Internet Marketing

Sales Lead Generation Strategies

8 Powerful B2B Sales Lead Generation Techniques To Help You Reach Your Sales Prospects.

Most of the fastest growing B2B companies do not rely solely on just one sales lead generation method. They have a complete arsenal of sales lead generation tools at their fingertips, that they can use at ay given time.

Here are my eight proven B2B sales leads generation techniques gleaned from helping over 170 B2B companies reach their sales prospects:

1. Sales lead generation using relationship marketing. Relationship Marketing is the approach underlying all of the “sales-lead-generation-success” methods. Relationship marketing simply refers to cultivating a personal, sales-winning relationship with your prospects. It’s about developing longer-term relationships with customers rather than individual transactions.

During my 20+ years of experience in B2B sales lead generation, I’ve discovered the key to picking up sales others leave on the table is to keep in touch with your prospects via a series of ongoing communications and offers throughout your prospective customers’ consideration processes.

2. Sales lead generation through complementary partner referrals. By joining forces with complementary partners, you can instantly multiply your sales lead generation pool and make it easier for companies to engage in doing business with you. Out of all the sales lead generation programs available to you, complementary partner referral programs can generate the highest qualified B2B sales leads.

3. Sale lead generation using search engine optimization and Internet marketing strategies. Business buyers are more sophisticated and getting harder to reach than ever. Studies show that about 90% of business buyers start with research on the Internet, therefore it’s critical to have a well-tuned sales lead generation program that includes search engine optimization (SEO)/Internet marketing strategies to attract prospects at the beginning of their buying cycle.

4. Sales lead generation via telemarketing. Even though many people despise the thought of telemarketing, when executed properly it is a very effective sales lead generation tool. Telemarketing is a personal marketing and sales lead generation technique that offers a cost-effective, efficient alternative to field selling. However, it can be significantly more expensive than direct mail or email.

By including telemarketing in your B2B sales lead generation marketing plan, you can reach up to thirty decision-makers a day at a cost of $15 to $20 per contact. In contrast, with field sales you can reach only four or five decision-makers a day at an average cost of $392 or more per contact.

Direct mail may cost as little as a dollar, and email is often much less. However, if you consistently prospect and nurture leads via phone, you will consistently generate qualified sales leads.

5. Sales lead generation with email publications. By creating your own email newsletter, you could send out industry news and tips to suspects in your market. Since you will be on your prospects’ minds more often than your competition, eventually, your sales leads will turn into actual sales.

If you subscribe to my e-newsletter, Sales Lead Report, you will see an example of an email publication that keeps my name and business in front of over 8,000 people every month.

6. Sales Lead Generation With Direct Mail. There is an entire industry of people like Dan Kennedy, Bob Bly, and Bill Glazer who are dedicated to business-to-business selling through direct marketing. Sales letters can be an excellent sales lead generation method. But, most sales and business professionals do not know how to use this lead generation technique effectively and efficiently.

The complaint is a common one among B2B companies that depend on direct mail and direct response marketing as their only sales lead generation program: “I’m sick of spending a fortune to send out thousands of full-color catalogs and direct-mail pieces only to get a measly 1% response rate.

How can I cut costs and find a more practical way to get my target market to respond to my direct mail or catalogs?” My clients have found that the best place to start revamping their direct response marketing is by determining who their best customers are, then trying to target their database marketing efforts at companies and individuals who are similar in nature.

7. Sales Lead Generation Using Print Advertising. When done correctly, print advertising can be a highly effective sales lead generation activity. When using print advertising as your B2B sales leads generation method, you must remember to focus your advertising’s message on the benefits and applications of your products or services. Then let the layout and design of your ads enhance your company’s image. And, don’t forget to only use publications that deliver messages directly to your targeted audience.

8. Sales Lead generation via Event Marketing. Whether you do it live, through the telephone (teleseminars) or via the Web (webinars), seminars and workshops are a great sales lead generation tool. People who attend your seminar have an interest in the information you are presenting and a need for your product or service.

The goal: Connect with customers in a meaningful way By using these eight proven B2B sales leads generation methods gleaned from helping over 170 B2B companies reach their prospects, you will capture more sales-ready opportunities for your salespeople to turn into new business, meaning greater sales revenue and profits for your company.

About the Author
As one of today’s leading business-to-business marketing consultants, M. H. “Mac” McIntosh uses the latest in lead-multiplying tactics and strategies that are working NOW to drive up leads and sales. As an expert on the subject of B2B lead generation, he can help you increase your bottom line by converting more sales leads into actual sales. Get his Free Sales Lead Report® newsletter at http://www.sales-lead-experts.com

Internet Marketing

Create an RSS Feed for Your Website

Syndicating your own website content is a great way to provide information to your readers with little or no effort. Using RSS, your updated content is delivered to individuals who have subscribed to your feed automatically. In this article, I’ll briefly explain RSS and show you how to syndicate your own website content – even if you know very little about RSS feeds.

RSS Defined
According to Wikipedia, RSS is a simple XML-based system that allows users to subscribe to their favorite websites. Using RSS, webmasters can put their content into a standardized format, which can be viewed and organized through RSS-aware software or automatically conveyed as new content on another website.

A program known as a feed reader or aggregator can check a list of feeds on behalf of a user and display any updated articles that it finds. It is common to find web feeds on major websites and many smaller ones. Some websites let people choose between RSS or Atom formatted web feeds.

Feeds are typically linked with the word “Subscribe”, an orange rectangle, , or with the letters or . Many news aggregators publish subscription buttons for use on Web pages to simplify the process of adding news feeds.

Choosing the Content you want to Syndicate
Okay, so you’re interested in syndication but aren’t exactly sure what you should be syndicating. There’s really no hard and fast rule here. However, keep in mind that anything you plan to syndicate via RSS should be unique, of value to a given audience, and something that gets updated on a regular basis.

Some individuals syndicate their content by placing an RSS feed on their home page. As the website is updated, and a new feed is produced, content is sent directly to subscribers. Others choose to provide a feed of specific content pages on their site. The choice is yours.

So How do you Create an RSS Feed?
All RSS feeds are written using a code type called XML. If you’re not familiar with XML, don’t let that scare you off. I’ll provide the specific code you need and instructions on what to do with it.

To begin, you’ll need to create an RSS file that contains a Title, Description, and Link URL. This information will be used by the RSS reader when individuals subscribe to your RSS feed. Follow these simple steps.

1. Go to your “Start Menu” in the lower left-hand corner or your computer screen. Click on “All Programs” and navigate to Accessories. There you’ll find an option called “Notepad”. Notepad is a simple text editor that you will use to develop your RSS script.

2. Write the RSS script which contains information about your website or content page and information about the content you’ll be syndicating. To do so, copy the following into Notepad. Replace the bold content with your own site’s information.

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”ISO-8859-1″ ?>
<rss version=”0.91″>
This RSS feed should be viewed using an RSS Reader or RSS Aggregator. Firefox users click the Subscribe to feed icon.

Feed URL: https://www.marketingscoop.com/

<channel>
<title>Marketing Articles</title>
<link>https://www.marketingscoop.com/https://www.marketingscoop.com/free-marketing-articles-marketing-articles.htm</link>
<description>Marketing articles covering a variety of marketing topics</description>
<language>en-us</language>
<copyright>MarketingScoop.com</copyright>

<item>
<title>How to market your small business</title>
<link>https://www.marketingscoop.com/market-small-business.htm</link>
<description>If you own a small business, you probably don’t have a lot to spend on marketing. These simple techniques will help you generate more referrals than you can handle. </description>
</item>
</channel>
</rss>

That’s it. As noted above, be sure to replace the Title of your website and article, links, and descriptions. When your done, save your file by selecting File, Save as, from the top bar in the Notepad window. Warning: name your file with a .xml extension but save as text. (example: https://www.marketingscoop.com/rssfeed.xml).

Be sure not to use any ampersands or quotes in your code as this may cause an error. XML requires ampersands to be replaced in the code with “&amp” and quotes with “&quot; whatever is included in your quotes&quot; The best advice I can give is just don’t include quotes or ampersands and you won’t have any coding issues.

3. Save, Upload, and Validate your .xml code. After saving your RSS file via notepad, the next step is to upload your .xml file to your web server. This file should be placed on the same directory as your homepage or the directory of the page you’ve selected to syndicate.

Now that we’ve created and uploaded your RSS feed, we must validate it. By doing so, we know that the feed is active and will work when individuals subscribe. To validate your feed, visit http://validator.w3.org/feed/ and enter your feed URL. The URL of your feed is simply the URL of the .xml file you just uploaded to your server. So, if your file was saved to your website’s main directory and was called “rssfeed”, then simply enter your website’s URL, followed by /rssfeeds.xml. Once validated, your RSS feed is ready to be syndicated.

4. Place your RSS code on your website. The best way to do this is to copy the RSS button and include a link to the RSS feed you just created. You can grab the RSS or XML image by simply visiting a website like MarketingScoop.com and right mouse clicking the image. Save the image (give it a name like RSS.gif) and copy it onto your server. The code should look like this:

<a href=”https://www.marketingscoop.com/wp-content/uploads/rssfeed.xml”> <img border=”0″ src=”images/rss.gif” alt=”rss feed for my website” width=”36″ height=”14″></a>

Be sure to replace the information above with your own feed link and image link.

5. Subscribe to your own feed. After you’ve uploaded all of your pages to your live site or testing server, open Internet Explorer and click on your own RSS button. You should be taken to a dialogue box that asks if you’d like to subscribe to your feed. Subscribe and confirm that the feed has been added to your list of RSS feeds (it should appear in a dialogue box on the left hand side of the page).

Note: If you’re using Firefox, you will only receive a text page when clicking on your RSS button. Those using the Firefox browsers can click on a small icon that resides on their browser nav bar to add your feed. Additionally the text file contains your feed URL which can also be used.

6. Ping aggregators to let them know that you’ve created an RSS feed. In order to let the world wide web know that your feed is up and running, you must give them a Ping. This is very easy to do – just go to http://pingomatic.com/ and choose the appropriate sites to inform. Select blog related sites if you’re a blog and non-blog related sites for other content. Complete the information and Ping.

Another site you should Ping is Yahoo! Simply visit the Yahoo! RSS submit page at http://publisher.yahoo.com/rss_guide/submit.php and add your feed URL. This will let the big boys know that your syndicating.

A final note. Whenever you want to syndicate new content, you will need to update your .xml file with a link to the content and a revised description. Once you’ve done so, upload to the file to your server, replacing the existing .xml file and the code will do the rest.

Internet Marketing

How to Manage Your Online Reputation

If you’ve ever Googled your name, you know how important managing your reputation online can be. Each day, thousands of individuals are searching online for information about others simply by searching on Google or other leading search engines. With information being so readily available, managing your reputation is more important than ever.

How to Manage Your Reputation Online

Fortunately, managing your reputation online isn’t all that difficult, but it does take work. Here are 7 basic steps you can take to ensure that your reputation doesn’t become negatively impacted by what’s being said about you online.

1. See where you stand. Start your reputation management initiative by Googling your name. Try it with quotes and with out (first and last name together). Look through each of your results on page one and page two of Google. Are there any there are are negative or you wish to remove?

2. Set up a Google alert. Visit Google and set up an alert for your name. After setting up the alert Google will send you and email to confirm that you wish to receive the updates. Accept the alert and each time your name is published to the Web, you’ll know about it.

3. Contact website owners for name removal. If there are sites that include your name and commentary that is less than desirable, contact the appropriate websites requesting that the information be removed. More often than not, website owners will agree to remove your name and/or inappropriate information.

4. Purchase a domain with your name. Add sites and webpages associated with your name and watch negative search results get pushed lower on Google rankings. Visit GoDaddy or another provider of website URLs and hosting, and purchase a domain that contains your name. Even if your name is rather common, experiment with variations until your name can be established in the form of a dot com. Once you own a domain, publish a webpage with your personal profile.

5. Start a blog under your name. Blogger is a great tool for setting up your own blog which can be used to publish information about yourself. Popular blog sites are often picked up by Google and you can control the content. Be sure to sign up for Technorati after your blog has been published. Submit your blog for review and its popularity will increase, improving search rankings and continuing to push down negative search results.

6. Free press release. Use free-press-release.com or a similar free press release site to publish favorable information about your and your reputation. This form of reputation management is easy and costs nothing. Be sure to use your name throughout the release and in the release title.

7. Author articles in your field. Publish article relative to a particular topic or area in which you’ve done some work or have experience. Use article distribution serivces to build online references to your content. Make sure your articles contain an about the author section that links back to your main website.

There are a variety of strategies you can use to manage online references about you, your family, or others that need to manage their reputation online. Other online sites like Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, YouTube, and Squidoo, offer ample opportunity to deliver favorable search results that can push unfavorable results down in search engine rankings. The key is to start today – proactively manage your reputation and put yourself in a favorable light.

Internet Marketing

Selling Perspective for Revenue Driven Firms

#1 Selling Perspective for Revenue Driven Firms

Across All Industries, Revenue is King

I listen to talk radio, particularly sports talk. One of the hottest topics, if not the hottest is whether the San Francisco Giants should bring back Barry Bonds. For the two people on the planet that don’t know, he will be a free agent once the World Series is over.

One morning last week, the host was emphasizing the impact that Bonds has on revenue by his presence in a Giants uniform. This particular discussion wasn’t the usual swirl of banter over making the best decision to produce a winner, his diminishing skills, the negativity that surrounds the alleged steroid issue, or the importance of him breaking the home run record in a Giants uniform. More specifically the discussion was about his influence on the numbers. Keep him or lose him, how does it affect company revenue? I think one of the quotes was something like, “At the end of the day, how many rear ends will he put in the seats of AT&T Park and what does that mean to revenue? I guarantee you that’s what upper management is thinking about.” I found the hosts opinion to be honest, refreshing, and cuttingly truthful.

It got me thinking about industries outside of the standard “sales driven” ones that use armies of salespeople (big or small) to proactively bring revenue through the door. Smart companies (excluding non-profits) in nearly any industry make their key decisions based on their impact on revenue. If they aren’t, I believe you’ll find that the company is either struggling or existing well below their potential. There are a tremendous amount of organizations living well below their potential because they are not focused on being revenue driven. Trust me, I’ve seen it throughout my 25+ years of experience in selling, managing, building and leading sales organizations regionally and internationally.

Most people, when they think of the words sales, customer, revenue, they tend to think of those companies that have prototype salespeople whose sole purpose is to proactively bring revenue in the door. But what about those industries that don’t get their revenue through a sales force model. Aren’t Legal, Accounting, Dentistry, Medical, Architectural firms also an example of revenue driven companies?

I mean, call their customers clients or patients, but aren’t they really customers? And, don’t they want to attract more of them so that revenue will grow? Won’t that make for a healthier company? I must admit, that in my work, industries like Real Estate, Mortgage, Broadcasting, Telecom, and Technology where the practice of proactively marketing their respective products and services is the primary strategy is my sweet spot.

Many of my articles can be found on dozens of websites under various topics of executive management, sales management, and leadership. They are usually on sales and marketing sites or those specific to the obvious revenue driven industries that use salespeople to bring the dollars through the door. But something interesting has begun occurring.

I got an email from an accountant who said, “I read one of your articles on The Four Kinds of Sales People and I have to tell you, it’s not just about sales people. We need to break through to the next level too.”

Then I got an email from a website dedicated to lawyers requesting to put one of my articles on “Understanding your sales team” on their website. They wanted to change the word “salespeople” to “business developers. I said OK. I mean call it a patient or a client it’s still a customer. Call it a business developer or an account executive it’s still a sales rep. So I got curious and sent the article that the law site customized to a couple attorney friends of mine and asked them about the importance of revenue. Here’s what I discovered: In industries such as legal and accounting, to actually proactively “sell” is considered distasteful.

To directly pursue revenue in this manner doesn’t work. The key is to “attract” your customers (I mean clients). Attract through being visible, attract through meeting new people, attract through participating in functions, attract through doing a great job for your customers (I mean clients) so that they will become your advocate and refer you to their friends.

Next week I have to go to the dentist for my six-month cleaning. I’m one of his customers (I mean patients). As I’m leaving, they will ask me if I need any more whitener and they will certainly schedule my next six month visit. I like them. They put out a great service, become involved in the community, get themselves known and take advantage of the opportunities that come their way.

Since I’m not directly involved in any of these industries, I’m going to make an educated guess. They have meetings on revenue and how to bring it in. They struggle with partners and associates who do not “indirectly” hunt for new business. Those that bring in the clients are the kings and queens. And, for those that don’t, they have mediocre careers. This is my message for all industries. You have a choice, whether it’s direct or indirect, get to bringing in the revenue, or just be mediocre in your careers.

Chuck Mache, Architect for Breakthrough Achievement & President of Chuck Mache Communications (http://www.chuckmache.com), has 25+ years of experience in selling, managing, building and leading sales organizations regionally and internationally. Use his knowledge and expertise in building heavy-hitter sales organizations to increase your firm’s productivity and profitability by over 100% with his Brian Tracy endorsed book, The Four Kinds of Sales People: Your Personal Path to Breakthrough Achievement

Direct MarketingInternet Marketing

How to Market to New Customers

Once you’ve acquired a customer, the real work begins. This is what you should do to keep and grow your newly acquired customers.

Okay, so your marketing has paid off – you have new customers. The key to growing your business is to effectively communicate and leverage these new customers into advocates for your products and services and purchasers of additional services.

This can be done in a variety of ways. However, some basics steps must be followed to ensure retention. Here are a few tips you can use to develop long-term relationships with newly acquired customers.

How to Market to New Customers

1. Proactively shape impressions about your business. Whether you’re sending a welcome message, making the first contact via phone, or sending a letter, be sure to position you company for the long-term. Often times, individuals buy products without knowing a whole lot about the company their buying from.

A popular tactic is sending a welcome kit or an overview letter that introduces your company, your values, and the additional resources you have available for your customers including a support email address, 1-800 number and so on. This lets you control your company’s image among newly acquired customers. Otherwise, your customers are free to form their own opinion without any guidance whatsoever.

2. Categorize your customer. Is your customer a high potential? Are they a transactional buyer that will likely never buy from you again unless you offer the lowest price? By segmenting your buyers based on your existing database or known behaviors, you can develop customized communication plans to retain them for years to come. Some communication plan may be focused on up-sell while others may only be focused on retention. The communication plan you implement should be based on the proper categorization of your customer.

3. Show your thanks. Once you’ve acquired a customer, don’t forget to thank them. This may seem trite, but done properly, this goes a long way. Often a hand-written note or personalized email from a company president can do the trick. The real key is to make the customer feel good about the purchase they’ve made and the company they’ve chose.

4. Provide consistency among all touch points. Once you’ve acquired a new customer, you must make sure that you provide a consistent user experience. For example, if the prospect contacts your technical support rep the first day after they’ve purchased a product and receive an answer to their question, then call the following day only to receive a different answer, they’re going to lose faith in your company’s ability to provide consistent and reliable support.

You can benefit greatly by developing procedures that can be documented and delivered consistently – meeting customer expectations. This builds trust in your business and can minimize defections. If the consumer knows they can count on you to give them what they need/want, they’ll be willing to forgo a better price or promise of a better deal elsewhere.

5. Share customer testimonials on future marketing pieces. Many marketers believe that testimonials are only for prospects. The truth is that testimonials can help retain customers, especially new ones, when they are exposed to positive experiences of individuals just like them. In addition to sharing testimonials, it is always a best practice to ask newly acquired customers (within 30 days of purchase) for their feedback/testimonials.

The benefit of reaching out to your customers is that if a problem exists, you can react to it and if they have something positive to say about your product or business, it can be used to reinforce your brand. (Note: be sure to get permission to publish a customers testimonial).

These techniques are very effective for maximizing lifetime customer value. By shaping the image of your company, providing a consistent experience, and sharing testimonials for similar customers, you can develop a positive, lasting impression with your marketplace.

Most importantly, keep it simple. Don’t overwhelm your new customers with tons of email, or direct mail. Develop a well thought-out communication plan that has a definite purpose. And most importantly, remember to thank your customers for choosing your company, product or service.