5 Technologies for Lead Generation
Recently, I was invited to be a customer speaker at a technology user conference. The company asked me to share some ideas on how I use technology to manage a content marketing strategy for success with customer relations, lead generation, and sales. Even the best content marketing strategy cannot work for a business without the appropriate technology setup to manage it.
The following are RPC Strategies’s recommendations on which technology applications a business should have in order to achieve success with marketing and sales efforts. (This is not intended to be a comprehensive list.)
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management). A CRM is a software that acts as a single repository to bring sales, marketing and customer support activities together and streamline business process, policy and people in one platform.
a. Modules: Separate and define Contacts and Leads modules.
b. Fields: Map fields in each module for easy importing of external information as well as conversion within the existing application.
c. Dashboard: Customize your dashboard to reflect what you need for quick access, at-a-glance and reports.
2. Business Card Scanner. Use a business card scanner at networking events, trade shows and business development events hosted by your company. The scanning app should be synched with your CRM so that it scans in the business card, creates a Lead Record in CRM, and emails a Task Notification to the sales team of a new lead for follow-up.
3. Campaigns. A Campaigns tool is a marketing solution designed to build, deliver and monitor email campaigns for boosting your sales and customer base.
a. Clean Lists. Unresponsive subscribers and bad email addresses can clutter your list and return high bounce rates which will flag your account to the campaign service provider. Consider using an email-scrubbing service once a year, like NeverBounce, as well as a professional list-building consultant (try Upwork) who can help build a list with specific criteria (designed by you, not bought by a third party).
b. Subscriber Score. Most campaign tools have some type of scoring system that tracks how often a subscriber engages (opens and clicks) with your content. Setting this up and utilizing it will help you determine who your strongest leads are within your lists.
4. Social Media. Social Media is a place where your prospects and customers can engage with your brand in a personal and meaningful way. For that reason, you want to be sure you are tracking engagement and opportunities across all channels.
a. Set Up Brands. You can manage multiple social media accounts as well as group them together according to company, personnel (i.e. sales professionals, marketing staff, etc.) so that you can schedule and post content accordingly.
b. Calendar. Utilize the calendar that comes with your social media management tool so that you can pre-schedule posts, and free up your time for other business and marketing activities.
c. Monitors. Use this feature to set up a Real-Time feed of posts that use keywords and hashtags so you can keep up with trends and share or repost with your audience. You want to have a healthy mix of content from reputable, outside sources in addition to content created for your company.
d. Synching to CRM. Link all of the brands to the CRM so that new data populates the Contacts and Leads as engagements come in.
e. Engagement. Engagements could lead to sales, so you don’t want to miss these opportunities. Set up an automated workflow, so when someone engages and comments on your social media content, your CRM automatically creates a new Lead record (or updates an existing record) and sends you a task notification for follow-up.
5. Website. Consider a customizable and easy to use web content tool with user registration and blogging capabilities.
a. Custom Build. Wordpress is an excellent choice and has many inexpensive template designs that focus on business verticals. You may need to hire a professional to build a Wordpress site for your business but is easy to manage after it’s been built.
b. DIY. If you want to save money on Web design, there are also simple, DIY options like Zoho, Wix, and Squarespace.
c. Data Collection. There are several points of data collection for your website, which should:
i. Collect First Name, Last Name and Email Address. Company Name and Phone Number can be included but are optional.
ii. Automatically create a new Lead Record in your CRM and generate a Task Notification for follow-up.
d. Tools. These tools are designed for data collection from visitors to your website and should be used where it makes sense to do so: web forms (sign-up, event registration), comment boxes, chat bot for live support, Sales iQ (Zoho), pixels for social media lead generation.
Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the World Wide Web once said, “It’s difficult to imagine the POWER that you’re going to have when so many different sorts of data are available.” Be sure that all marketing tools (business card scanner, campaigns, social media, website) synch with CRM, so that all data collected for lead generation map appropriately to Contacts and Leads records. This ensures that your sales team has all information possible to help them follow up on targeted leads and start working the through the sales funnel.