Connect with us

MARKETING

21 Digital Marketing Tools You Need When Starting a Business

Published

on

21 digital marketing tools you need when starting a business

Did you know there are more than 30 million small businesses in the United States alone?

With a number like this, small business owners need a competitive edge. If you are building a business, chances are you’re looking for ways to get your leg up on the competition. To accomplish this, you’ll need a good marketing strategy and access to the best digital marketing tools.

In this post, I’m going to outline 21 digital marketing tools you need when starting a business. You may be familiar with a marketing tool or two in here; others might be new to you.

From simplifying your social media marketing efforts and project management to finding freelancers, each of these tools will help you get the competitive edge you’re after.

[embedded content][embedded content]

Are you ready to grow your business with digital marketing?

Then let’s begin.

Get this: email marketing is used by eight out of ten marketers.

This isn’t something you should wait on. Instead, you should implement an email marketing strategy on day one.

With more than 12 million customers, MailChimp has claimed its spot as one of the top email marketing providers and digital marketing tools in the world.

While there are alternatives, this tool remains one of the best, for many reasons:

  • History dating back to 2001, well before most companies began using email marketing
  • Self-service support options, ensuring that you can quickly find answers to all of your questions
  • Free plan for those with less than 2,000 subscribers and those who don’t send more than 12,000 emails per month

When starting a business, it’s not likely that you will have more than 2,000 subscribers. For this reason, you can get started with MailChimp early using the tool for free as you get your feet wet with email marketing and then move to a paid plan as you scale.

mailchimp digital marketing tool

When it comes to marketing, sales, and CRM software, HubSpot has become one of the top players.

For the sake of this post, let’s focus on its marketing software solutions. The company has this to say about this digital marketing tool:

From attracting visitors to closing customers, HubSpot brings your entire marketing funnel together.

You know just how important it is for your marketing funnel to be in good working order. With this software, you have access to tools that help with:

  • blogging
  • SEO
  • social Media
  • website
  • lead management
  • landing pages
  • calls-to-action
  • marketing automation
  • email
  • analytics

There is no stone left unturned, when you rely on HubSpot’s all-in-one marketing software.That’s why it’s a top choice for those who are starting a business.

With everything you need in one place, you don’t have to pull yourself in many different directions. This will help you to find success in the early days and help you as you grow.

hubspot digital marketing tool

Trello is a digital marketing tool that helps you to manage projects and stay on the same page as your team–a sound digital marketing practice if you want to save time and frustration.

For example, you can share blog posts on Trello before you publish them. This gives others on your team the opportunity to review the post, weigh in with their thoughts and make changes that could strengthen the piece before it goes live.

In the past, before the days of Trello and similar programs, email was the best way to collaborate with your team. While this is still helpful, to a certain degree, it can lead to confusion, missed messages, and frustration.

trello digital marketing tools

With Trello, everything related to your online marketing strategy can be shared in the same place. It only takes a few minutes to set up a board. Even better, you can quickly invite your entire staff, all of whom can jump in on the action without delay.

Trello isn’t the only digital marketing tool of its kind, but it’s, by far, one of the best. When it comes to collaborating with others regarding marketing tasks, this tool is hard to beat.

hootsuite digial marketing tools

Social media plays a big part in the success of any company, regardless of size, age, or industry. In fact, I’d argue that social media marketing is a must to thrive in this digital era.

Digital marketing tools like Hootsuite allow you to schedule social media posts in advance, thus saving you loads of time.

Hootsuite offers tons of features to help you grow your business. For example, you can:

  • Identify influencers for your marketing team and leads for your sales team
  • Reply to comments and mentions through the dashboard–there’s no reason to visit each individual platform
  • Take advantage of pre-written responses
  • Schedule posts when your audience is most active (even if you’re asleep!)

Social media marketing is not as difficult as it sounds, especially when you rely on tools like Hootsuite. With this particular tool, you can schedule and manage social media profiles for more than 30 platforms.

Imagine doing this by hand, without a central dashboard to guide you. It would be enough to frustrate even the most experienced entrepreneur, let alone a new business owner. Let Hootsuite take over like the social media marketing manager it is.

As one of the top free tools from Google, Analytics should be part of your digital marketing strategy from the very start. In fact, I’d argue it’s one of the most powerful digital marketing tools out there.

It only takes a couple of minutes to add the Analytics code to your website, giving you the ability to track every action by every visitor.

This is considered by many to be nothing more than a traffic tool, but it can actually have a big impact on your marketing strategy, if you know what you’re doing.

Take, for example, the ability to see where your traffic comes from:

google analytics digital marketing tools

Maybe you realize that a particular social media campaign is driving tons of traffic to your website. With this data, you can adjust your future strategy, in an attempt to capture the same results.

Or, maybe you find that a particular set of keywords is doing wonders for your organic traffic. Again, you can turn your attention to these keywords, ensuring that you keep these in mind as you create content down the road.

Google Analytics isn’t one of those digital marketing tools you can ignore. Installing this early on is a key decision, in regards to your digital marketing strategy. The data you can collect is extremely valuable.

The tagline of this digital marketing tool says it all:

Track, analyze and optimize your digital marketing performance. See what’s working and what’s not, across all campaigns, mobile and web.

It’s good that you want to spend so much time on digital marketing in the early days of your business. But, do you really want to make decisions that aren’t having an impact?

You need to track and analyze every move that you make, as this is the only way to focus on the tactics that are providing the best return on investment (ROI).

With KISSmetrics, you can easily see what’s working and what’s not, across all of your campaigns.

Take, for example, its Analytics products. With a funnel report, you can see if there are any “leaks” in your business. Here’s a screenshot of what to expect:

kissmetrics digital marketing tool

Starting at $120/month, KISSmetrics isn’t the cheapest digital marketing tool on this list. Even so, it’s one that you’ll want to think about, as your business gets up and running.

With a variety of products at your fingertips, the insights you receive will be invaluable to your company’s growth.

digital marketing tool follower wonk

Do you plan on spending a lot of time on social media marketing?

While this is a great way to engage your audience and send traffic to your website, it’ll only work in your favor if you have a solid plan in place.

Tools, such as Followerwonk, are designed to help you improve your social media marketing strategy, such as by digging into your Twitter analytics data.

I included this digital marketing tool on the list for two reasons: it’s easy to use and it’s extremely effective.

Followerwonk breaks down its service into three distinct categories:

  • Find: Use the tool to search Twitter bios and compare accounts.
  • Analyze: Breakdown your follower list by bio, location, who they follow, and many other criteria.
  • Optimize: match your strategy to follower gains and losses, to understand what type of content performs best.

The only downside of Followerwonk is that it can’t be used with other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. However, if you have big plans for Twitter, this is a digital marketing tool you should use often.

Even though you may not use it on a daily basis, it can come in handy from time to time. After all, it’s imperative that you understand your audience.

follower wonk digital marketing tools

If WordPress is your content management system (CMS) of choice, you shouldn’t hesitate to install the All in One SEO Pack plugin.

A big part of your digital marketing strategy should be based around search engine optimization (SEO) and this digital marketing tool will ensure that you always make good decisions regarding your content and its appeal to search engines.

Some of the top features of the plugin include:

  • XML Sitemap support
  • Advanced Canonical URLs
  • Automatic generation of META tags
  • Compatible with most other plugins
  • Automatically notifies major search engines, including Google and Bing, of any site changes

Even though all of these features are exciting, it’s something else that has made it one of the most popular WordPress plugins of all time: its ease of use.

Here’s a screenshot, showing a small portion of the tool’s back end:

digital marketing tool AIOSEO

You don’t have to make many decisions in order to get started. And, if you’re ever confused as to what you should be doing, there is help to be had. All you have to do is click the “?” symbol and you’re provided with more information and advice.

The All in One SEO Pack plugin has more than a million active installs. You won’t have to look far to find competitors, but there’s a reason why so many people use this digital marketing tool.

Not only is it free and simple, but it’s results can’t be denied. It will definitely help your website from an SEO perspective, which is something all new businesses need.

BuzzSumo is a big deal for people who need to learn more about their market.

When you start a business, it’s safe to say you know a thing or two about your industry and primary competitors. But, once you dig around more, you’ll find that there is tons of data you can use to your advantage.

If you want to better understand your competition or if you want to learn what type of content performs best with search engines and your audience, you don’t need any other digital marketing tool by your side.

A BuzzSumo search results page looks something like this:

digital marketing tools buzzsumo

Additionally, there is high level data associated with each result:

digital marketing tools buzzsumo

This information can come in handy at many times, such as when you are creating content for your blog.

Why guess as to what is performing best in your niche? You can use BuzzSumo to answer this question with 100 percent accuracy.

With this search, you see that the top result has approximately 20k social shares. You now know what to strive for, if you want to achieve the same level of success.

As a big fan of BuzzSumo, this is a ditial marketing tool that I use on a regular basis. Even if you don’t do much with the data at first, each search will help you to better understand your competition and target audience.

crazy egg digital marketing tool

Do you ever find yourself asking this question: what’s working and what’s not about my website?

This is where Crazy Egg can step in and provide assistance.

There are two keys here:

  • You can use Crazy Egg to make website changes that generate better results.
  • You don’t need much, if any, IT help to get started.

When you’re new to your business, you don’t want to spend countless hours dealing with IT issues. Unfortunately, this often happens when it comes to split testing. Unless you use Crazy Egg, of course.

The tool is packed with features, such as:

  • heatmaps and mouse recording
  • analysis and reporting
  • platforms and integrations
  • targeting and personalization
  • research and user feedback

A tool that helps you understand what your website visitors like and don’t like, so you can maximize your sales and leads, means that you have to give Crazy Egg a try. It’s one of those digital marketing tools that you don’t know you need, until you use it one time.

ubersuggest marketing tool for starting a business

Not only is keyword research a challenging task, but it can also get expensive with the price of premium keyword research tools. Your typical free software won’t offer you much but UberSuggest isn’t your typical free software.

Digital Marketing Tools You Need When Starting a Business ubersuggest screen shot

As a whole, this digital marketing tool is easy for beginners because the dashboard is simple to navigate so you can quickly find the data you want. You’ll start by entering a root keyword or domain that you want to research. You get up to three free searches per day on the free version and you can upgrade to a paid software as well.

UberSuggest provides useful keyword information such as total search volume, difficulty, and paid difficulty if you’re thinking of running an ad campaign around that keyword.

digital marketing tools for starting a business ubersuggest keyword ideas

As you work your way down you’ll see historical data that will show you how that keyword has trended over time. This is helpful for determining seasonal keywords or ones that are popular now but may die off over time.

You also get keyword ideas and suggestions that are relevant to the one you’re searching for so you can update older content or develop a content marketing plan.

Overall, UberSuggest is an amazing free keyword research tool that is a great choice for beginners and has enough value as a paid tool for those who are scaling as well.

digital marketing tools for starting a business cofounders lab

CoFoundersLab is a great digital marketing tool for small businesses that are growing but need a little help to take things to the next level. It uses AI to help you find a cofounder, additional member, or advisor based on a certain set of criteria.

The best digital marketing tools make life easier. CoFoundersLab intends on helping to create a large ecosystem of business owners, entrepreneurs, consultants, and advisors so it’s that much easier to find whatever you need at the current stage in your business.

For example, you can search for someone with a specific skill and find them instantly without having to post on job boards, conduct interviews, and do onboarding. If you’re looking for an SEO content creator, you’ll simply fill out that set of criteria and be instantly connected to someone who can fill that role.

It’s similar to other freelancing platforms out there, but what separates CoFoundersLab is you can find someone who is on the same level. If you’re looking for someone to financially back your business or simply support you equally in your venture, this might be the place to do it.

adobe sign digital marketing tools for starting a business

When it comes to must-have digital marketing tools, Adobe Sign more than makes the cut. It’s a cloud-based e-signature service that helps you use less paper, save time, and get signatures using an automated signature system. You can send documents, sign, and manage the whole process via desktop or mobile device.

There are also integrations to keep records of all the signatures you’ve received so you can reference back if you lose something important.

This simple but useful tool solves a major problem that a lot of businesses have. More and more people are working remotely and may not have access to printers and scanners. This creates delays in your workflow and can frustrate customers if you’re unable to get them what they want because you’re waiting on signatures and approvals.

Adobe Sign is also usable from anywhere on any device. Someone can be on their way to a meeting in the car and sign on their mobile device using their fingertip. No need to print anything, scan, fax, anything. It’s completely digital, safe, and secure.

dropbox digital marketing tools

DropBox is an essential piece of the modern digital business. It allows all the working pieces of your business to come together in one place to eliminate clutter and save time looking for things.

Organization is the key to a successful business, and downloading and sharing files simply doesn’t cut it anymore. With people working from home, you can’t have everyone downloading personal company files onto their computers, misplacing them, or potentially abusing them.

DropBox prevents this from happening by being a totally cloud-based document sharing platform that allows you to set permission levels so certain people can only see what they need to.

You can also connect other tools like Slack and Zoom to DropBox so you have everything in one place. All company data stays in one place so it’s organized, safe, and accounted for.

If you’re still manually downloading files to your computer, attaching them to emails, and sending them off into space, you’ll find DropBox is a much more efficient and safer way to keep track of documents and document sharing in your business.

digital marketing tools to start a business google products

I don’t know where I would be without the full line of Gmail products. There used to be a time when we’d create pieces of content in Word platform, download it, and then attach it to an email and send it off.

The next person would mark it up with notes and adjustments, send it back, and the process would start over.

Thankfully, those days are long gone.

With Google Docs and Sheets, you can share documents in real-time and actually mark them up with the writer looking at them so you can see what they’re doing. There’s a chat feature and a suggestion area, too where you can ask questions and provide responses as to why a certain adjustment was made.

There’s a level of security and protection here, as well. Different permission levels ranging from “view” to “edit” give you complete control over your documents. If you’re sending a document off as a reference to something, you might not want that person to make any changes to it without making a copy for themselves, the Gmail Suite of products can do that.

Plus, everything syncs with your Google Calendar. If you’re talking in an email about setting up a call in three days, you can instantly set that appointment on your calendar and you’ll receive reminders across all your devices.

odesk work digital marketing tools

oDeskWork is a freelancer platform that connects you with the right virtual assistant or freelancer to support your business. At some point, every business needs to start hiring. No matter what business you’re in, to grow and scale, you need a support system because you can’t do everything.

This is where digital marketing tools like oDeskWork come into play. You can upload current projects that you need completed, browse profiles, and start communicating with potential candidates.

The platform also offers payment protection, so you ensure you get the services you anticipated. Payments are only released to the freelancer when you’re satisfied with the work they completed.

oDeskWork has experts and freelancers in all different kinds of niches including digital marketing, virtual assisting, transcribing, proofreading, writing, editing, SEO, WordPress, and more.

upwork digital marketing tools

Upwork is a freelancer platform that connects you with qualified candidates who can help your business grow, making it a must-have digital marketing tool. What I like most about Upwork is the transparency you get and the fact that you can see all types of work that the freelancers have completed.

For example, if you’re browsing for someone to build you a WordPress website, you wouldn’t hire someone without first seeing what type of work they do, right?

The platform will show you examples of their work, their job success rating, a description of their skills, their rate per hour, as well as any badges they’ve earned for continuous performance.

When you’re searching for tools for digital marketing agencies, the last thing you need is to waste time with people who can’t deliver. Upwork ensures that doesn’t happen with their escrow protection as well. None of the money you pay for a job will be released until you are happy with it.

I also find that Upwork is a great place to find long-term working relationships with freelancers that you can use on an ongoing basis versus a one-off job.

fivver digital marketing tools

I like to think of Fiverr as Upwork’s little brother. When you’re looking to create long-term working relationships and hire someone who can really provide you with a premium service, you should turn to Upwork.

Sometimes though, you’re just looking for a quick job that someone can turn around fast for an affordable price. For example, if you need someone to do up a quick logo for an affiliate site for five dollars, Fiverr is the way to go.

One thing I really like about Fiverr is you can quickly sift through freelancers using the search feature. Type in the service you’re interested in, and you’ll find information such as overall rating and average starting cost.

Fiverr also provides certain freelancers with titles like “top-rated seller” and “level 2 seller.” These will help you determine what level of experience you’re looking for in the job you need to be completed. The best digital marketing tools offer this kind of trust.

This tool is best for one-off jobs that are lower budget and not as difficult, but I wouldn’t recommend hiring off Fiverr for anything too involved such as link building or content creation.

omnifocus digital marketing tool

Need to stay on task? This digital marketing tool can help.

OmniFocus is a task management tool that helps you manage all your operations in one place. You can keep track of everything that’s going on all from your browser or mobile device.

You can tag certain projects, assign them to the individual you want to complete them, and set due dates so you can lay out your week in the most productive way possible. As work comes in, you can assign support workers to handle the task and close it out when it’s complete.

One of my favorite things about OmniFocus is the forecast feature where you can get an overall snapshot of what you have coming up in the future including recurring tasks that might only happen once per quarter, bi-annually, or even every few years. This ensures that no one forgets anything.

The main downside is that this tool is only available for Apple users at this point. For all the Windows and Android people out there, you’ll have to go with something else like Trello or ClickUp for now.

zoom digital marketing tool

We all know Zoom as the video conferencing software used to bring people together no matter where they are on the planet. We’re all facing our own unique remote working situation but we still need to connect sometimes and Zoom allows that to happen. The best digital marketing tools help bring businesses together.

You can share your screen, draw on the screen, record meetings, and invite others to join in as well. Zoom offers free video conferencing for up to 100 participants for up to 40 minutes.

If you’re holding a one-on-one meeting that runs longer than 40 minutes, I’ve found in the past that Zoom will often extend the meeting for free with no time limit.

toggle digital marketing tool

Toggl helps bring this list of digital marketing tools together. For all the work you’re doing, freelancers you’re managing, and documents you’re sharing; you need to have an idea of how long everything takes.

This tool does that with time tracking, reporting, and project planning. You can use Toggl to get an accurate representation of how long a task or project will take so you can know how many resources you need to allot for next time.

Toggl offers a few different tools for time tracking, project planning, and candidate-screening so it’s an all-inclusive tool for businesses that manage a remote team.

Conclusion

Starting or growing a business isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming, either.

The first step is to create a strong digital marketing strategy–one that incorporates social media marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing, and consistent, valuable content that truly speaks to your audience.

Ensuring your business succeeds means using the right digital marketing tools at the right time. It’s my hope that this list will help you in your digital marketing efforts and bring you the success you seek.

Would you add any other tools to this list? Did you use any of these as you launched your small business? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

See How My Agency Can Drive Massive Amounts of Traffic to Your Website
  • SEO – unlock massive amounts of SEO traffic. See real results.
  • Content Marketing – our team creates epic content that will get shared, get links, and attract traffic.
  • Paid Media – effective paid strategies with clear ROI.

Book a Call

Neilpatel.com

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

MARKETING

Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

Published

on

Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

(more…)

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

MARKETING

A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Published

on

A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

MARKETING

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Published

on

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

​​

via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To
  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


Disruptive Design Raising the Bar of Content Marketing with Graphic

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending