Your B2B Website Really Can Drive Leads

7 Ways You Can Engage with Prospects on the Web

Many people in upper management just don’t believe that the web can drive sales leads. They know that their website is a necessity in today’s world but really just feel that it is a branding exercise or a place to house their marketing collateral materials so that when they have a prospect, they can easily direct them to information. These are the people who hold the purse strings to support sales and marketing initiatives. In today’s economic climate, those purse strings are being held tighter and tighter and investments in marketing tactics are scrutinized, as well they should be.

“We are only allotting budget to marketing tactics which directly result in sales,” says Mr. CEO. “We have nothing in the budget for a branding exercise on the internet.”

These are smart, experienced people who have earned their way up the ladder to their positions. But these people are wrong. Quality, cost-effective leads can be generated from your website.
In fact, driving leads with your company website can be one of the most cost-effective ways for your company to drive revenue. Instead of spending on marketing collateral in hopes that the right person gets their hands on your material and you get a chance to “Wow!” them with your value prop, consider this…
There are over 2 million searches on Google per minute*; people searching for recipes for peanut butter cookies, the best price for their vacation, celebrity gossip. AND YOUR PRODUCT. Some are doing research on your product. Some are trying to solve a problem and your product is the solution. And some are ready to buy.  In fact, 71% of business purchase decisions start with an internet search**.
How are you going to make sure they find you?

Here are 7 easy ways to engage with prospects on the web:

1. LinkedIn allows you to build a network and your reputation.

LinkedIn is a simple to use social networking tool for professionals. If you are not on it, you should be. And to get the most out of it, in terms of prospecting, you should ensure:
a) Your profile is up-to-date and robust including a picture. Most prospects will look to your LinkedIn profile immediately to get an idea of who you are before they even consider buying from you.
b) Connect with professionals in your circle: colleagues, customers, someone you’ve had a recent industry conversation with. Ensure you tread carefully and approach them in the appropriate manner suited to your relationship.
c) Participate in group discussions and start your own. This is a great way to interact with potential prospects directly.  Additionally, there is always an audience for every discussion – people who don’t participate but who take it all in. You want to position yourself as an expert in their eyes so they feel compelled to reach out to you because they connected with what you said in a discussion. Make sure to invite this in your discussions.
d) Share interesting and relevant posts with your network of connections and groups. It can be an article you read or a how-to video. Others will start to see you as being in-the-know for your industry and will come to rely on your expertise.
e) Once you’ve built your empire, LinkedIn makes a great place to throw out your ideas, materials, conversion tools, press releases. This can result in driving some very strong and interested traffic to your site.

2. Blog Content – If you build it, they will come.

It is simple. If you build it, they will come. If you create compelling content that is relevant to your prospects and addresses their “pain points” and optimized for search engines (specifically long-tail keywords), they will find you. The more targeted your blog is to a specific issue for a specific industry, the more likely you will be able to rank in Google and be found.

3. Leveraging Google Analytics

Using Google Analytics, you can really dig deep into what is working and not working on your website. You can identify which pages are working and which are not. You can see what keywords are driving traffic and conversions on your site. This helps you identify which keywords you want to work with to drive new content (including blogs) which, in turn, will drive new leads.

4. DNS Resolution – Identifying Visitors to Your Website by IP Address

One of the most overlooked areas for a Sales Team to go prospecting is DNS lookup which can identify visitors to your website via IP address. There are tools on the market (Leadlander, Optify) which can provide you with a list of companies who visited your site and tell you exactly what they did on your site: how many pages visited how long they spent on your site, etc. Combined with LinkedIn and your Sales Team’s initiative, you can track down a very interested prospect and sell them on your value proposition. Again, work gingerly as you don’t want them to feel like Big Brother.

5. Phone Number – Olly Olly Oxen Free!

This isn’t a game of hide and seek! It should be easy for potential prospects to contact you, however they want to do it: by email, by phone number, by form. If they are ready to reach out to you, whether it is to make a purchase or ask a question, make it easy to do so as they are one step closer to being a sale. And make sure you set up an exclusive phone number and email address so that you can keep track of and measure ROI.

6. Email blast follow ups

What does your sales team do after you send an email blast about your new product launch? Most email tools provide the ability to export people who opened and people who clicked. You can even tell which link they clicked on (if you sent a newsletter type email with multiple topics). Your Sales Team should be using this information. Reach out and provide them with a free whitepaper related to the topic they clicked on. Start the conversion that leads to a sale.

7. Last but not least Use a Relevant Conversion Tool to Capture those Leads

You can drive relevant traffic and it would be great if the prospects covert themselves to a sale and just call you up and place an order. But realistically, in B2B, we can’t depend on it being that easy. There may be more steps in the sales process. So, it is essential to have a method to collect the visitors’ contact information and it is easier to get than you might thinking.
What would incentivize them to give you their information? A free whitepaper? A free step-by-step guide? An industry report? 1 hour of free consulting? A free 30-day trial? Give it to them.  As long as it is cost effective to execute, you can provide them with an enticing offer and all they have to do is supply their contact information.  Make it worth their while.

Easy and Cost Effective Ways to Engage with Prospects through the Internet

So, although there are many doubters, it really is possible to drive relevant traffic to your website which can result in highly qualified leads at a lower cost than any of your other channels. Try these 7 suggestions and don’t forget to implement analytics so that you are able to measure which tactics worked better so that you focus your energy on the tactics with the best ROI. When you see the results, perhaps you will see the benefit and divert some budget to Website Lead Generation.
 
 
*SearchEngineLand: http://searchengineland.com/by-the-numbers-twitter-vs-facebook-vs-google-buzz-36709
**Brafton – Search marketing alert: 71 percent of business purchase decisions start with search http://www.brafton.com/news/search-marketing-alert-61-percent-of-business-purchase-decisions-start-with-search

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