Posts Tagged ‘b2b lead generation’

Advice on Lead Hand-off from Marketing to Sales

Technology Executives Roundtable (TER) LogoI was at an Technology Executives Roundtable (TER) event on Marketing ROI earlier this week. It was a panel with three members, all marketing executives, who were asked the typical questions for a panel like this: what marketing programs work for you, how do you measure ROI, and how do you track ROI for the marketing campaigns you run. These are always good questions to ask, since the answers change as markets and marketing tools evolve.

A member of the audience asked the question, “How do you qualify leads as ready to hand from marketing to sales and track them?” I commend the panelists for their candid answers. Each responded that his or her company had problems either with sales and marketing agreeing on when a lead should be handed off or with tracking the lead from when it entered the marketing funnel and tying it to sales opportunities and sales. The answers surprised me, especially because these are sophisticated marketers for well-marketed companies.

Here is my advice:

  • Start with agreement between the top sales and the top marketing executives on the definition of a Sales Lead. Arrive at the definition by asking the sales exec, “Would you want a lead if they did this (attended a webinar, for example)? How about this? Or this?”.
  • Then, use that definition to qualify leads for every campaign you run. Track the actions of all contacts that are part of a campaign and identify the sales leads. Hand them off to sales, and get feedback from the sales team. The definition may need to be refined.  Lead follow-up is a challenge in itself, but by handing the right leads over, you’ll get more enthusiastic follow-up from the sales team.
  • Typically, about 5% of the marketing pipeline are sales leads that are ready to be handed to sales. 10% of the pipeline are close and should be watched carefully by marketing. Our marketing team scrutinizes that group – those that responded to actions that are not quite strong enough to qualify them as a sales lead – looking for key target customers and companies that are in strategic markets. Sales people will want to call these leads because they may know of an opportunity, share contacts or turn into advocates for your company when the sales opportunity arises.

As with any panel these days,  there was plenty of talk about Twitter, Facebook, and blogging. What kind of marketing expert would you be if you left out Twitter and Facebook, right? These were all B2B marketers, so I’m pretty sure the hottest lead they ever got from Twitter or Facebook was when to be at Gordon Biersch if they want to run into Stephen Fleming. Actually, the most interesting marketing tip came from Gary Brooks when he said Bomgar spends about $2000 to prepare a custom business case for specific target customers – with about a 40% close rate on a face to face meeting – kudos for that.

The session was excellent, and got me thinking quite a bit. If you’d like to know more about lead generation, hand-off and follow-up, feel free to post comments or pop me an email.

Improved Lead Scoring for Marketing Campaigns

Improved lead scoring

Lead scoring improves follow-up

Our product development team is in the midst of an upgrade that will enhance our lead scoring for multimedia marketing campaigns. The benefit of this improvement is faster lead follow-up during the lead generation campaign. One of the most difficult challenges in lead generation campaigns is to ensure that highly qualified leads are contacted promptly (detailed in this post).  As the marketing campaign happens, the hottest leads will be flagged for immediate follow-up — improving the marketing campaign ROI.

How does it work? The lead scoring technique measures and scores how the people who respond to your Swyzzle campaigns (your leads) watch and interact with the Swyzzle show. The viewing habits of all viewers and interaction with PromoPad items below the show and other factors are collected and analyzed to compute the score. Some of the factors which are included in the scoring include:

  • Total Length of viewing time - indicating quality and viewer interest in the show
  • Number of views - indicating level of interest in the content of the show
  • Number of clicks on PromoPad items – showing interest in a particular topic related to the item clicked.
  • Number of repeated segments viewed during a session – showing interest in a particular portion of a show
  • E-commerce item clicks on PromoPad - indicating specific interest in a product offered during the show

As data is collected for each new lead generation campaign the analysis learns and improves, producing more refined results.

Look for the new lead-scoring within the next several weeks. In future releases we’ll be adding other new features to drive higher quality multimedia-based lead generation.

Multimedia Marketing Campaign Production Tools

Many of our marketing services customers want to become self-sufficient running B2B online lead generation campaigns by building their multimedia production expertise. To help them out we created this list of some of the equipment and software that we use to produce multimedia content, so we thought we would share it. We selected these products because they produce a very high quality for the price tag. All of these tools work well with the Swyzzle Multimedia Authoring System for creating multimedia for use in multimedia marketing campaigns and B2B lead generation.

Content creation

If you’re trying to create original from scratch, these are some of the tools you may want to look into.

Swyzzle Multimedia Authoring System

Swyzzle Multimedia Authoring System

Swyzzle Multimedia Authoring System - after you have created content using other tools, use the Swyzzle multimedia authoring system to pull it all together. You can create a show from videos created using Keynote and the Flip, add images you created or touched up using Illustrator and PhotoShop, and add voice over and music you recorded.

Apple Keynote - Keynote is great software for creating slide presentations. There are lots of effects and transitions to choose from. If you’re a PowerPoint user (I am), you’ll be surprised at how much better and easier it is. It’s pretty complicated to open a Keynote presentation on a Windows computer, but you can export to a Quick Time movie. You can then upload your movie to video sharing sites and use it in Swyzzle shows.

Flip Camera - there definitely are better video cameras for video quality, but for recording video at events like concerts or festivals you can’t beat the Flip. It has remarkable audio quality with an internal microphone. We don’t recommend it for video in a studio.

Adobe Illustrator - use Illustrator to create original images using vector drawing. It’s pretty complicated and expensive for the average joe, so unless you expect to be drawing often you might leave it to an expert.

Adobe PhotoShop - use PhotoShop to create or touch up photos and create effects. Same goes for Illustrator.

Microphone - there are lots of good microphones with a wide range in prices. We recommend an inexpensive stand microphone for $10-$20 for good quality sound as a minimum. Higher end microphones start around $60. Just don’t use the built-in microphone in your computer. Experiment with microphone placement before recording to prevent clipping and breath sounds.

Screen Capture and Recording

These software tools are used for capturing what’s happening on your desktop. Create an image by selecting an area on your screen. Create a video by selecting an area on your screen and recording whatever happens in that area. In some cases you can add voice-over or web cam video to the capture.

CamStudio - we used CamStudio for screen capture for things like software tutorials. It’s a very powerful tool, but also expensive. Now we like Jing, which is cheaper and easier. CamStudio has some additional video editing, transcoding and audio features that we don’t really need.

Jing - Jing is a web application for capturing screen images from your computer and recording what you’re doing on your computer. You can turn on your microphone and add audio to the video. The free version only saves videos as SWF files, so you’ll need the premium version to create usable mpeg4 H264, or to save the file to your computer.

Additional screen capture tools we have not tried, but you may want to evaluate include Adobe Captivate and ScreenFlow for Mac.

Video Editing

CyberLink PowerDirector - PowerDirector is an inexpensive full-feature video editing software package. You can crop your videos, fix lighting problems, add audio tracks and more. There are many other video editing tools, but PowerDirector is excellent for the price.

audio editing software

Audacity software

Audio Recording and Editing

Audacity - free, open source audio editing software. Audacity is very versatile. Take existing mp3s and edit them, clean up voice-over and soundtracks for your multimedia. Amplify audio, remove noise, cut out sections, add delay, etc.

Video Transcoding

ffmpeg - converts virtually any form of digital video into any other form and lets you change the video and audio bit rate, quality sized, etc.. It works with video from digital cameras, digital video cameras, iPhones, Flip video, and more. It is a completely command line program with hundreds of switches and settings. It’s complicated and clunky, but incredibly versatile. Don’t mess with it unless you are serious. But if you’re serious, you’ll like it.

Use Your Recorded Webinars for Online Lead Generation

The traditional way to use webinars for lead generation is to invite people to register for a webinar that educates your customers about new solutions to their problems, and builds upon your reputation for thought leadership in your industry.  This is a great way to qualify prospects that may be ready to buy within the next year, and push them into the sales funnel (see Understanding the Lead Generation Funnel). Unfortunately, most of your invitees will miss your webinar because they are busy during the scheduled webinar session.

Here’s the good news. Webinar platforms like  WebEx and GoToMeeting can create a recording of your webinar. So you can get more out of that webinar inviting prospects to watch the recorded webinar — that is, by using it as the offer in an online lead generation campaign. Let’s say you invited 2000 contacts to participate in a webinar. Typically, you will get 100 or so people to register for the webinar, and about 20-25 will participate at the scheduled time.

After the webinar, you can conduct a follow-up email to the original list, inviting them to follow a link to a landing page with the recorded webinar. Statistics show that about 200 people will follow the link and watch some or all of the webinar, increasing the leads by a factor of 8-10x.

If you are a company with channel partners, such as VARs or distributors, you can also give recorded webinars to your channel to help them improve sales. Normally, webinars include an introduction that is branded for the corporation, followed by the webinar and then a Q&A session. You can let your partners re-brand the introduction and execute their own email campaigns. They benefit from the webinar and improve their brand without the expense of running the webinar. The corporation controls the message, so there’s no risk of conflict in the message the channel is delivering to the market.

There are several things that Swyzzle does to make it all easy:

  1. You can upload the recorded webinar to Swyzzle and create a simple show containing the webinar. Add links within the show to other web pages that visitors can click to delve deeper into your subject.
  2. Without editing the recording, you can create a customized channel branded introduction using your logo, website and contact info prior to the start of the webinar. This is an easy way to leverage well-produced informative webinars and engage potential customers in a dialog with your company.
  3. Swyzzle tracks the viewing of the show and provides detailed reports that identify and qualify your leads so you can follow up with sales calls.

We also provide lead generation services turnkey, so you can offload the whole thing to us.

B2B Lead Generation

We offer B2B lead generation services to help companies with marketing campaigns using Swyzzle shows (or, as we call them, multimedia marketing campaigns). The goal is to find prospects who are looking to buy your products – real, qualified leads that your sales team can pursue. These campaigns are especially effective if your company has a high involvement product or service – where the sale doesn’t normally happen without a demonstration or a problem-solving session.

At first you’re likely to need help to execute this sort of campaign. You already have many of the tools, like presentation materials, white papers, case studies and fact sheets. The challenge for most companies is to pull them together into a marketing campaign that prompts prospective customers to raise their hands and tell you they are looking for your product. The multimedia you create with Swyzzle can be as simple as you like. It can be a basic slide show made with pictures, you add audio (like a voice-over or music) tracks, or videos. You can use existing content your company produced for other reasons, like a webinar.

Here’s how a multimedia marketing campaign project like this works. There are three parts:

  • Discovery - To run a successful lead generation campaign, we first need to define  “success” . Are you trying to get new customers? Let your existing customers know about new products? We start by talking with you to understand the goals of the campaign, your company’s value proposition, and what materials you have that can be used. We’ll agree on the contact list for the campaign. It’s also important to understand the company’s personality – is your company serious or  funny? Stodgy or edgy? Having answers to these questions helps assure that your content is valuable to your audience and something your company will be proud to share.
  • Production - We have to produce a show, an email to send to your contacts, and a multimedia landing page with the show embedded on it – normally in that order. We start by developing a show concept that achieves the goals set down during discovery. We’ll plan it out by story-boarding the show, selecting documents and web pages viewers will open for more information. Then we’ll produce the show, getting approval along the way to ensure we end up with a great show. The look of the email and landing page will match the show, but we’ll make sure the message is enticing so people will want to watch it.
  • Execution - Now it’s time to distribute the email and track our results. The global analytics captured by the Swyzzle player let you know who opens the email, who goes to your landing page, how much they liked the show and what they cared about. This is how you know how successful your campaign is, and identify leads so you can follow up and make sales. Swyzzle reporting tells you which parts of the show your viewers are watching and if they followed through to get more information. You’ll know the parts of your show that were of highest interest and which documents they viewed.

Multimedia and video increase the rate of conversion of page visits to leads. It’s no longer necessary to avoid using them because it’s difficult. It’s easy. You can do it. And it will help you increase sales for your company.