[This article is part of a multi-blog series on how to build a high velocity sales team. Click the following links to view Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3. To the view the original 5-part webinar training series on how to build a high velocity sales team, conducted by Ken Krogue, click here.
Because of the amount of content around this topic, we have decided to split this article in to two parts.]
As technology begins to integrate itself into every industry, there are hundreds of tools, training resources, and technologies available that have helped the inside sales industry become more productive and effective. These resources can significantly help optimize the sales process.
Before diving into tools and technology, however, it’s important to explain the life of a lead. Perhaps the easiest way is to explain this concept using a diagram (see above). Leads are generated through either inbound (PPC, SEO, corporate website, web lead forms, to name a few) or outbound (list purchase, Pay-Per-Lead, email) marketing efforts. Most marketing efforts drive prospects to a company website or landing page where the viewer is, hopefully, converted into a lead. The lead is then qualified by inside sales and turned over a closer, where hopefully the lead will, in fact, be closed and turn into a customer and (fingers crossed) supply quality referrals.
So where do you begin in your effort to generate leads?
(For outbound lead generation efforts, stay tuned for the follow-up article.)
Inbound, lead-generation tools:
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC): While this tool can be costly (depending on the competition bidding for attention on useful keywords), you can control exactly how much you want to spend. You can place PPC ads through Google (a must), Bing, Yahoo!, Ask.com, B2B Leads, Business.com, and countless others.
- Pay-Per-Leads (PPL): Instead of paying for clicks (PPC), you pay for leads – but in most cases they are not exclusive – 3 or more competitors may received the same lead. There are a lot of PPL providers that supply vertical market leads: BuyerZone (the largest), Software Advice, LoanBright (for mortgage), LeadBot (life & health insurance, annuities), HometownQuotes (auto and home insurance), the list goes on.
- Inbound SEO: Search Engine Optimization is the domain of Google. At XANT, we look to number of businesses that specialize in helping customer build web site rankings and generat leads. They include such names as: Hubspot Orange Soda, SEO.com, and Customer Hook. (Check out this controversial article Ken Krogue wrote on Forbes.com about the future of SEO.)
- Social Media Marketing: This is a very new tool that, when used correctly, can be very powerful in generating leads. You don’t sell on social media. Instead, you use it as a tool to find and get to know your prospect, to engage in conversation and information exchange with them. For business and professional information, LinkedIn is the best social network to work with. For personal information, Facebook would be a likely starting point. Take the time to understand each social media platform, their “culture” and their value to a sales rep for prospecting purposes. There are hundreds of resources for educating yourself on how to use such tools as LinkedLin for prospecting – Google “Linkedin for prospecting”, for starters.
In your own experience, what are the most valuable technologies, tools or training resources you’ve encountered? Share your insights with us in the comments box below.
Marking contact with and qualifying leads can be tough. For an in-depth discussion on handling inbound, marketing-generated leads, watch this webinar featuring Ken Krogue, President and co-Founder of XANT.
Gain an understanding of outbound technologies, tools and resources, watch for Part 4.5 of the ‘high velocity sales team’ series.
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