In order to fuel demand generation, many organizations are investing in automated marketing platforms like Hubspot, Pardot, and Marketo. All of these sophisticated platforms assist in converting web/blog traffic into Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs).
From here, it’s the role of your sales development team to convert these MQLs into Sales Qualified Lead (SQLs). This is critical handoff between sales & marketing. To ensure your sales department converts as many leads as possible, both teams must be well aligned. Marketing should be equipping Sales with tools that enable them to ensure the handoff is seamless.
How can you ensure your SDRs are converting as many opportunities as possible from your Marketing Automation Platform?
Most automated marketing platforms offer a content notification feature that provides sales professionals with an instant notification when a prospect has opened an email, interacted with content, or visited a web page.
Take advantage of the window gap between content interactions, and getting them on the phone.
How can your sales team use content notifications to book meetings with qualified buyers?
Respond within an hour, but 20 minutes with a phone call followed by an email has shown to be the most effective process for B2B lead qualification.
In my experience, following up with a lead as soon as I get a notification yields the highest probability of getting them live on the phone for a conversation. The prospect will literally be viewing a blog post or eBook when they get a phone call from me. The reactions vary, but tend to be quite positive. Either the prospect will be completely blown away of how fast you got them on the phone, and others will generally be impressed. However please keep in mind that this doesn’t guarantee your prospects are ready to buy at that exact moment. One stat shows that 73% of B2B leads were not sales ready, and another showed 50% of leads were qualified and not ready to buy.
How do you leverage content notifications for leads that aren’t ready to buy?
This is an important point, because some of you may be thinking “What is the point of an automated marketing platform that simply notifies my sales team when a bunch of tire kickers are visiting my website?"
Although 65% of companies don’t nurture their leads, research shows that lead nurturing results in a 35% lift in lead generation ROI. Think of nurturing a lead like holding a prospect's hand throughout the awareness & consideration stages of the buying cycle. They aren’t ready to buy anytime soon, but it doesn’t mean they haven’t begun to conduct research online in search of solutions to their growth obstacles.
How do you leverage content notifications for lead nurturing?
When a prospect is on your website viewing a blog post, you’ll get a live notification from your marketing automation platform.
Again, there’s a high probability this individual is NOT ready to buy from you, but their engagement with your content indicates a curiosity around the solution that you offer. The best method for nurturing is to engage them back while you have their immediate attention.
Pick up the phone, and ask the following:
“Hey Mr/Mrs/Ms Prospect, I noticed you were checking out our post on (something specific). What about (general topic) were you looking to learn more about?"
Usually they’ll answer with one of following 2 statements:
1. “I’m just doing research for personal interest.”
This can either be a polite way of telling you they aren’t interested in talking with a salesperson, but could also allude to the fact that there is a bit of ground swell around the topic. If individual contributors or front line managers are doing research, it could be an indication that early-stage talks are happening at a higher level within the organization.
2. “My company is currently experimenting with ___________, so I wanted to learn more about it.”
This is a great indicator of interest within a company, maybe they’ve recently implemented a solution that isn’t going according to plan, so employees are seeking new information to overcome their current obstacles. The fact that they are coming to your website means they trust your content as a source of credible information & expert opinion.
Now here is your chance to really position yourself as that trusted advisor, simply suggest another piece of content for them to check out. It’s important that you share third-party content as well, not just your own gated eBooks & white-papers.
I will reply to the prospect: “Mr/Mrs/Ms Prospect, since you’re interested in this topic, here’s another post/eBook/article that you’ll find helpful. It explains how you can (insight proving its relevant and worth checking out)."
Regardless of whether or not the prospects visiting your website are ready to buy today, the best chance your sales team has of starting a sales conversation, is by leveraging content notifications to follow up with prospects in timely manner. The faster your sales professionals reply to content notifications, more sales conversations will happen, and more opportunities will be created as result.
What are your experiences with live content notifications? You can Tweet me your thoughts at @TheNealDeal.