Digital Prospecting Strategies: Navigating the 21st Century Landscape

Digital Prospecting Strategies: Navigating the 21st Century Landscape

 

Digital Prospecting Strategies: Navigating the 21st Century Landscape

 Introduction

In the ever-evolving Landscape of business and sales, the 21st century presented a digital revolution that has dramatically transformed how companies identify and engage potential customers. Traditional prospecting methods have given way to a new era in which digital tools and technologies are pivotal in lead generation and customer acquisition. This article explores how digital prospecting strategies, driven by social media, data analytics, and automation, have reshaped the prospecting process in the 21st century.

The Digital Transformation of Prospecting

Prospecting, identifying, and cultivating potential customers has always been fundamental to business success. However, the advent of digital tools has elevated prospecting to new heights.

  • Traditional prospecting relies on manual and analog techniques such as cold calling, door-to-door sales, networking events, and printed materials like brochures and catalogues. Traditional prospecting methods may involve significant legwork and personal interaction, with sales professionals making physical visits, phone calls, or mailing promotional materials to reach potential customers. While these methods have a history of success and can still be effective, they are being increasingly complemented or replaced by modern digital prospecting strategies, which leverage technology, data analytics, and automation for a more efficient and targeted approach to lead generation.
  • Digital prospecting, a 21st-century approach to identifying and engaging potential customers, leverages the power of digital tools and technologies. It involves using online platforms, social media, data analytics, and automation to streamline the lead-generation process. In this digital Landscape, businesses can access a wealth of information about their target audience, from demographic details to online behaviour and preferences. By harnessing this data, companies can rapidly identify potential leads and tailor their outreach efforts to cater to individual needs and interests. The efficiency and scalability of digital prospecting have made it a fundamental strategy for businesses seeking to adapt and thrive in the modern era, where the internet and technology play pivotal roles in customer acquisition and engagement.

Here’s how:

  • In the 21st century, the Landscape of prospecting has been reshaped by social media. With an ever-increasing number of professionals and consumers willingly sharing information about their interests, behaviours, and preferences on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, businesses now have unparalleled access to valuable insights.
  • This data is the foundation upon which digital marketers and sales teams build their prospecting strategies. It enables them to precisely identify potential leads and craft tailored outreach efforts that resonate with individual preferences, fostering more meaningful and productive customer relationships.
  • LinkedIn: This professional network is a treasure trove of B2B prospects. Sales professionals can use it to find decision-makers and engage with them directly.
  • Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: These platforms offer extensive audience targeting options, enabling businesses to reach potential customers based on demographics, interests, and online behaviour.
  • Data Analytics for Informed Decisions: Data analytics tools empower businesses to make data-driven prospecting decisions. Companies can identify patterns, preferences, and trends among their target audience by analyzing historical data. This information allows for more precise targeting and personalized outreach.
  • Predictive Analytics: Using predictive modelling, businesses can identify prospects more likely to convert based on their past behaviour and characteristics.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems: CRM systems store valuable prospecting data and enable businesses to track interactions, forecast sales, and manage customer relationships effectively.
  • Automation for Efficiency: Automation is a game-changer in the world of prospecting. It streamlines repetitive tasks, freeing up sales teams to focus on building relationships with leads.
  • Email Marketing Automation: Automated email campaigns can nurture leads over time, sending targeted content quickly to move prospects through the sales funnel.
  • Chatbots: AI-powered chatbots can engage with website visitors in real time, answering questions and gathering information from potential leads.

Ethical Considerations

While digital prospecting offers tremendous advantages, it also raises ethical concerns. Privacy and data protection have become paramount in this era of prospecting. Companies must be transparent about their data collection practices, obtain consent, and adhere to data regulations like GDPR and CCPA to maintain trust and credibility.

Conclusion

Digital prospecting strategies have revolutionized how businesses find and engage potential customers in the 21st century. Leveraging social media, data analytics, and automation tools, companies can connect with their target audience more meaningfully, delivering personalized experiences and building stronger customer relationships. However, as the digital Landscape continues to evolve, businesses must also stay vigilant and ethical in their prospecting efforts to maintain trust and compliance in this new era of customer engagement.

Marketing Teams’ Misalignment: Wasting Resources and Missed Growth

Marketing Teams’ Misalignment: Wasting Resources and Missed Growth

The Dangers of Marketing Misalignment: Wasting Resources and Missed Growth

Marketing teams are crucial for a company’s success in the fast-paced business world. They’re responsible for making people aware of the brand, increasing sales, and helping the company make money. But to do these things well, marketing teams must work closely with the company’s main goals. When they don’t, bad things happen – like wasting resources and missing chances to grow.

 Why Marketing Team Alignment Matters

Alignment means marketing teams and business goals are on the same page. It’s not just a fancy word; it’s the strong base for successful marketing. It means everyone knows what the business wants to achieve and how marketing can help. When marketing teams and business goals work together, they can create strategies and campaigns that make sense, focus on the right things, and work well. This means that every dollar spent on marketing and every hour put in helps the company grow and improve.

 The Problems of Not Being Aligned

But when marketing teams don’t follow these critical goals, bad things happen:

  •  Wasting Resources: Misaligned marketing efforts often waste time, money, and people. They spend these resources on things that don’t help the company’s big goals, stopping it from investing in something that would allow it to grow.
  • Campaigns That Don’t Work: Marketing campaigns are essential for getting the word out about a brand and bringing in new customers. But when marketing teams don’t know what the business wants, they might make ads that don’t make sense to potential customers. These ads don’t bring in new customers or make more sales.
  • Missing Chances to Grow: Not being aligned can mean missing out on chances to grow. Marketing teams can get so caught up in doing things the same way that they don’t see new opportunities, like finding new customers or trying new ideas.
  • Messing Up the Brand: Brands must be consistent so people know what to expect. When marketing teams don’t follow the business goals, they might make messages or designs that don’t fit the brand. This can confuse people and make them trust the brand less.

 How to Get Aligned

  • To make sure marketing teams and business goals work together, follow these simple steps:
  •  Set Clear Goals: First, ensure you know what the company wants to achieve in the short and long term. These goals should be clear, doable, and aligned with the company’s stand.
  • Talk to Each Other: Make sure everyone in the company talks openly about their actions. Marketing teams should understand the business goals and see how their work helps reach those goals. Regular meetings and brainstorming can help with this.
  • Work Together: Encourage different company parts, like marketing, sales, and product development, to work together. This can help marketing teams get ideas and see things from different angles.
  • Use Data: Use data and tools to see how marketing is doing. Ensure marketing teams have the information they need to see if their work is helping the company.
  • Check on Progress: Create ways for marketing teams to get feedback from other parts of the company. This feedback can help improve marketing strategies and align with the company’s needs.
  • Keep Learning: Make sure marketing teams stay updated on what’s happening in the industry and what customers are doing. Learning and growing can help them change strategies when they need to.
  • Be Flexible: Remember that changing plans is okay when the situation changes. Businesses change, and marketing strategies should, too.

 

In the end, ensuring marketing teams and business goals are on the same page is not just a nice thing to do; it’s important. Not being aligned can lead to wasting resources, making ads that don’t work, and missing out on chances to grow. But when everyone works together, it helps the company grow and do better in a competitive world.

Beware of Four Marketing and Sales Investment Loopholes

Beware of Four Marketing and Sales Investment Loopholes

Marketing and sales investment loopholes that companies must be aware of.

With work from home being our new reality, many businesses are struggling to get return on their marketing and sales investment. Our employees are working from home, trade shows and networking functions are either canceled or went virtual…So how do we make sure that our money is well spent?

Here are a few suggestions to consider:

1.Rethink marketing and sales investment in technology

We are all using CRMs, right? Do you want to know the dirtiest secret about CRMs? They take your staff valuable time in managing and reporting marketing data, which has no value to your business!

Sales and marketing people often drag along leads that are not active or will never produce anything. Why do we do it? We need to show our management that the RESULTS ARE COMING.

To avoid this endless cycle, do invest in CRM that is simple enough for you to read the results in real time. Many of the most marketed CRMs on the market are simply not user friendly, but sold for $$$ to you because of many functions and features that you do not need.

Do a simple test: go to your CRM and see how many calls, conversations, or updates was done by your team TODAY. Cannot see it? Ditch that CRM investment-you are wasting your money!

2. Compare: where the money goes, and where do your leads come from? Or is it all same old forever?

This is an especially important question. Make a list of all the leads you generated during the last 6 months and see where they are coming from:

Lead Source%$$ invested
Website and SEO  
LinkedIn  
Online Ads  
Email marketing  
Referrals  
Social Media  
Cold Calling  
Total inbound:  
Total outbound:  

You have the idea: the money shall be directed to the most ROI effective channels. Have not tried some of the channels yet-get a trial run. You may be surprised how effective they are for you.

3.Sales Performance Tricks: your sales closing numbers are another eye opener on how your hard-earned money was wasted.

LeadsDate Generated$$ closed
   
   

 

Sales Professionals are “tough monkeys” (joke). We are always in demand and first to go if ANYTHING goes wrong. If we cannot sell-we show ACTIVITY.  If your sales team is doing this – find the real reason why they are not closing. Most probably it is not their fault – there is something wrong with your company’s business, market and offering.

4.Keep my investments inhouse or outsource dilemma: Consider both.

Outsourced agencies are offering cutting edge strategies, ideas, and technologies. Your salespeople know your business and your customers on a personal level. BUT…(read below carefully)

There are many ways to optimize on how you can direct your sales and marketing money, staff, and resources. I believe that the mixed solution is the best, but there must be great rapport and cooperation between parties. Often salespeople see outsourced consultants and marketers as a threat. If it is so in your company – raise the red flag! This may be a sign of complacency, laziness, or withdrawal. The healthy sales team will receive this help with open arms. The unhealthy one will reject and sabotage it.

In conclusion:

Analyzing your ROIs and KPIs may be hard during our “unusual times”. You can use and hear many excuses such as “decisions are not made fast” and ” because of COVID”, etc. But can you keep going like this and stay in business?

Is this the time to change strategy or downsize? How long has it been since you revisited and re-evaluated your sales methods, proposals, offers, target markets, etc.? I personally believe in “Profit First” concept. Sometimes downsizing, rethinking and renewing is better that running loops and wasting resources.

Are you Doing Telemarketing During Covid-19?  5 Pros for Going Digital

Are you Doing Telemarketing During Covid-19? 5 Pros for Going Digital

When it comes to sales, marketing and telemarketing during Covid-19, the question is: shall we stop it, or shall we adopt and possibly succeed?  In my opinion this is the time to go digital, to work from home and to promote your brand among your prospects and customers.

It looks like we are all in this together, and it will be a while till we get back to normal, whatever “normal” it is going to be.  According to officials, COVID-19 quarantine may last weeks, or even months, and it will probably be back in the fall, if the vaccine is not developed. So, this is a new reality and we need to adopt to it.  On a good side, the times of change also presents opportunities to renew, rebuild, re-learn and reconsider what we do in our business and every day lives.

Many of us, small business owners, started our businesses in 1980s to early 2000s. We built them based on hard-core traditional marketing methods such as telemarketing, business networking, door knocking –  you get the idea. All of us worked hard, and got customers the old way and we succeeded. Why do we need to change what worked for us for so many years? Many of us are still skeptical of the new modern marketing methods.  Some tried it and failed, others found it challenging and time consuming to learn, and it can be hard to trust another marketing agency, which promises to make it all work.

As a result of these postponements and hesitations, hundreds of thousands marketing dollars are wasted without positive ROI’s.

In this article, I invite you to reconsider your telemarketing during Covid-19  strategies in favor of digital prospecting via LinkedIn, Google and other social media channels.

Why to reconsider doing Telemarketing During Covid-19 Pandemics? See if I can persuade you here:

We do Telemarketing because our Customers are Not Present on Social Media Networks…because they are too small, too busy, not very educated, not technology oriented, etc.”

Surprisingly, this is a very common belief among late baby boomer’s generation and even early millennials. My counterparts were amazed when I shared my screen viz Zoom with them and presented the possibility of the Sales Navigator searches. One of my prospects was shocked when I presented them with a search showing over 18000 business owners in Ontario alone with 1-50 employees.

Marketing during Covid-19 presents an opportunity to tap into this huge pool of LinkedIn users, who now have more time on their hand, working from home and as a result are more active on their Social Media networks.

 

“Telemarketing is the only way to reach people – Our customers are not active on LinkedIn” 

  • According to statistics 40% of LinkedIn users use it regularly: https://kinsta.com/blog/linkedin-statistics/
  • People who are not active will not accept your invite. And it is OK! It does not take long to invite other prospects, who are just like them and are active on the platform.
  • You may choose to connect only with Premium profiles users. These type of users usually pay LinkedIn, so they are active on the platform for sure!

 

Money talks: LinkedIn Prospecting vs Telemarketing cost benefit scenario.

In addition to the benefits above, it has been calculated to be at least 10 times cheaper to deliver your message via LinkedIn rather than via Telemarketing. Here is the example based on the real numbers:

LinkedInTelemarketing
Target Market18000 (Business Owners Ontario) 

 

Cost to Reach$1000 per month$50 per hour
Timing12 months12 months720 hours (25 calls/conversations per hour)
BudgetYearly/monthly$12000/ year or $1000 per month/profile$36000 ($3000 per month=60 hours)
Connections/Calls per month averageROI/month1500 invites=500 connections60*25=1500 calls/ 150 conversations (10% call/convers rate)
EngagementReply/further interest/appointment30% Avg Reply rate
10% further interest = 15 monthly /future appointments
150 conversation-2% appts = 3-5 appointments (optimistically)
Cost per Appointment$1000/15=$65$600-$1000

 

“I get a lot of spam from my LinkedIn connections, nothing good can come out of this”

Yes, you may have spam if you are not connecting with the right people. Here are the reasons why you may have spam and how to fix it when marketing during COVID-19:

  • You are accepting connections without looking at the Invitees profiles – they will spam you with the message not relevant to your business.
  • Your Team uses LinkedIn Bots – Bots will connect you with wrong people.
  • You do not regularly clean up and audit your connections.

“I tried it, but I did not get any results.”

According to statistics 43% of marketers say that they acquired at least one customer out of LinkedIn.

To achieve results, you need to have the following:

  • Know your customers: Buyers Persona
  • Sales Navigator Search – Pay for it and use the filters to narrow down your search.
  • Do NOT Sell like a company. Be personal – connect first!
  • Pay attention to your communications be friendly and professional.
  • Keep conversation going and follow up, follow up, follow up!

Conclusion

In conclusion, I strongly believe that money spent on telemarketing during Covid-19 crisis shall be redirected towards digital prospecting, marketing and advertising. Digital prospecting on LinkedIn is unmatched when in comes to startinga connection and communications with our prospects and customers.

So, stay connected and stay healthy!

Ekaterina Spooner

Lead Generation in 2020: Where are we going and what to do to survive and thrive?

Lead Generation in 2020: Where are we going and what to do to survive and thrive?

What is in Store for Small Business Lead Generation in 2020?

Happy New Year! After a Holiday hangover we are all back to business: paying credit cards, completing year ends and filing taxes. So, what Lead Generation in 2020 has in store for all of us?

I don’t know about you, my fellow business owner, but I feel like we are going into another recession. The main indication of this to me is not what I hear on TV and radio, but the fact that my prospects and customers are cutting their spending on marketing and sales by almost 50%.

So, what do we do to thrive and survive in the challenging 2020 business landscape in Canada? Here are the marketing trends to watch, observe and follow.

1.B2B Lead Generation 2020 Goes Digital:

If you have not heard about LinkedIn Prospecting yet, I strongly suggest you get on it! Traditional lead generation such as email and telemarketing alone does not produce the enough engagement anymore. LinkedIn is number one communication tool in B2B today because it allows large coverage, high deliverability and great engagement, which surpasses any other marketing channels. To compare: telemarketing engagement is less than 5%, email less than 1%, while LinkedIn messaging engagement is over 40%.

2.Many Touches to Gain Trust:

Is still good old: “One touch is not enough”. One call is not enough, one email campaign is not enough, one LinkedIn text message is not enough. It takes on average 7 messages to get a reply from a qualified prospect. So carefully construct, fill and monitor your sales funnel with scheduled follow ups.

3.Take it Offline and Make it Personal:

If LinkedIn is the best channel to start a conversation, it is important to take it offline at the earliest opportunity. Follow up with telemarketing calls, send them a personalized e-mail, book coffee meetings, invite your prospects to your lunch and learns. Add your voice, face and personality to your connections. Chat, laugh, joke, communicate and relate. If you market is outside of your geographic area, use video conferencing and webinar technology to meet your prospects.

4. Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up!

With digital tools under our fingertips it is way easier to get interest and attention, but with slow economy and cash flow challenges many sales professionals and business owners experience delays in closing on their proposals and contracts. It may be tiring and frustrating, but don’t give up! Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up!

5. Do Not Abandon Branding:

Even you are a tiny, small consulting business you still can afford branding! It is not only for big guys anymore. With digital tools under your fingertips you can look big, even while being very small. It starts with your website – make it user friendly! Make it easy for your visitors to navigate and read, whichever gadget they prefer to use. Put great information with easy to follow format, make sure there is call for action and other engagements tools such as forms and chats. Make it interesting! Brag, educate, interact and lead visitors to your contact us forms.

Make sure that your site has a blog and connects to social media channels.

Conclusion:

I hope this is helpful for you my fellow business owner. If you need a word of advice, or marketing help book your Free Consultation with one of our consultants. We would love to hear from you.

Happy 2020 again!

Ekaterina Spooner

President

Prospect Solutions Inc.

Why Social Networks’ Health is Important For Your Business?

Why Social Networks’ Health is Important For Your Business?

Why Social Networks’ Management is important for your business?

Being an agency owner, I often come across the issue of my clients’ Social Networks’ health. Many of our clients had previously accepted connections requests on LinkedIn, friendships requests on Facebook and followers on Instagram who are neither qualified or relevant to their business.

Why is this an issue?

I strongly believe that the purpose of Social Networks management is to communicate with your prospects and customers effectively. Your networks are your most valuable business asset because it allows your messages to be delivered to the right audience, reduces your e-mail inbox spam and drives most valuable and qualified web traffic to your website.

Social Networks Management: Delivering your messages to your prospects and customers:

Social networks audiences are presenting unique opportunities for delivering your messages, information and offers to your prospects and customers. Comparing to any other marketing communication channels, correct Social Networks management presents the highest opportunity for engagement: up to 60% engagement, compared to e-mail (less than 1 %) and telemarketing (less than 5%).

And the best of all, these messages are delivered to your qualified recipients for free! Compare this to the cost of web marketing, Search Engine Optimization or advertising.

In addition, your social networks contacts are highly monetizable business assets. Yes! If you decide to sell your business, these contacts and the quality of your engagement with them will be measured in a high dollar value.

Social Networks Management reduces spam across all channels:

We are all irritated from the amount of spam coming off internet in a form of e-mail, voicemail and unwanted telemarketing. It makes our mailboxes clattered, make us miss valuable information, waking us up in a middle of the night and infuriate us by interrupting our meetings.

Why do we get so much spam? Look at the qualities of your networks! Did you know that your first LinkedIn connections have access to your contact information, which can be easily downloaded to Excel and imported to any CRM, dialer or other communication software?

So, if you would like to reduce spam-clean up your networks first.

Social Networks promote your website with Search Engines:

In is no secret that Search Engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo are monitoring and constantly accessing your website traffic and its behaviour patterns on your website. If majority of your visitors are relevant to your business keywords and their time on your site is higher than your competition, Search Engines will promote you to the top of their pages. This mean a lot of new business for you!  Do you know that #1 position in Google sites draw almost 85% of all traffic, #2 gets about 10%, and #3 all the rest? If you are lower than this – you pretty much get nothing at all. This is why companies invest thousands of dollars to their websites and SEO.

Your social networks’ referrals are the most valuable traffic, which also has the highest conversion rates. In addition, the ability of your website to generate sales leads is one of the most valuable business assets. If your site is on top of the search engines for your business keywords, you can sell it alone for tens of thousands of dollars.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, do not overlook your regular social networks management: clean up, engage, re-engage, segment and qualify your contacts, friends and followers.   Remember, behind each of social media profile is a human being, a business professional, a potential customer, a source of referrals and new friendships for you. Clean up and segment your networks, introduce and re-introduce yourself multiple times, communicate informally, tell them about your business and ask questions. Please do not forget to measure and evaluate your KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), to ensure that you are on the right track.

At Prospect Solutions, we help our customers with social networks management and lead generation. We manage our clients’ networks, run lead generation campaigns and report KPI’s. Can’t afford agency rates? No problem-we have comprehensive training and marketing temps’ programs.