How Landing Pages Get Salespeople Interested in Inbound Marketing

    Posted by Todd Hockenberry on Jan 13, 2013 7:03:00 AM

    In my last post, I talked about how to convince your salespeople to help you create content for inbound marketing by showing them that they are already creating engaging content every day. The deep connections between salespeople and prospects mean that salespeople are often the best people to understand what messages resonate with customers and what questions customers want answered. Once you've gotten great content out of salespeople, your next step is delivering that content in the best way possible.

    Create Highly Focused Customer Centric Content

    The content that salespeople create is highly customer-focused and has great potential to convert into prospects. However, when customer-focused content is paired with interesting calls to action and landing pages then you see those prospects become leads. Landing pages themselves may not interest salespeople that much but what comes from them certainly does. The formula is simple — the sales team helps create the right content for target prospects. Calls to action and landing pages bring in what the sales team needs — qualified leads.

    The job of a landing page is, at its simplest, to connect content with visitors and convert them to leads. However, a landing page can do a lot more than deliver some well-crafted content to the right audience. If salespeople are helping shape and craft excellent content that is being released through a landing page created by someone in marketing, the landing page then serves as a point of connection between the sales team and the marketing team. Landing pages can also be leveraged to drive traffic from a site, or part of a site, that was generating little or no traffic before.

    Increase Incoming Leads Quickly

    For example, one of my clients had the fairly standard "Contact Us" form on a simple landing page. There isn't anything wrong with a Contact Us page, but in this client's case that form wasn't creating any leads for them. We came in and took some of the content already on their site, made it into downloadable content, attached the content to landing pages, and then added calls to action across their site. Adding landing pages as gate keepers to content that was already there resulted in a lot of leads very quickly. This client increased leads per month from the website from 0 to over 60 just by adding a few basic offers and landing pages to the site.

    manufacturing marketing

    Not all landing pages are created equal, however. To get the most out of a landing page you should shape them around the same kinds of customer-centered thinking that drives good content. Great content is driven by a persona and is focused on their issues, needs, interests, and problems. The landing page that you build in front of that content should be just as shaped by that persona as the content itself was.

    Qualify, Qualify, Qualify Those Leads

    Having targeted landing pages in front of your customer-focused content is how you create leads that are more qualified. Qualified leads, in turn, allow salespeople to follow up at a much higher level. This is why it is so important to understand your target persona and to create the best, most focused content for them.

    Beyond that, however, the form on your landing page represents an amazing tool for lead segmentation. You have a great piece of content that prospects want to get to, so make them answer a few basic questions first. By adding a few segmenting questions into your landing page form, you can get your leads to self-qualify and help drive them further into the sales funnel. Ask them what their job title is, what their biggest problem is, what their main goal is, budget, when they need a solution – be creative and see if you can actually interest the prospect because you're asking the same questions they are asking themselves. The more answers you get, the better the lead is qualified. Now sales can start the conversation at a much higher level.

    One of our clients grew their business 86% in the first year of working with us. They generated this significant increase while doing fewer proposals than the previous year. This was a big deal because they are a small company and doing a proposal is a big time investment. By segmenting leads using landing pages they were able to sort the best leads from the top of the funnel inquiries and spend their time closing sales, not writing proposals.

    I love this success story because it reminds me of something one of my first sales bosses said to me. He asked me how things were going and I responded with something like “I am doing great, I did 14 quotes and made 43 calls.” His response? “We don’t sell quotes here, son.”

    Landing Pages For Testing Ideas

    Finally, landing pages are a great way for sales people to test the interest in a given market for a new offering or to test new positioning for a product/service. If the idea behind the call to action and landing page converts, then sales can assume that the offer has some legs. A landing page is a very easy, inexpensive way to perform a litmus test that tells sales whether or not they should promote a new idea in their direct calls and selling.

    One of the ways we have used this technique to test the waters for a client was to offer engineering documents (drawings, specifications, test results) on landing pages to see who would convert and download them. My client had purchased a series of product lines and did not know everyone who had previously purchased the products. These old customers found the landing pages and converted. Sales now had a reason to talk to these leads and an insight into their business. The leads that converted showed that there was interest and demand for after sale support and proved that these documents could be used to attract new contacts previously unknown to sales. The conversions on our test landing pages put sales into a position to deliver more value and make more sales.

    Creating great content is always going to be the first step, but putting time and effort into landing pages is essential. What's more, the time and effort you put into landing pages pays serious dividends. Whether you need to do some quick market research for a new product, better qualify your leads, or leverage your website to bring in leads, landing pages can be serious work horses in your inbound marketing campaign.

    About the Author: Todd Hockenberry is the founder of Top Line Results, an inbound marketing agency that specializes in leading top line revenue growth at small and medium-sized companies with a focus on manufacturing, technology and capital equipment.

    Read More

    Topics: landing pages, business to business lead generation, business advice, marketing for manufacturing, Top Line Results

    I Can't Believe You Still Spend Money on Brand Awareness

    Posted by Pete Caputa on Aug 29, 2008 8:50:00 AM

    It's absolutely ridiculous that the marketing departments of soooo many b2b companies are not developing online lead generation processes that produce sales ready leads; that they don't practice measurable marketing.

    Historically, sales has always had a funnel. Marketing should have a funnel too. Brian Carroll has a great post about building a marketing funnel:

    Most organizations don't have a marketing funnel; they have a sales funnel that looks more like a bucket with lots of holes in it where leads leak out. Marketing needs to create its own funnel to understand whether leads are sales ready or not.

    The purpose of the marketing funnel is to bring leads into one spot and qualify them. By qualifying them, I mean that the leads are ready to talk to someone from a sales perspective. Then there is the hand-off process between marketing and sales. I find that connecting the marketing and sales funnel together is really a big challenge. You have to understand your sales process to know at what point the sales team views a lead as an opportunity and begins actively pursuing it.

    Lead generation really is about building relationships. It's how can I help my sales team build relationships with the right people and the right companies. The marketing funnel creates sales-ready leads and nurtures the leads that aren't sales ready.

    The bigger and better you make your marketing pipeline, ultimately the bigger and better you make your sales pipeline. In the end, this isn't about generating more leads; it's about generating actionable leads.

    A company where the sales teams and marketing teams work together, should have a combined funnel. It should look something like this:

    For those of you who do better with words, you should know exactly how many visitors to your website convert into leads; how many of these leads your salespeople convert into opportunities; how many of these opportunities your salespeople convert into clients. You should also be able see at a much more granular level... what marketing activities, campaigns and referring sources those customers originated from, as well as what marketing activities made them "sales ready". That's closed loop marketing.

    If you're a b2b marketer and you're not trying to figure out closed loop marketing, I personally believe you should be fired. You should be fired today, if you're still asking for $ to build your brand while your sales team is primarily cold calling prospects. It's absolutely amazing that more CEOs don't demand a measurable ROI from their marketing teams. It's absolutely amazing to me that marketers don't demand that their organizations committ the time and resources to create compelling content and participate in the conversations happening in their marketplace on social networking sites.

    Brand awareness should be a side effect of a great product, great marketing and great customer service.

    However, your marketing activities should be measured based on leads generated, leads qualified and customers acquired. Not some fuzzy notion of brand awareness.

    Read More

    Topics: closed loop marketing, brand awareness, brand building, sales funnel, marketing funnel, business to business lead generation, social network marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, online lead generation, b2b lead generation, content creation

    Follow Co-Grow

    Subscribe to Email Updates

    Recent Posts

    Posts by Topic

    see all