How To Avoid Leads From Your Website Getting Wasted

Lost leads

More than often when you fill out a contact or inquiry form on a website you never ever hear back from the company. Apparently often something goes wrong in the process and you as a lead for the company is lost.
Moreover it is rather unlikely you will contact the company again and you will probably not consider buying from this company because of the perception of lack of interest in you as a potential customer.

Online form Process flow

When a online contact or inquiry form gets completed it ends up in a digital file on a server – it might even get printed on a sheet of paper. The issue is then how it gets distributed to the salesman who should contact the potential customer. The process step from the automatic append of the file on the server to getting distributed to a salesman that requires human interaction.
In case this process flow is executed then the salesman needs to see or perceive enough interest in this lead to actually take action. Why should he invest time for calling or emailing the potential client ? The salesman has more deals and potential customers on his hand than he can handle and all these have had already human interaction: the salesman can put a face or event on each of the potential deals.
Chances are that in case of lack of time or insufficient apparent interest or insignificant deal the salesman will forget about the website lead as he doesn’t know the person which can be an additional hurdle.

Solution

One way to check or even recoup the deal is by sending an automated email response after 2 or 3 business days to the potential customer to inquire if his inquiry has been followed up or answered. This is relatively easy to organize and has the potential to obtain more information on the almost lost deals as they haven’t been followed up.

Additionally a system can be installed that reveals the companies visiting which allows the salesman better estimate the level of interest and the value of the potential customer of his leads from the contact and inquiry forms as he can see how often and how many pages have been visited by how many people of the company are actually interested.

How do you handle website leads ?

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Do Brand Tribes Exist In B2B Too ?

Consumer Brand Tribes

Brand Tribes exist in consumer business.
The best known example is the Apple Tribe of consumers who just buy almost anything from Apple.
Brand Tribes have several advantages for the company:
- When launching a new product the initial adoption is very likely
- Members of the brand Tribe will defend the products or services
- Members of the Brand tribe are advocates for the company
- No Press Release or news will go unnoticed

B2B Brand Tribes

Do Brand Tribes also exist within Business-To-Business ?
In the past there have been several examples of fans of companies:
- IBM in the seventies and eighties
- DIGITAL in the late seventies and beginning of the eighties
- Apple Mac for graphic designers
In almost any industry there are people who have a preference for certain companies. Their bias might be not so strongly expressed as within B2C but it surely exists.
Hence Brand Tribe in B2B does really exist.

The challenge is to build and grow your brand tribe amongst professional people who are less likely to be driven by emotion and subjectivity than consumers.

Does your company have tribal marketing or tribal branding ?

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The Social Marketing Noise Is Louder Than The Signal

Social media noise

Social media has become ever more important for marketing to communicate to potential and current customers. The more the content of a company gets redistributed the better.

How ever Social media has become a gigantic content redistribution network where the origin of the content becomes hard to find.
The noise has become louder than the signal.

Stand out

A marketeer publishing a message to a targeted audience is likely not to be heard as the noise has become louder than the signal. Messages need to stand out and need to be noticed.

All companies fight to get the attention on Social media as the competition for attention is fierce within all this noise. Thus marketing departments of companies need to come up with messages that catches on.

How to stand out

One way to go is to create as many messages in the hope some or at least one catches on. Just trial and error.

Probably the key feature is the entertainment level. Marketeers should become entertainers instead of creating marketing messages to sell products which is quite disruptive for them.

Entertainment can come in many forms and formats: humor, interesting content, stats, impressive images, …
Up to the marketeer to imagine what could trigger the interest of their potential customers and their current customers. Creating content while keeping in mind that the replication is a must have.

How do your Social Marketing messages stand out in Social Media?

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The Discount Thrill Of Chiefs, Managers And Bosses

The gambling thrill

Most, if not all, people get a thrill or get excited when winning at gambling. This is common. Some people just get addicted to gambling and go to the extend of risking all of their money or even assets for the thrill of winning.

The discount thrill

While purchasing most people are happy or feel special if they get a discount on the sales price.
However there are also people who want more than the normal discount. They will go into a discussion in order to get their high discount. They will only make a purchase if they get a high discount, higher than the first proposed discount. It seems these CxO’s (CEO, COO, CFO, CIO, CSO), managers or bosses have the Discount Thrill.
It’s their game and their excitement.

Extreme discussions for discount

These people will go to extreme situations in order to get the discount. They will make statements or even threat the salesman when they aren’t granted the big discount they are aiming at. They will even not buy and stick with their problem or buy an inferior product or solution with a big discount just because they didn’t get their special discount from any of the other vendors.

Can the salesman handle the discount thrill?

For the salesmen these type of customers are a real problem:
- They consume time by ongoing price discussions
- They decrease the margin and as such the commission

In case the salesman has sufficient sales for the quarter it might be better to ignore the advances and discussions of these type of customers.
However if the salesman needs the revenue he will go through a long painful negotiation which is likely to result in a big discount. He will need all his skills to limit the amount of discount if he wants to close the deal. The best is not to show any indication of his need for the sale deal and act accordingly.

How do you handle discount thrill Chiefs and Bosses ?

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Why Do Customers Want To Call ? And We Don’t

As we have an online service I always wonder why people want to call. All possible information is available online, the price quote and link to their personalized payment page are send by email. Paying for subscription happens also online.

Verification

Some people just want to talk to one of the managers of the web service just to verify if the company really exists and is legit.
This is easy but even this short phone call is a waste of time for us.
Wondering why replying emails is not sufficient.

Discount

Some businessmen only will buy if they get an additional discount as they are used to get it. It’s part of their habit and culture. In their view the best way to get their additional discount is to have a call with the vendor in order to persuade and convince (or make believe) they are an important customer who will bring additional business. However that never happens.
So this type of customers are even more a waste of time as these type of calls will take long.

Information

Some people expect to get a walk-through of the service or a complete training on the application. However this is why we offer a 30-day free trial.
We know that similar but expensive web services offer walk-through and 24/7 support – but you pay the price.
As we are a low-cost service no walk-through or trainings are possible. Instead the free trial and the explanatory and helpful emails during the free trial.

Company size and brand

We always wonder if people want to call us did they also call Google for using the search or the web analytics? Probably not. It’s just a mater of company size and brand name.

Upselling

As a low-cost web service we don’t see any benefit in having phone calls with potential customers and just want to limit conversations to emails.
If we would have a possibility to do an upsell, then we would have a reason to take phone calls with customers as this could bring additional revenue.

What is your attitude to calling customers?

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Why Online B2B Sales is Consultative Selling

Internet BtoB sales
The online B2B sales method is in line with the Consultative Selling that was defined by Mack Hanan in the 1970s: focusing on the problems of potential customers and providing the best suited solutions: selling without selling.

Solution search

On the internet people in companies will look for possible solutions. The search engines act as the intermediates between the buyer and the vendor for:
- Providing the feasible alternative solutions
- Establishing the first link between buyer and vendor
- Proving the importance of the vendor: the more references (links) the more value the vendor has.

Content Marketing

The company website and all of the other references found on the Internet provide useful content for solving the problems of a potential customer: this is just what consultative selling is all about except for the analysis of the problem to be solved. That remains with the customers and could have the wrong approach.

Hence your website needs to contain more than just your products or services. On the website different industries with their specific problems that your products or services can solve need to be presented and explained. The value of this information comes from the leads it can generate. The more problems and their solutions listed and explained the higher likelihood someone will find your information useful and interesting, which can become a lead.

Leads automation

In order make this process of lead generation more effective, getting a tool for revealing the companies visiting your website is beneficial as then your sales know the companies to call that are showing interest in your solutions.

How effective is your website in Consultative Selling?

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Is Call Me Later A Rejection In The Sales Cycle ?

Call me later

You have gone through several efforts (Internet search, phone calls, maybe even meetings) for finding the right person to make your sales proposition or to generate interest for your solution. . During the first call after asking you about your reason to call he tells you to call him later.
In such a case you are left behind with the doubt if he was interested or rejected your proposal.

Keep on talking

At such a moment it is very hard to ask any additional questions. However you should try to keep the conversation going. Instead of hanging up the phone, you should ask when he will be available to call him back. Now the ball is in his camp as he has to:
- Come up with a date and time
- Leave you without any specific appointment
- Inform you correctly that there is no real interest in your proposition.

Options

- If he gives you a date and time, he knows you will be calling.
If there is interest then you will have a good call.
In case there is really no interest he then needs to come up later with another excuse to get you off the phone. So in order to save time he can as well tell you immediately.

- In case he doesn’t schedule a call then it’s sure he’s not interested.

- Informing you there is no real interest is his best way out in case there is no interest.

Not all is lost

Even you get the message of refusal you can still ask if he knows somebody that might have interest in your solution. If he gives no name then that shall be it. In case he gives you a name then you have another contact to call.

How do you take a call me later ?

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Customers Don’t Know What They Need Or Require

Vendor meetings

If your customers would know exactly what they need then they would have ordered it already. Instead they hold meetings with vendors in order to find how they can get their problem or issue solved.
During such a meeting you have to focus and to investigate on the real problem or issues they have. Let people explain what’s wrong with the products or services they currently purchase.

Define the solution

Don’t let them fool you with the solution they seem to prefer as that might be a sub-optimal solution or a partial solution. Only when you have the complete picture you can propose a solution which preferably includes one or more of your products or services.
It’s up to you to define the innovation that will make them a happy customer.

Do you start with your sales pitch or do you investigate what the problems are ?

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The ‘Done Deal’ for your competitor – Even before starting

Done Deals

Even before your first meeting, the customer has already decided for your competitor.
You are just used for having an additional quote or to comply with the procedures of the company as they need three price quotations.
Thus the deal is already decided and you are actually wasting your time without knowing upfront.

Done Deal hints

Maybe you can feel this already during the telephone or meeting conversations you have with the potential customer, but you need evidence in order to be able to drop this account.

There might be hints relating to your competitor such as specifications fitting only for your competitor or the mentioning of the competitor during one of the conversations.

Done Deal actions

As soon as you know or have proof of this you have 2 alternatives:
- Drop the account and forget about the deal.
- Fight back using the benefits and advantages of your solution over the competitor.

a) Dropping the deal is the easiest to do. However you still need to explain and proof to your sales manager it was a done deal.

b) Fighting back requires the knowledge of your competitor and also knowing the leading advocate of your competitor within the company.
As it is a lost deal you have nothing to lose thus you can use any technique, any trick and any psychological game to make the customer start to wonder if their decision is the right one.
So put your best cards on the table and compare it with the competitor. Or even let them compare if they want to.

Three additional options:
- Circumvent the advocate and address to the others
- Address the competitor advocate and make him start to doubt about his decision.
- The underdog: often people like the underdog. By positioning as the underdog you might gain sympathy and interest from people concerned and involved in the Done Deal.

Contrary indicators

By knowing if the company is visiting your website, how often and how many employees are visiting is a good indicator the Done Deal is not so done. The more visits from different people in the company the more likely there is a build-up of interest for your solution. This should stimulate your efforts of fighting to get the Done Deal.

Still it will be an uphill battle and sometimes a battle that can be won – even if the deal was decided.

What’s your experience with “Done Deals” ?

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Why Not Buying Website Traffic

Buying website traffic

The more website traffic the more people will know about your offerings and the higher likelihood to get leads from your website into your sales funnel.
You can purchase services from traffic wholesalers and instantly your web analytics will show a significant increase in the number of visitors. Additionally your website will be shown temporally higher in the search result pages on Google and Bing which is beneficial too for more traffic.

What kind of visitors ?

The visitors that normally visit your website through organic search or references are very likely potential buyers as they are looking with interest to find a solution for a problem or issue they have. These companies are probably the best leads you can have as they are currently interested.
However the visitors originating from the purchased traffic source are not interested and are not potential customers.

Bots instead of humans

In order to send traffic to your website some or many of these traffic wholesalers use a computer application to send you visitors. Thus instead of humans your visitors are bots, who certainly never ever buy.

Google and Bing vs buying traffic

Although initially there will be a better ranking for your website on the Search Engine Result pages due to the increase of traffic, the search engines disapprove buying traffic. Hence they will fight back and it is likely your website will be penalized by Google and Bing which will result in a much lower appearance in the Search Engine Result Pages. Both Google and Bing have created and developed sophisticated algorithms and methods to figure out if you are using traffic-building services or not.

Conclusion

Although buying website traffic will increase temporally your website traffic, it will bring hardly any additional leads as the visitors are not potential customers or not even human. Only the visitors originating by the temporally higher ranking on the Search Engine Result Pages could bring some additional leads.
However the penalization your website will endure by Google and Bing once they have found out you have been buying website traffic will result in much less leads as people will have a hard time to find your website on the search engines.

Did you ever buy website traffic ? What was the result ?

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About us

Engago Technologies provides a B2B web service for marketing and sales.
 

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