Sales Strategy · Enterprise software

What have been your best sales/marketing tools to produce warm leads in enterprise software?

Logan Kleier

January 13th, 2016

I am founder of a software analytics startup that has obtained a few early customers. Some were obtained via personal network. Others obtained by outbound lead generation services utilizing LinkedIn.

I'm looking to reinvest early revenue in additional customer acquisition.

There appear to be four basic choices:

- outbound email marketing
- inbound search engine/social marketing (LinkedIn Ads, Google Ads Words to our landing page)
- trade show/conference booths 
- content marketing 

I'd like to know what your best sales tools have been for customer acquisition (in the enterprise space) and what results you may have had with other tools/techniques that I'm not listing. 

I'd appreciate insights you may have. You can message me directly if parts of your conversation are better held in private rather than on this forum. 
Consumers decisions aren’t always based on logic. The best companies tap into the emotional reasons why customers buy. In this course, you’ll learn sales psychology and use it to create a custom sales pitch, funnel, and template, that will get your customer’s attention.

Edward M. Yang

January 13th, 2016

I'm a little bit biased as I own a PR agency, but there's no denying the power of PR. I wrote an article in Entrepreneur that generated high quality leads at http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/239077

One of my clients who we also got into Entrepreneur and Business Insider saw a 900% increase in quality web traffic since (high time per page and low bounce rate).

This type of PR is also known as thought leadership articles, guest posting, guest blogging or bylined articles.

Here are some rules of thumb to both write and land these types of opportunities with top media:

-Come up with a catchy headline. These days it's all about clickbait. Read the websites you want to get on and you'll get a feel for how to craft an intriguing headline.

-Use the 25/75 rule. The first 25% should identify the problem. Back it up with statistics and data if possible. The last 75% should provide concrete specific ideas to solve the problem. Usually about 4 to 6 points should do. The more you back up your points with data or real world examples, the more powerful it will be.

-Find the editors or contributing editors at the outlets, send them the entire article pasted into your email. Do not use an attachment for your first email to them. Also acceptable is a proposed headline and just a one paragraph synopsis of what the article would be about.

-Length should be between 800 to 1,000 words.

-Grammatical tense should avoid second person, meaning do not use "you" or "your" in the article.

By no means should PR be the only lead gen tactic, but it's one that can continue to pay dividends for a long time.

Other areas I'd recommend:

-Posting thoughtful comments on related articles as soon as they come out. Set up a free Google Alert for your area of expertise. One comment we left on a Business Week article a few years back generated a very high number of inbound traffic to our client's site.

-Answer related questions in a thoughtful and educational manner on Quora. Same type of principle as the commenting on articles above.

-Post educational videos on Youtube and/or Powerpoint presentations on Slideshare.

These are more guerrilla tactics, but are quite cost effective and powerful.

Contact me if you need more assistance.

Jenn Steele Director of Product Marketing at Indix

January 13th, 2016

What's your timeline look like? And your goals? It's tough to give good advice without knowing what your goals are. For example, you can pay people to spam--er, do outbound email campaigns for you, or you can invest in inbound marketing, but they'll have different ROI timelines.

I assume you're B2B? Do you know where your folks are hanging out? Where are the eyeballs that you want to grab? I'm a fan of paid search to grab quick leads and fill the top of the funnel, but they can be pretty cold sometimes.

If you have the time to invest in inbound marketing, it will work. But it requires time and patience, plus the right infrastructure to capture, track, and work the leads.

Happy to chat directly if that will be more useful.

Anton Yakovlev Founder of four successful businesses on two continents who can help you do the same

January 13th, 2016

We are currently creating a lead generation tool. It is not yet launched, but I'd love to hear what would you like to see there. What we're doing is a crowdsourced database of business contacts that is processed with a pretty complicated software to stratify the leads, and select those who would work best for your company. For example, if you sell to startups we will be automagically select decision makers in startup companies. 

Please, share what you think. Any feedback would be highly appreciated.

Justin Roff-Marsh

January 14th, 2016

My book is, far and away, the most valuable tool when it comes to generating opportunities from mid to large organizations ($100m to $1b in sales).

But, and it's an important but, it's not the existence of the book in isolation, it's the promotions that the book enables.

Our primary lead-gen process consists of the following sequence
  1. Run PPC ads and push people to the first four chapters of the book (hosted on issuu.com)
  2. From the extract, push people to the full book on Amazon (with an offer to subscribe for access to tools)
  3. From the book, promote a subscription to a free 6-class video short course
  4. From subscriptions, up-sell to conference calls (best-practice briefings) and periodic webinars
The returns from this process dwarf everything else we've tried over the years (general PR, and two-step dm campaigns with more traditional offers (reports, ebooks, etc) and direct sales approaches).

You may be interested to know that I did not have to write the whole book to get this process working.

I started giving away a printed extract from the book as soon as I had written the first three chapters (which only took a few weeks).

Diane Bernard Chief Digital Marketing & Growth Officer For Hire, CEO, Virtual CMO for Technology, Healthcare, Pharmaceutical, Consumer

February 28th, 2016

Logan, 

I agree with Justin, all others are old marketing.  The new is get the SEO top ranking questions and create and deliver a book, sell or publish it on Amazon or other site to acquire warm leads, nuture to a webinar or coaching and whala!

I have gotten as much as 35% conversion on this lead and it builds thought leadership. I also, do PR and this is much better by far.. 

ps. Amazon search for books is one of the largest search engines in the world for buying so the customer is definitely warm.

Best,

Diane 

Vivek Ghai Entrepreneur, Founder & CEO Panacea Infotect I Startup Enthusiast I Outsourcing

February 29th, 2016

Logan,

In-bound marketing is 'the' thing to do to get genuine and qualified leads for your B2B business. It will involve lot of time and proper planing but will benefit you in long run. 

If you want immediate results then Google Adwords / LinkedIn Ads are useful.

Trade shows are good for contact building but chances are less for any immediate deal.

You can also do calling on some genuine industry data, many a times you get good response out of calling.

Joshua Kundert Virtual Assistant

February 29th, 2016

Logan,

I have been in many businesses and still use the old practice of cold calling, Basically as of now I even started a business offering a cold calling call center that can generate warm leads for your business, and then we can transfer those leads to you for closing, or we can also look for a commissioned based representative to close. would love to chat with you