themselves.

Drop us a line and let’s talk about how we can help.