Revenue-Driving Channel Sales Strategies for Manufacturers

Revenue-Driving Channel Sales Strategies for Manufacturers

Revenue-Driving Channel Sales Strategies for Manufacturers

Channel sales offer a number of benefits for manufacturing companies. Channel partners help you bring in significantly more sales than a single sales team ever could. You’ve got built-in trust with channel partners, and you have the customer service support you need to help every client if they need it. 

But, channel sales have a few drawbacks, too. The biggest being that it’s difficult to control, manage, and track the sales process. The feedback cycle can be slow, which means it’s hard to react quickly to shifts in the end-user’s buying preferences. These drawbacks can make it difficult to measure the success of your channel sales strategies. It’s not always easy to see how your product is doing at any given moment or to establish effective marketing and sales tactics. 

If you’re struggling to improve your channel sales process, or are looking for ways to better support your channel partners for bigger, faster sales, here are a few revenue-driving channel sales strategies to help manufacturers grow that bottom line in a big way. 

Focus on Existing Partnerships First

Most sales teams know it costs significantly more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. That same theory applies to your channel partners. 

The best channel sales strategy is the one that helps you capitalize on the resources you already have.

Before you go out trying to recruit new partners, make sure you’re supporting the ones you already have.

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Communicate with your channel partners

A great place to start is to just talk to your existing channel partners. 

  • Does your team talk to your partners regularly? If they do, what have your partners been saying lately?
  • What do your partners think about your product?
  • How do they feel about your service or support?

If it’s been a while since you connected with your channel partners, you might consider sending out a survey with a few quick questions, and a few open comment boxes encouraging partners to let you know if there are areas where they feel you could improve. 

Jokes aside, keep clear, open lanes of communication for your channel partners to provide feedback whenever it’s convenient for them. 

And when you do get feedback, act on it. 

In addition to making some improvements, make an effort to set up regular, quarterly meetings with your channel partners. After all, they’re the ones interacting directly with your customers.

The better your relationship with your channel partners, the better you’ll be able to understand your end consumer. 

Develop marketing resources to support your channel partners

Once you have open, clear lines of communication with your channel partners, consider developing some marketing resources they can use to better sell your products. 

 

Let’s think about it: if you were a busy sales or marketing team, which product would you push? 

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Option #1

A product that came from the manufacturer with a ton of ready-made email campaigns, social media content and imagery, and print collateral.

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Option #2

A great product, but with no support from the manufacturer, you’ll have to develop content and marketing strategy from the ground up.

As a busy marketer myself, I can go ahead and tell you that if I had beautiful marketing content at my fingertips, that is absolutely the product I’d put in my email marketing campaigns and social media posts. 

If you’re regularly creating and providing marketing resources that make it easy for your channel partners to talk about and support your brand, there’s a much higher likelihood that they will. 

Consider developing imagery, social media content, and even email marketing campaigns your channel partners can take and use however they like. 

When it’s easy for them to get the word out about you, they’re more likely to do it. And when more of your channel partners are putting out great branded content and email campaigns about your products, you’re going to start to see more sales. 

Create Sales Enablement Content

The best way to drive revenue with channel sales strategies? Think of your team as an extension of your partner’s sales team. Not the other way around. 

If you’re not selling directly to consumers, then your sales efforts should be focused primarily around doing everything you can to enable your partner’s sales teams. 

  • What content could they benefit from to help close sales faster?
  • Are their email sequences or workflows you could develop to help the sales team nurture and close leads?
  • What about pricing sheets or helpful documents that show customers how to choose between a few similar products?

Again, discovering what sales enablement content might be most helpful to your channel partners starts with talking to them. Find out where their sales teams tend to get stuck, or where leads tend to drop out of the funnel. 

Then, look for ways to develop content and sales enablement materials that address those pain points in the sales cycle.

The more you empower your channel partner’s sales teams with the content and tools they need, the more sales they’ll be able to close, and faster. 

Provide Education and Consider Establishing Partner Certification

This is an especially useful channel sales strategy for manufacturers with partners who supply more than just your products. 

Think about it — if you had two very similar products in stock, one that you knew a lot about, and one that you didn’t, which would you talk about to a customer?

Probably the product you were comfortable with. 

When your channel partner’s sales team feels comfortable talking about your products with customers, those are the products and parts they’ll sell.  

How to get to that top-of-mind position?

Offer it up — the more education and onboarding resources you can offer to your partners, the better. 

How to get them to use it? 

Incentivize learning more about your products. 

One really common way to do this is to establish certifications or different partner tiers. 

How manufacturers can implement certifications to boost channel sales

GAF logo
GAF logo

One of my favorite examples of a smart, effective certification program for channel sales comes from  GAF, the shingle manufacturer. GAF has a special certification, its Factory-Certified Master Elite Roofing Contractors. This certification is only given to about 2% of roofing contractors in the US. 

What’s unique about their certification is that Master Elite contractors have exclusive access to top-tier products, and are the only contractors allowed to offer GAF’s gold-level warranty. 

For GAF’s certified contractors, being Master Elite certified is a clear benefit. They can offer better warranties and better products, which means more consumers who value a quality roof will seek them out. But, this incentivizing certification program also provides value to GAF. 

GAF Master Elite Program

GAF knows that only their top channel partners — their Master Elite contractors — can offer high-tier warranties and products. These contractors have to take many educational courses and must provide a certain level of service. This helps GAF ensure that they’re protecting their brand’s reputation, while also helping them sell more of those top-tier products. 

While your certification program doesn’t have to be as involved as GAF’s, tying your educational materials to some sort of reward is a great way to show your appreciation for top-tier partners, and incentivize other channel partners to get educated about your products.

More than just showing your appreciation, these awards and rewards can also help boost your brand’s reputation, and get your name out there. 

And when your brand is the first that the end-consumer thinks of, you’re driving revenue, guaranteed. 

Implement Tracking & Reporting

It’s always difficult to track partner sales. 

Especially for manufacturers, it’s tricky to get a full understanding of how well your partners are doing, and which of your specific efforts are driving revenue. 

They’re not your books, so it can be tough to get the data and sales info you need to see what efforts are working, and which aren’t. Here are a few ways you can implement tracking and reporting to evaluate your progress and double-down on the efforts driving revenue. 

Tracking and reporting tactics

If you’ve already implemented other channel sales strategies, like setting up close communication with your existing partners, tracking and reporting become much easier. 

01. Ask your channel partners what’s working

The best way to figure out what’s working is to talk to your channel partners.

Surveys are helpful and can be implemented either on a quarterly schedule, or a few months after you implement a new marketing or sales effort. 

Make sure to ask your partners specifically which efforts they feel are driving value. If they’re comfortable, you can ask them to share their data collected from that new marketing campaign or sales enablement tool. 

02. Implement your own reporting

Though you can’t always get all of the numbers you want, your sales team and account managers can implement their reporting methods to track the success of your channel sales strategies. 

If your channel partners use a common CRM, their account managers can ask for view-only access to take a look at key performance indicators like conversion rate, how many deals have closed, and where those leads originated from. 

This should help you identify which of your efforts are working, and which might need a bit of finessing. 

03. Key performance indicators (KPIs) that indicate channel sales success

If you’re really in the dark when it comes to your channel partner’s sales data, there’s still a range of questions you can ask and data you can collect. 

Obviously, the biggest indicator of success would be an increase in sales. 

But, if you’re implementing new channel sales strategies, like helping your channel partners set up ad campaigns, email marketing workflows, and more, you want to know which of those efforts are working. 

Here are a few KPIs to look in on to determine what is driving your channel sales success: 

  • Average sales cycle length 
  • Percentage of partners who used provided sales and marketing materials
  • Percentage of partners who completed ongoing training
  • Partner satisfaction score — how they’re responding to your regular surveys
  • Percentage of partners who attempted, and who completed certification

HubSpot also has a full list of ways to measure your channel sales program’s success. I recommend checking that out for more ideas on tracking and reporting. 

Reward High-Performers

Have great partners? Let them know! Offer incentives to high performers and partners who close the most deals and do the best job of educating themselves, and their customers. 

While you don’t have to hand out cars like Oprah, incentives help you show your appreciation for the channel partners who are doing great work, and they also serve as an example for newer partners who might not be sure how to implement all of the great tools and channel sales strategies you’re providing. 

Let’s say you host an awesome industry event. Give top performers a certain number of free tickets. 

Or, offer exclusive materials or products to just top-tier partners. Thinking back to the GAF example I used earlier, you could make certain highly-technical products available only to top-tier channel partners, or you could simply provide extra support to those top-performers. 

Whatever you do, it is a good idea to reward your top-performing channel partners. The more your channel partners see that you’re there to truly support them, the more empowered they’ll feel to sell your products and parts. 

Channel sales offer many benefits to manufacturers, but they’re also notoriously difficult to track and manage. These channel sales strategies for manufacturers should help you get a better handle on how your channel partners are doing, establish strong relationships, and start putting marketing and sales efforts together that drive overall revenue for your manufacturing company. 

Struggling with your channel sales strategies? Talk to the team at Evenbound. We’ve worked with many manufacturers who rely on channel sales, and we’ve helped them all align marketing and sales efforts and grow revenue. We’d be happy to help you too. 

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5 Outbound Lead Generation Best Practices

5 Outbound Lead Generation Best Practices

5 Outbound Lead Generation Best Practices

There’s so much information out there about inbound marketing. From how to transition to inbound marketing to tools that help you do it, there’s a wealth of blogs, resources, and more to teach you everything you need to know about inbound marketing. Outbound marketing doesn’t have the same support out there, yet. 

For quite some time, marketers were moving away from outbound marketing because it was disruptive and largely ineffective. But today’s modern outbound marketing, which is targeted, specific, and relevant to ideal leads, can be remarkably effective. If you’ve been looking for ways to implement an outbound marketing strategy that delivers the leads you want, on the timeline you need, we’ve got answers. 

Here are 5 outbound lead generation best practices you can use to implement intuitive, successful outbound marketing strategies that aren’t disruptive, and deliver the leads your sales team wants. 

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01. Develop Accurate Buyer Personas

Outbound marketing is inherently less focused than inbound marketing. You’re putting out a message to a range of consumers you don’t know. Unlike inbound marketing, where the consumer chooses to engage with your content or website, you’re putting a message out to consumers who don’t necessarily know you or your brand. 

It’s more important than ever to identify who you want to talk to, so you can craft ads, emails, and events that speak to those ideal leads. 

That means developing accurate buyer personas. 

If you’re new to the buyer persona game, we’ve got a handy step-by-step guide to developing your buyer personas that should help you out.

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In general, you want to figure out who your ideal client is:

  • How old they are
  • What their job title is
  • What industry they work in
  • What their personal life looks like
  • What their personal and professional goals are
  • What challenges they face

When you have a clear picture of who you want to market to, it’s much easier to develop an outbound lead generation strategy that will still work to bring in the qualified leads you want, rather than just anyone on the internet. 

02. Create Targeted Messaging

Again, the danger of outbound marketing is always drawing in leads you don’t want.

Whether you’re developing an ad or an email campaign, you know what those buyer persona’s pain points are.

Develop content that speaks to their interests, their pain points, and their goals. 

The more tailored your content is to your buyer personas, the more you’ll encourage those qualified leads to reach out and talk to your team. It’ll also be easier for unqualified leads to see that they’re not a fit for what you’re offering. 

There is harm in creating ad copy that’s too generic. The less specific your messaging, the more likely you are to pull in buckets of unqualified leads. 

While it might seem like you’re getting a ton of leads, and that might be exciting for a minute, your sales team will quickly notice that these leads aren’t useful to them. 

Unqualified leads, especially those gained through outbound marketing tactics, are expensive. They cost money to convert, and then they cost your sales team time to connect with, only to find they’re not a good fit.

To avoid a lot of extra work for your sales team, and to maximize your outbound marketing budget, targeted messaging is an essential outbound lead generation practice that works to pull in just the qualified leads your sales team can close. 

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buyer persona example red

The outbound lead generation best practice that helps eliminate unqualified leads is messaging. You know who your buyer personas are now — craft messaging that speaks directly to them. 

Whether you’re developing an ad or an email campaign, you know what those buyer persona’s pain points are.

Develop content that speaks to their interests, their pain points, and their goals. 

The more tailored your content is to your buyer personas, the more you’ll encourage those qualified leads to reach out and talk to your team. It’ll also be easier for unqualified leads to see that they’re not a fit for what you’re offering. 

There is harm in creating ad copy that’s too generic. The less specific your messaging, the more likely you are to pull in buckets of unqualified leads. 

While it might seem like you’re getting a ton of leads, and that might be exciting for a minute, your sales team will quickly notice that these leads aren’t useful to them. 

Unqualified leads, especially those gained through outbound marketing tactics, are expensive. They cost money to convert, and then they cost your sales team time to connect with, only to find they’re not a good fit.

To avoid a lot of extra work for your sales team, and to maximize your outbound marketing budget, targeted messaging is an essential outbound lead generation practice that works to pull in just the qualified leads your sales team can close. 

03. Complete Quality Keyword Research

The success of paid advertising, whether it’s Google PPC or Facebook advertising, relies on you choosing the keywords that your ideal buyers are searching. 

That’s why keyword research is an outbound lead generation best practice. The better your keyword research, the more likely your outbound marketing ads are to perform well. 

And let’s remember, you’re paying for these ads. The better your ad targeting, the less you’ll spend to pull in outbound leads that are qualified and ready to buy. 

keyword research ananlytics

If you’re new to keyword research, Google’s Keyword Planner is a great place to start. The tool makes it easy to find keywords relevant to your company, industry, or product, and it tells you at a glance how much the average bid cost is per keyword. 

If you’re new to keyword research, Google’s Keyword Planner is a great place to start. The tool makes it easy to find keywords relevant to your company, industry, or product, and it tells you at a glance how much the average bid cost is per keyword. 

A few paid keyword tips to keep in mind:

  • If you’re looking to drive sales and conversions, look for keywords that show buyer intent. These are usually highly-specific searches, like your exact product number, or a brand name. A search like “Size 9 Women’s Nike Training Shoes” is one with great buyer intent. The person typing in that query knows exactly what they want, they just have to figure out where to buy it. 

 

  • If you have a smaller budget, choose long-tail keywords. These keywords typically have a lower bid cost but can deliver more qualified leads. Though you’ll probably see fewer clicks on the keyphrase I used above than something like “women’s shoes”, the clicks you do get will be much more qualified. 
  • Look for high search volume, low competition. These keywords will be cheaper to bid on, but with a high search volume, you’ll still get in front of plenty of potential leads.
  • What are your competitors doing? If keyword research has you stumped, look into what your competitors are bidding on. Tools like SEMRush and Spyfu can help you out here. 

04. Manage Up-to-Date Contact Lists

Unlike advertising, email marketing is a tactic where you know something about the people you’re emailing. 

They gave you their email address for a reason, and that means you can use the context you have on those contacts to deliver relevant, specific messaging. 

But, targeted email marketing only works if you have up-to-date, organized contact lists. 

You could have the best email workflows and campaigns the world has ever seen. But if you’re working with out-of-date contact lists, your emails will always miss the mark. 

Contact list management is the dishwashing of digital marketing — no one wants to do it, but somebody has to. Click To Tweet Though it can feel like a pain to your marketing team, it’s important to run through those contact lists regularly, at least once a quarter. 

Just like you might split up the work of washing the dishes at home, consider breaking up contact list management into smaller tasks. 

Have your sales team diligently re-categorize leads after they close. If your marketing team is working with a lead and they go cold or transfer up to sales, encourage them to adjust that contact’s status immediately. 

If everyone pitches in just a little bit, it becomes much easier to manage contact lists. When you get to that quarterly list grooming session, it won’t be nearly so difficult or time-consuming. 

No matter how you do it, make sure you’re managing and updating your contact lists regularly. Email marketing is responsible for some of the highest outbound lead conversions — managing your leads effectively is an outbound lead generation best practice you just can’t overlook. 

05. Choose the Outbound Marketing Platforms that Best Serve Your Lead Generation Goals

Every outbound marketing platform is different. That means they’re not all perfect for your lead generation goals. 

Facebook is different from Linkedin, and both of those social media platforms deliver significantly different results than a webinar, industry event, or direct mail campaign. 

The fifth and possibly most important outbound lead generation best practice I’ll leave you with today is this: choose the outbound marketing platform that best serves your lead generation goals. 

To develop an effective outbound marketing strategy that delivers the leads you want, you need to use only the platforms that will serve your goals. Here’s a quick look at what I’m talking about: 

  • Email Marketing. Can deliver qualified leads that close, but you first need a list of contacts. 
  • Facebook Advertising. Great for raising brand awareness and driving leads to your website, but less likely to deliver immediate sales. 
  • Instagram Advertising. Delivers brand awareness, but not as great at driving conversions. 
  • Google Advertising. Delivers qualified leads to your site, and depending on the keywords you bid on, can produce great conversion and close rates. 
  • LinkedIn Advertising. Delivers highly qualified leads, and gets you in front of the professionals you want, but can be more expensive, with a lower likelihood of conversion. 

This is just a general overview of a few digital outbound marketing tactics. 

Each of those platforms does offer ways for you to develop campaigns that are more directed at awareness, driving web traffic, leads, or conversions, but it’s important to know that they don’t all work the same way, and each platform has its unique niche of benefits.  

For example, if you’re a manufacturing company looking to invest in account-based marketing tactics, Instagram probably isn’t the platform for you. LinkedIn and email marketing are likely to be more successful at targeting the key companies and positions you already know you want to get in front of. 

While every outbound marketing platform provides value, it’s an important outbound lead generation best practice to select and invest in only those platforms that align with your goals. 

If you’re having trouble deciding which platform is best suited to your outbound lead generation goals, look back at your buyer personas. 

Where do your ideal buyers hang out online? Are they avid Instagram shoppers, or are they researching solutions on Google? Maybe they’re big networkers, always looking to connect with someone new on Linkedin or Facebook. 

You’ve spent the time developing killer buyer personas. Don’t forget about them — use them to help guide your outbound marketing strategy. 

When it comes to developing an outbound marketing strategy that delivers qualified leads, your best bet is to pair those fast-acting outbound marketing platforms with inbound marketing strategy. By defining your buyer personas, taking the time to research the keywords you plan to bid on, and by tailoring your messaging to the platforms and people you want to talk to, you’ll start to see the outbound lead generation you’ve been looking for. 

We hope these outbound lead generation best practices help you optimize your strategy to pull in more of the right leads. If you have any more questions about inbound marketing, outbound marketing, or how to apply any of it, we’re here to help

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What is Lead Scoring? And Why It’s Important to Sales Success

What is Lead Scoring? And Why It’s Important to Sales Success

What is Lead Scoring? And Why It’s Important to Sales Success

What is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is the process of assigning value to each lead you generate. Most companies function on a point system — the better the fit and interest of the lead, the greater the score of that lead. Lead scoring helps marketing and sales align their efforts so that everyone is always putting the most effort towards the leads most likely to close. 

Why is Lead Scoring Important?

The thing about inbound marketing is that it brings leads in. When your inbound marketing strategy starts to hit its stride, you’ll have leads, most of which are qualified, flowing into your website and inbox. 

What’s your sales team to do with all of those leads?

Not all leads are the same, and your sales team only has so much time in a day to work to close them. Lead scoring helps give your marketing and sales team a common valuation system they can use to determine which of those leads to spend their time on. 

If you want to avoid sales team burnout, and help them close the most deals for their time, lead scoring is the way to go. 

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What Does Lead Scoring Look Like?

Most lead scoring models work on a point system. Essentially, you assign a point value to each attribute or quality a lead has. 

Points can be both positive and negative. (My Harry Potter fans get it, right?)

Let’s take a look at an example. 

Say you’re a home builder that builds custom homes for families in the Grand Rapids area. 

For the sake of this example, you’d likely assign positive points to lead with qualities or attributes like:

  • The lead is looking to build a home
  • The lead is a parent of two kids in elementary through high school
  • The lead is interested in Grand Rapids neighborhoods
  • The lead’s budget lines up with the average budget of your projects
  • The lead has looked at your gallery of projects
  • The lead has downloaded a content offer 
  • The lead regularly interacts with your monthly newsletters and email marketing campaigns

You might assign negative points if:

  • The lead wants to build outside of your service area (that’s probably -10 points)
  • The lead has a budget far below the projects you prefer to build
  • The lead hasn’t interacted with your website

As points come together for each lead, those with a higher score are going to be the most qualified leads. 

Two Things to Remember When Developing a Lead Scoring Model

Lead scoring will differ from company to company, depending on your product, the industries you work in, and more. There’s a lot that goes into developing a solid lead scoring model, so we’ll put together another blog that goes into detail on lead scoring models.

For now, there are two major categories that help you define the quality of any lead: fit and interest. 

Scoring a Lead’s Fit

A lead’s fit means how well they fit your product or service. If they’re in your service area, they work in the right industry, and they have the right job title or role at their company, then they probably fit your buyer persona. It’s likely that they’re a good fit for your product or service. 

You’d think that’d make them an excellent lead, and that they should have a high lead score, right?

Not exactly. 

This is where interest comes in.

Scoring a Lead’s Interest

It’s important to account for a lead’s fit and interest when you’re scoring leads. 

Has that lead engaged with your website? How often? Are they interacting with key content offers, and have they looked at your pricing page a few times? 

These are signs that lead has an interest in your product or service. 

How to Handle Different Levels of Fit & Interest When Scoring Leads

Okay, so every lead is going to have different levels of fit and interest.

What do you do if one has more interest, but isn’t a great fit? Or if a lead is a great fit, but doesn’t seem engaged with your brand?

Here’s a quick look:

  • If a lead has great interest and great fit, they’re a high priority lead and should receive a high score. This is the lead your sales team should work first. 
  • If a lead seems like a great fit, but they haven’t interacted much with your marketing team or website, they could still be a great lead, but they should be lower on your sales team’s priority list. This is a lead that marketing should work with to nurture a bit more before they hand them off to sales. 
  • If a lead has a great interest in your product or service, but aren’t a great fit — maybe they’re not a decision-maker, or maybe they’re in an industry that doesn’t tend to do well with your product or service, they’re probably a great candidate for some automated marketing and sales activities.

How Do You Keep Track of Lead Scores?

So you’ve figured out what lead attributes are valuable, which aren’t, and have a basic idea of how you plan to start your lead scoring model.

How will you keep track of your lead scoring model and the scores of each of your leads?

This is a ton of information, both to figure out and to keep track of. 

Your two greatest options are to 1) invest in a CRM that can keep track of all that information for you or 2) start manual lead scoring. 

Software or CRM Like HubSpot

The easiest way to keep track of your lead scoring model is to use a CRM that helps you manage and organize each of those leads based on their score. HubSpot offers manual lead scoring for Marketing and Sales Professional, and predictive lead scoring for Marketing and Sales Enterprise. 

Both options are great. When you have manual lead scoring all set up, it’s easy for sales and marketing to see which leads are the highest priority.

You can check out how that works in this handy video from HubSpot:

With predictive lead scoring, HubSpot takes all that data you’ve been collecting and helps rank leads for you according to who has the best fit, the most interest, and a historical likelihood to close. 

Manual Lead Scoring

If your company isn’t in a place to invest in software tools like HubSpot, manual lead scoring is your best bet. I’d recommend creating a shared document that everyone on the marketing and sales team has contributed to and approved. Then, you’ll need to set up a process for scoring each lead. 

  • Should each sales team member score a lead as they come in?
  • Or maybe the marketing team should be the ones scoring leads. That way, they know which leads to send to sales, and which to keep nurturing.

No matter how you do it, it’s important to have a set, repeatable process that everyone understands. 

It might seem like a lot of work, and a lot to keep track of at first, but once you have a lead scoring model in place, it will eventually become second nature to marketing and sales to score those leads. 

If you’re relying primarily on manual lead scoring, it’s most important to ensure you’re keeping sales and marketing teams aligned. Great lead scoring is only effective if both marketing and sales have the same shared understanding of what makes a good lead. 

Remember that as your business grows and changes, you’ll start to pull in new leads for different products and services. 

Your lead scoring model will need to adapt to that. 

Make sure marketing and sales have the time set aside to work together and make sure your lead scoring model is always working to clearly define the most qualified leads. 

Why Lead Scoring is Important to Sales Success

So there you have it — what lead scoring is, and a general idea of how to start developing and implementing your own lead scoring model. But why is it important to sales?

Lead scoring makes it easy to see which incoming leads are most likely to close. That means your sales team spends less time nurturing leads, and more time closing. 

When they’re able to see at a glance the top qualified leads, and reach out and interact with those leads first, they’re spending their time in the way that will deliver the greatest impact to your bottom line. 

Lead scoring is a helpful tool for any company looking to allocate their team’s time to the activities that will deliver the greatest ROI.

While there’s a lot of upfront effort that goes into developing a lead scoring model that works for your company, the payoff is that your marketing and sales teams are:

  1. Aligned on which leads are the most valuable to your team, and
  2. Spending the majority of their time on the leads that are likely to deliver the greatest return. 

Have more questions about lead scoring, or about setting up lead scoring in your HubSpot portal? We’re here to help.

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5 Proven Lead Generation Tactics for Construction Companies

5 Proven Lead Generation Tactics for Construction Companies

5 Proven Lead Generation Tactics for Construction Companies

Lead generation is a key metric many construction companies are working to improve. But, like anything, it’s easier said than done. You want to boost lead generation, but you don’t just want any leads. You want qualified leads — people and businesses who are looking to start the kinds of projects that deliver the greatest returns for your construction company. 

If you’re working to boost lead generation for your construction company, here are 5 proven tactics that won’t just get you more leads, but more of the leads that drive revenue.

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As you might expect, quality lead generation starts with your website:

01. Optimize Your Website to Convert The Construction Leads You Want

Your website is your construction company’s greatest lead conversion tool. Bar none. 

Sure, you’ve been getting a ton of word-of-mouth referrals. But where do you think those referrals go the minute someone recommends your construction company?

Your website. They go to your website. 

Even if it’s just to figure out what number to call, any 21st-century consumer is going to Google you before they talk to anyone on your sales or project team. 

When they do make it to your website, it’s important that there are plenty of opportunities to convert those leads. 

Beyond just word-of-mouth-referrals, you should also be optimizing your website to convert leads coming in from the web. 

If your goal is to increase lead generation, word-of-mouth-referrals shouldn’t be your only stream of leads. You should be optimizing your website and marketing strategy to draw in more traffic (we’ll get to that in #2), and you should be utilizing conversion tools that can help you generate those leads once new visitors make it to your site.

Three key conversion tools you’ll want to implement on your construction company’s website include:

Calls-to-Action

This is the best way to generate leads from your website. A call-to-action is any button or page on your construction website that encourages a lead to take an action. Buttons like “Request a Quote” and “Get a Project Bid” are easy to implement, and they make it really easy to generate leads. 

When calls-to-action are available and visible on your site, you’re making it easy for a qualified lead to convert when they’re ready to talk to your sales team. 

Content Offers

Calls-to-action are a great way to convert qualified leads who are getting ready to make a purchasing decision. But, requesting a quote might be too much to ask of someone who’s just started researching construction companies for their project.

For those visitors, a softer conversion opportunity is necessary. That’s where content offers come in. 

Content offers are pieces of content you put on your website behind a gate. That gate is usually a contact form. Here’s a great example of a content offer that’s directed to contractors. 

If you were a contractor interested in saving money, this content offer might appeal to you. When you fill out your contact information, you get the offer, and the company gets your contact information. 

Voila — that’s a new lead. 

Content offers present qualified lead conversion opportunities, without your sales team having to do a single thing. They’re a great soft-conversion opportunity that can increase your construction company’s lead generation, without putting a lot of extra work on your sales team. 

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Conversational Marketing

Conversational marketing is another great conversion tool you can use to boost your construction company’s lead generation, while also saving your sales team some time qualifying leads. 

Implement conversational marketing tools, like a chatbot, on some of your more highly trafficked website pages. Your home page is a great idea, as well as any pages that showcase your previous work. 

If a potential lead thinks of any questions, or wants to know more about one of your past construction projects, all they have to do is type a message to the chatbot the minute they think of that question. 

The chatbot can either answer that question according your pre-set conversations, or someone on your sales team can respond directly through the chatbot. 

If that lead seems qualified, the chatbot can collect their contact information for your sales team to follow-up, and you’ve just generated another lead.

If the lead doesn’t seem qualified, your sales team can point them in the right direction, and they’re on their merry way immediately. This helps remove a lot of the unqualified leads that could be clogging up your sales pipeline.

Conversational marketing is a newer technology, but it’s a great way to remove any friction between the visitor to lead conversion. Most studies have shown that the easier it is for a visitor to get an answer to their question as they think of it, the more likely they are to continue the conversation and become a lead. 

Conversational marketing tools solve the challenge of providing the right response to a question at exactly the right time, by ensuring your website is always on, answering questions even when your sales team is out of the office. 

02. Create Content That Draws in More of the Right Leads

More traffic = more leads. 

And you get more traffic by putting out more content. 

I’m not going to go into the mechanics of blogging or content marketing, but if you want more info there, check out these resources:

The long and short of it is that if you’re putting out content that is:

a) targeted to keywords that people are searching for, and 

b) relevant to the questions your ideal leads are asking,

 you’re going to pull in more qualified traffic.

And when you have more qualified traffic coming to the website that you’ve already optimized with conversion opportunities (See step 1) you’re going to generate more leads. 

Topics like, “How to Determine A Budget for My Business Construction Project?”, or “How Long Will My Office/Hospital/Apartment Building Construction Project Take?” are things your ideal buyers are probably searching for. 

If those don’t sound great to you, then what do your customers typically ask? Ask your sales team what questions they field the most when it comes to starting a new construction project. 

When you’re writing blogs and articles that answer those questions, you’ll start pulling in the qualified traffic you want. When they do, your conversion tools will be ready and waiting to help convert those visitors into leads. 

03. Put Effort Into Local SEO

Most commercial construction companies function in a specific geographical range.

Even if you’re a large industrial construction company, you’re probably restricted to a region of the country, like the Midwest or the Pacific Northwest.  

While you want to boost your construction company’s lead generation, you don’t want to pull in leads that aren’t relevant to your company. 

Leads from other countries or from regions you don’t serve are a waste of time. 

A key way to ensure your lead generation efforts are only working to pull in the right leads is to put effort into your local SEO. 

That means, tailoring your digital presence — your online listings and your website — to clearly state where you work. 

Google My Business

Your Google My Business listing is a key place to start. 

Anyone who searches “commercial construction company near me” is going to pull up a search engine results page that highlights companies with Google My Business Listings. For example, I searched digital marketing in our area, Grand Haven, and three marketing agencies popped up on top. 

When you click on Evenbound, you pull up our Google My Business Listing.

This is a free listing that Google puts together to help users find the best business for whatever service they’re searching for. It’s got everything from our hours to our website to pictures of our team.  

The more optimized your listing, the better. 

At the very least, you should claim your construction company’s Google My Business Listing and adjust your service area details. 

The service area business details allow you to say what areas you serve customers in, where you business is located, and more. 

This helps Google figure out where you are, which in turn helps you. When Google knows where you are and what areas you serve, they’re more likely to show your business when someone searches for a commercial construction company in their area. 

When that happens, you get more qualified, local leads.

Pro Tip: If you can, try to get some reviews going on your Google My Business Listing. As you can see from our results, our high rating put us at the top of local search results. Here’s some more info about how customer reviews can drive quality local search results

Optimize Your Site for Local SEO Too

It’s a good idea to optimize your website for local SEO too, especially if you want to rank ahead of the competition. This is another great way to make sure you’re boosting your lead generation potential for the right, qualified leads. A few ways to optimize your construction company’s website to draw in more local leads include: 

  • Add location pages to your website. If you’ve got multiple offices or locations, create a dedicated page for each, and include each location’s unique hours and service options. This will help you rank well for both locations.  
  • Develop local content. People looking to complete a commercial construction project in your area probably have questions about what they should prepare for when it comes to local building codes and requirements. Developing content that answers those location-specific questions can help boost your presence in local search results. 
  • Make sure your construction company’s name, address, and phone number are consistent across the web. This makes it easier for people to find you, and to establish where your company is. 

Putting just a little effort into your construction company’s local SEO can go a long way. The more optimized you are for local search, the more qualified traffic you’ll get. And as we talked about earlier, more qualified traffic = more qualified leads. 

04. Use PPC and Social Media Advertising Intuitively

Up until now, these lead generation tactics have been largely focused on organic efforts. 

Paid advertising is also a great way to generate leads if you use it well. 

Unlike organic search efforts, which take a bit of time to gain traction, PPC and social media advertising can generate those leads you want, right now. This makes paid advertising a great supplement to any inbound marketing strategy looking to boost lead generation quickly. 

Paid search and social media advertising are both great options for construction companies. 

PPC is a great lead generation tactic because you can pick and choose the keywords that you want to bid on. 

For smaller PPC budgets, we recommend bidding on keywords that signal buyer intent, like “commercial contractor quote”, or “commercial construction timeline”.

Though you might not get as many leads from these long-tail keywords, the lead you do get are likely to be highly qualified, and more likely to convert to sales. Since you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, there’s not much to lose by giving PPC a shot.  

Social media advertising is great for construction companies because it’s highly visual, and so are your projects. 

You can highlight images of the beautiful buildings you’ve completed, while also using Facebook, Instagram (yes, Instagram can work for commercial construction companies), and LinkedIn’s robust targeting features to send those ads out to just the leads you know are likely to be interested in your commercial construction services. 

05. Analyze Your Efforts and Optimize for Better Lead Generation in the Future

The best way to boost your construction company’s lead generation is to take cues from your past efforts. 

What lead generation tactics are working best for your construction company? Which tactics flopped?

It’s important to keep track of your efforts and analyze what works and what doesn’t, so you can continue to generate leads more efficiently in the future. 

We always recommend a CRM to help you keep track of and analyze data associated with your marketing and lead generation efforts, but you can also use the people you talk with every day to figure out what’s working to generate leads for your company. 

Here’s how:

  • Talk to new leads — how did they find you? This will help give you a better idea of where those leads are coming from. When you know that, you’ll be able to figure out which of your lead generation efforts are working to deliver new leads. 
  • Talk to customers — why did they choose your construction company? Did they love a guide or content offer they found on your site? Were you the first result on Google? What tipped the scales for them and made them choose your construction company over the competition? Answers to these questions should also give you insight into what lead generation tactics are working for your team. 
  • Talk to your sales team — what efforts, tools, or platforms are delivering the most qualified leads? Your sales team works with leads and customers every day. They’ll know, from talking to these people, what information is most relevant to them, and what’s helping to convert new visitors into leads. 

The better you understand your current lead generation efforts, and their effectiveness, the more intuitively you’ll be able to tailor your efforts in the future.

Take the lead generation tactics that are working the best, and allocate a bit more time and budget to them. If something isn’t working, take a break from it, or come at it from a different angle. 

Construction companies often struggle to generate qualified digital leads, either because they lack an online presence, or because they’re not exactly sure what leads they want. If you can nail those two things, and implement even just a few of these lead generation tactics, you’ll start to see a boost in the leads coming to your construction company. 

Looking to boost your construction company’s lead generation potential? The Evenbound team is here to help. We’ve worked with a number of construction companies to boost site traffic, align sales and marketing, and most importantly to generate and close leads.

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Understanding the HubSpot Flywheel

Understanding the HubSpot Flywheel

Understanding the HubSpot Flywheel

If you’ve been using HubSpot services or inbound marketing for a while, or if you’ve done any kind of marketing or sales work in the past, you’re probably familiar with some sort of funnel. A marketing funnel, a sales funnel, a buyer’s journey funnel — the list goes on. 

For years, we’ve all used a funnel model to track our marketing and sales leads’ progress towards making a purchase. And while that worked alright, you’ve gotta admit it’s pretty linear. 

People come in at the top of the funnel, and they leave at the bottom. 

While that’s a nice, tidy way to think of leads, prospects, and customers, it doesn’t do a lot to keep the momentum going. As soon as a customer makes a sale, they drop out of your sales funnel, never to be seen again. 

But, we know that pulling in and converting a new customer can cost 5x more than retaining an existing customer. The marketing or sales funnel just doesn’t illustrate this well. 

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What is the HubSpot Flywheel?

It’s an updated method of conceptualizing how your marketing and sales efforts affect your customers and your company’s overall growth. 

It looks like this:

You’ll notice some similarities here with the original HubSpot inbound marketing funnel, but also some differences. 

Let’s talk a little about what each of those stages mean:

Attract

The attract stage focuses on drawing in new, qualified visitors, usually to your website. 

This is fundamental to inbound marketing methodology — drawing visitors in with high-quality content that answers their questions and solves their pain points is considerably more effective than pushing your message out to a general, unqualified audience. 

To attract qualified visitors, you’ll want to:

  • Identify who a qualified visitor is — what are their pain points? What are they looking for? What information would be helpful to them?
  • Develop content that addresses those questions and pain points. 
  • Publish and promote content on your website, social media platforms, and more. 

Your goal in the attract stage is to draw more visitors to your site, introduce them to the product or service you offer, and then answer any questions they may have about it. The key here is drawing in qualified visitors, which you achieve by developing targeted content that is specific and relevant to the leads you’re hoping to pull in. 

Engage

From the attract stage, you continue to circle visitors through the HubSpot flywheel by engaging them in a specific, personalized way that delivers the best experience possible. 

The engage stage focuses on making a connection with those visitors as they become qualified leads. You may provide content offers and more in-depth resources that help them through the consideration stage of buying, or you may engage directly with potential leads and existing clients over social media platforms and through email marketing strategies. 

Engaging with your leads and customers helps build authority and trust. When you have a solid, positive relationship with new leads and even existing customers, they’re more likely to turn to your company when they’re ready to make a purchasing decision. 

Delight

Once a lead has chosen to purchase your product or service, you continue to delight them with the highest caliber service, and additional content that helps them better use your product and engage positively with your company. 

This turns your customers into promoters: they love your company and the products you deliver and are happy to share their great experience with other consumers. 

Each stage of the flywheel highlights a specific stage of the buying process, and there are specific inbound marketing tactics you can use at each one. We wrote a guide about which inbound marketing tactics to use at each stage of the HubSpot flywheel, if you want more info there. 

How the HubSpot Flywheel Is Different

Okay, so now we get the general premise of the inbound marketing flywheel  — attract, engage, and delight. It’s not so different from the old-school funnel, right?

Well, not exactly.

Though many of the stages are the same, the fundamental premise of the flywheel vs. a funnel is what’s important. 

Rather than thinking of each customer having a specific start and end point with your company, they’re always at the center of your flywheel. 

Your communications with a customer shouldn’t end just because they’ve made a purchase. By keeping that customer at the center of the flywheel, and continuing to deliver content, support, and service that’s relevant to their needs, you keep your flywheel spinning. 

Customers who made a purchase might flow automatically back into the attract or engage stage as they consider additional services or products that your company offers. 

It’s this fundamental change — putting the customer at the center of your flywheel, and visualizing it as a continuous circle, rather than a funnel — that sets the flywheel apart as a more efficient and productive marketing and sales model. 

Check out HubSpot’s transformation video for a visual:

You’ll see in the funnel, the customer makes up a very small percentage of the total funnel. What’s more, they’re almost portrayed as an afterthought. 

Why the HubSpot Flywheel Works

The inbound marketing flywheel puts customers at the heart of everything you do. 

You can use the positive relationships you’ve built with existing customers to attract and engage new leads, convert new clients, and delight customers that help you continue attracting new ones. 

When done properly, the flywheel spins in perpetual motion. 

The flywheel lends itself much more to a holistic inbound marketing approach, where every customer, lead, and visitor matters. Because really, they do. 

When you’re visualizing your marketing and sales efforts in a flywheel, rather than in a funnel, it’s much easier to remember how important each contact is to your company’s growth. 

We hope this blog helps you understand the HubSpot Flywheel just a little bit better. If you’ve got more questions about how the flywheel works, or about how to pair it with your existing marketing and sale processes, the Evenbound team is here to help.

Let us know what kind of support you’re looking for — we’re happy to answer questions about anything ranging from marketing to sales to HubSpot services, and even company growth. 

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