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Identifying Zombie Leads: Because Not All Leads Are Created Equal

Are you ever stuck trying to identify what leads you should be focusing your sales efforts on? Turning social media leads into sales can be a challenging task and one that requires a combination of skill and patience.

This handy infographic breaks down the leads that every sales person is met with that is often unresponsive and cold. Not only does it show you the signs of these “zombie leads” but also provides a bit of insights as it relates to the cure. Meaning, how you can take these zombie leads and start to turn them into qualified leads that can be pushed down your sales funnel.

Here’s how you can fend off those Zombie leads:

Social Media Leads Infographic

5 Obvious Questions Your Marketing Team Should be Asking Sales

Hundreds of businesses around the world work in silos and not in a collaborative environment. We believe that it only helps when marketing talks to sales and sales talks to product. The idea of having open conversation is stemmed from the concept of collaborative creativity.

Collaborative creativity allows for different verticles to help each other for the greater good of the company.

For example, someone in sales may be great at talking to customers, but not so great brand building. And by no means are we trying to throw sales people out the window, it’s just a reminder that the combination of different skills can increase the probability of success. When it comes to sales & marketing, a great opportunity exists. Here are a few questions we would recommend any marketing team ask their sales reps:

Can you explain to me the sales process?
Simple enough.

Marketers should understand the sales process just as well as they know their own marketing funnel. In many cases, they should be directly linked to one another and thus, it’s important for marketing to get a grip of how it works and their role in it’s delivery. Some of the sub-questions to this piece range from “How do you begin a conversation” and “How long does it take for you to get the product in front of a decision maker?” These questions are critical to establishing synergies between marketing and sales. Neither should work in silos and this is why we encourage conversations as simple as this.

What qualities make a lead good or bad?
A great opportunity to develop synergies between marketing and your sales team is the development of a lead scoring system. This system would act as a tool to qualify leads and identify key insights around what differentiates between a strong lead and a weak lead. It’s important to have this conversation together as your sales team may have a different opinion than marketing.

The sales team are the ones who hit the pavement trying to generate sales so it’s important that you hear it from the horses mouth. Find out what factors they look for when they’re deciding which of their leads to call, and figure out how you can generate more of those kinds of leads for them. It’s a collaborate process but one that can lead to great synergies between both sides of the conversion table.

Do Leads Know our Value Proposition?
This might sound like an obvious one but it’s shocking how often leads go to a business because they “think” they offer what they need and not because they actually do. It’s important to identify whether or not the sales team is being met with hot leads that quickly turn cold when they learn about product or service limitations. It’s also important to measure this to adjust your communication efforts on your website, signs or any other marketing materials. If the potential leads don’t know what you’re offering – You can bet that you’re missing out on a handful of potential customers.

What do our leads like most about the offering?
It’s important to find out what leads tell the sales team they like about your offering the most. In having this discussion you need your sales team to be aware of any subtle cues during a demo, assessment or webinar that your leads are giving off. It’s important to understand what your leads view as your key value proposition as this can be what you take forward as your focus with your marketing message. Understanding what your leads or existing customers like will only improve your marketing efforts and your ability to deliver a compelling story.

What do our leads hate about the offering?
This is a big one but one that we often overlook. We often focus on the great things we’re doing but ignore the things we’re doing poorly. Instead of just giving the product team high-fives for producing something that people want, identify exactly what it is that leads say negatively about your product. Let’s say the top 3 things they hate are design, cost and a missing feature. This information is extremely valuable and should be not only shared with the product team but also identified as opportunities from a communications perspective.

Four Steps to developing a Sales Strategy on Social Media

One of the things we truly love about sales and social media in general is your ability to integrate the two to find meaningful measurable results. There’s no fluff, there’s no magic tricks, it’s business as usual with a slight twist.

Many organizations are still trying to get a grasp on how they can take that first step into using social media to generate sales. Well, look no further, here are four easy steps that any sales team can take to developing an excellent sales strategy for social media:

Establish Sales Goals & Objectives
Before you dive into developing a sales strategy for social media you need to understand what you’re trying to accomplish. Immediately you’re going to think that you’re trying to simply achieve an increase in sales. Incorrect. You need to understand the difference between leads, opportunities, visitors and actual customers.

Once you understand the business mechanics of a social media program such as the different types of conversions highlighted above you can start focusing on sales. To do this, start with the bottom line and make your way back to get to your goals. As you do this, integrate your understanding of the objectives and funnels to develop the KPI’s that will demonstrate if you’re on the right track.

Develop Soft Conversion Channels
Developing soft conversion channels is built around the idea of capturing a users attention before they make a buying decision. It’s a great tactic as many prospects may not be ready to make a purchase; however, with soft conversions you have an opportunity to convert relevant leads over time.

Soft leads are people who are willing to provide personal information like an email address or Facebook account in exchange for highly relevant and valued content. This content they see as valuable and relevant could range from an eBook to a Webinar that’s offered for the first 60 people who subscribe. These users are valuable leads who have demonstrated some form of interest in your content; but haven’t necessarily said they want to spend cash on your product.

Upon developing a compelling and relevant email marketing campaign, you will start to push these users through the sales funnel more effectively. As a result you will have a better opportunity to convert what was once a soft lead into a buyer and potential brand advocate.

Identify where leads are talking
Think about who it is you’re trying to target with your advertising. If you’re startup that sells velvet track-suits, you’re going to need to develop the persona for someone who would want this product. Start to think about the channels they use, start to think about how they interact with these channels and what type of content they would find valuable. From there, also understand your potential leads from a real world perspective – What are their general interests? Where do they live? What’s their name?

If you’re able to define your potential buyers it will allow you to be more strategic with your thinking and marketing approach. Defining their persona will help you in identifying your target customer and understand how they will actually search for your business online. This process seems quite simple and a bit silly but it’s one that can play a huge role in increasing your conversions.

Measure, Analyze and Report Stuff
Finally, you have to do something that a lot of people don’t want to talk about. It’s sort of like one of the rules from Fight Club except online marketing club. MARS. Measure – Analyze – Report Stuff.

It’s very important that you understand how you’re doing along the process to ensure you’re able to maximize your dollars spent. The quickest and most cost-effective way to monitor social media is by utilizing tools like Google analytics or Hootsuite Pro. The combination of these two tools will make your life a whole lot easier by demonstrating the number of click-throughs on various links.

Once you have received all the data and measured your results it’s time to analyze. During this phase you want to study cost per impressions, engagements, etc.. You also want to run a mini-SWOT analysis to show your team what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are present. If you can do this, you will find success. It’s much more difficult to go somewhere without knowing where you’ve already been.

Have you been using Social Media for developing and generating leads? What have been some learnings from your approach? We’d love to hear your ideas and any learnings you’ve found in your career.