Archive for October, 2010

Lead Scoring: Deliver Pre-Qualified Leads to Sales

Friday, October 15th, 2010

I recently attended the Atlanta Salesforce User Group where Loopfuse was sponsoring and one of my founders, Roy Russo, was speaking. The topic on hand – enhancing your CRM with Loopfuse.  One of his first comments was “what makes a lead qualified?” We have several customers who believe all leads that perform any activity on the site should be considered qualified and routed to the CRM and the sales team. And then there are others, present company included, who use lead scoring to determine which leads will be followed up on by sales. By using lead scoring within Loopfuse OneView, you are allowing your prospects to self-qualify themselves based on criteria you set. Loopfuse OneView will then assign each prospect a grade based on their score.

First step, talk to your sales team. Get an understanding of what they are seeing come through the pipeline. Who are the most qualified prospects? Is it webinar attendees? Or is it simply companies based in a specific industry or geography are the hot leads. They are the experts in talking to leads day in and day out and can really give you an idea of how to set up your scoring.


Size Doesn’t Always Matter (Market Size)

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Just because a market is big does not mean it’s desirable.  When evaluating entering a new market it’s important to try and assess the space’s future prospects.  Clearly, there is a lot of masked complexity here.  What you really want to be looking for, however, is the obvious problems.

Technology innovation is often a predictive indicator.  From typewriters to answering machines, or floppy disks to CD’s there are countless markets that have faded away due to technology.  You need to ask yourself if the market is going the way of the dinosaur.


Getting to Know You… Digitally (Online Research)

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

When you are fairly unfamiliar with your new target segment one mandatory step is to begin an online research program.  In our ubiquitously digital world there is an enormous amount of content that is easily available that can give you a head start.   The objective here is to arm yourself with a thorough understanding of the current terms and trends and a high level outlook on the market.

If you are totally new to the space and don’t even know where to start you should try setting up a social monitoring program.  Plug in the names of potential customers and competitors in the space, which you should have identified in the sizing exercise,  and start to analyze the terminology, sites, and authors that are being used.


WordPress Plugin 2.0

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

We released a WordPress plugin for LoopFuse back in late May. Since then we’ve had a lot happen with the release of FreeView and then the announcement of our Partner program. We’ve now been able to revisit that plugin and add functionality to it.

The basic purpose of the plugin remains the same. You can still add your Customer ID to the settings page and instantly have the Tracking Beacon installed on your site without having to edit the template for your site. With this plug-in, instrumenting the tracking beacon doesn’t require you to seek out your web designer to start collecting data on visiting prospects. This allows you to kick-start your marketing automation process immediately.

The new version of the plugin now offers integration with the popular WordPress forms plugin, Contact Form 7. Rather than re-invent an entire suite of functionality found in many forms plugins we decided to leverage the power, convenience, and feature set of an existing popular forms plugin. Now you can create a form within OneView and get it on to your WordPress site ready to capture data without having to know HTML. Simply provide the formID, action URL, and form name to the LoopFuse OneView plugin and that information becomes available for use inside of the Contact Form 7 forms plugin. Once the information is tied together you start to capture leads that fill out that form in your OneView account.

As WordPress continues to grow in popularity as a base for websites that are more than just blogs, we hope that our OneView plugin makes integrating your marketing automation efforts in to your site as easy as possible.

A Lead: An Expression of Interest

Monday, October 4th, 2010

One of the largest and most frequent problems that plague the sales and marketing relationship is the quality and quantity of leads.  Tomes have been dedicated to the subject and some very smart consultants make a lot of coin advising on it.   Yet, the results are still very hit or miss.  The problem is that people have been trying to solve the wrong problem.

The real issue isn’t what defines a “qualified” lead, but rather what defines a lead itself.  Nearly everyone defines a lead as a person.  It’s someone you’ve just met who you hope will mature into a customer.  A lead can linger on in your database for months if not years.  If this is how you define a lead, let me stop you right there to say you’ve got it wrong!

A lead isn’t a person.  A lead is an expression of interest at a specific point in time.  Think about what that means.  We are all complex people and engage with brands every day.  Our motivations for engaging at any point of time can shift and vary.  It’s these motivations that drive what and why we buy.  Remember, people buy things to solve problems.  The same is true in our personal as in our professional lives.  It’s key, therefore, for brands to hone in on what’s motivating the engagement and seize on the immediate, relevant pain.

Defining a lead in this manner addresses the sales and marketing relationship in two ways.  First, it gets marketing thinking like sales.  Injecting this notion of an “expression of interest” gets marketing focusing on the things important to the customer, and why they will buy as opposed to a raw count of bodies.  Second, it brings standardization and repetition to the qualification process.  Never confuse the inside sales team with highly paid, external sales professionals.  Reducing their scope and funneling the outcomes will drive consistency and performance.

Step one in getting your lead generation process moving in the right direction; therefore, must begin with the right definition of a lead.

– A lead is NOT a person
– A lead IS an expression of interest in time

The Loopfuse Exchange: Sales & Marketing Best Practices

Monday, October 4th, 2010

With the highly successful launch of our Loopfuse Freeview offering in June and our innovative Partnership program in August, we have had several requests to share information amongst our community.  So today, I would like to informally introduce the Loopfuse Exchange.  The goal for the Loopfuse Exchange is to share the best practices from some of the best sales and marketing professionals in the business who give their companies a competitive edge.  The Loopfuse Exchange will be the place to visit for the most up to date sales and marketing best practices, and central to the Exchange will be a series of articles on various marketing functions — contributed by Loopfuse customers, partners and friends — that will help new and experienced marketers alike increase their effectiveness generating market awareness and demand. Topics will include Website construction and design, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, Lead Nurturing and Scoring, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay per click (PPC) advertising, Social Media and Networking, E-mail marketing, Event marketing, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Reporting and more.

Later this afternoon, we will have our first guest blog post for the Loopfuse Exchange by one of our partners, Greg Malpass of Traction Sales and Marketing.  Stay tuned for more exciting information on the Loopfuse Exchange.