Establishing your own business sounds attractive. You could always use freedom of time and reap the benefits of operating your own business. Especially for days of uncertainty, perhaps such a move never sounded more appealing to you.
However, operating a business, especially during the startup stages, may sound overwhelming, from the paperwork to hiring the right fit for all your roles, rhythmically orchestrating each department to operate smoothly and independently. Now the bittersweet tasks of driving sales kick in – the bloodline of every business.
If you are up for the challenge, then here are some of the best ways to generate revenue at this time of age and technology.
4 Types of Popular Business Formats
So, to know what you’re getting into, it is best to study the types of business formats. Understanding each would enable you to decide which would work best for the nature of your business and determine how much capital you need to invest.
These are four formats:
1. Sole Proprietorship
This type of business format is owned by one person only and is the easiest to file. Because there is no profit-sharing, the process is simple. What you are required to pay is a self-employment tax against our income. It also says that you are responsible for all assets, liability, profit, and loss. Since this is a solo venture, you can use your name as the name of your business.
In this type of business format, the owners are two or more people. With this partnership, each shares managing the business, including all profits, losses, assets, and liabilities. Partners can also enjoy flow-through taxation benefits, meaning their income is accepted as the owners’ income and is only taxed once.
This format comes in three types:
1. General Partnership – A minimum of two and a maximum of twenty people own the business. These owners have unanimously agreed to share the company’s profits, losses, assets, and liabilities. Legally, partners have unlimited liability, so their assets are at risk and can be sued for the entire business debts of the partnership.
2. Limited Partnership – What differentiates this partnership from others is that partners are allowed limited liability. This means the associates agreed to establish a business that is accountable only for the amount they invested. The limited or silent partners have stakes in the company but have no direct control and are not involved in decision-making.
3. Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) – This partnership is the same as general partnerships because the associates are each responsible for business operations; however, they are not personally accountable for what other partners do, nor are they liable for debts to the business. This business format is usually common among law or accounting firms
A corporation is led by an elected board of directors (BOD), operating on a separate legal body. This BOD is elected by shareholders, the owners of the corporation. With this business format, it is a requirement for shareholders, directors, and officers to decide on how the business operations will be directed and executed through formal votes. This occurs via regular meetings, which are recorded in corporate minutes. There are three types:
a. C Corporation – The most common type wherein the corporation is taxed as a business entity. The shareholders receive profits that come with individual taxes.
b. S Corporation – This is essentially the same as that of the first type of corporation but consists of a maximum of 100 shareholders only. Since this corporation is a pass-through entity, profits are taxed only once.
c. Non-Profit Corporation – These are the charitable groups that are exempted from taxes. The incoming cash flow of such organizations is used to spend on its operations and projects.
4. Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
Among all business formats, LLC is the newest type wherein all the best features of the first three are combined. With this, tax benefits of sole proprietorship and limited liability of corporations are retained. Associates have the freedom to choose which tax treatment they prefer, and flow-through taxation Is maintained as long as the business remains as an S-corporation. Since it exists as its legal entity, the owners are protected from business operations and debts.
Tips for Attracting that Important B2B Client
Attracting B2B clients is never easy. This is because the market you are dealing with is the ultimate decision-makers, the director, executive, or business owner. These people are experienced, but they are also knowledgeable and well aware of the tactics sales and marketing people use.
If they are not quite familiar with the product or service you are pitching, you can be sure that they have done their research thoroughly before your set meeting and are prepared with questions of how your offering can boost their business.
If that sounds daunting, the good news is there is something you can do! You just have to brush up and update your marketing strategies targeting B2B so that you could make a good impression and convert this to a sale.
Here are some strategies you could employ:
Thanks to advances in technology, face-to-face pitching of products and services are a thing of the past. With a website’s live chat or apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, you can quickly attend to your customer’s queries and concerns no matter the distance. Not only is this more scalable and cost-effective, but you are also connecting, engaging, and converting leads with personalized conversations in real-time.
These days where everyone views everything online, customer recommendations are applied when your customer shares his or her experience about your product or service in the reviews. This is an effective way of attracting B2B clients because they are quite thorough in researching a product or service, and many good reviews would go a long way in convincing them to make a purchase.
Strong SEO Strategy
Search engine optimization (SEO) remains an effective marketing strategy for promoting online presence and improving visibility among search engines. When googling for information on your product or service, it would certainly be attracting B2B clients if your company would be the top or at least within the top 10 that comes out on the first page. Having an SEO specialist to come up with the target keywords can help ensure that this would happen.
Leverage of Big DATA and AI
Management in companies has shifted to looking for personalized campaigns from brands pitching their product or service. With this shift, companies have started to invest in data-driven marketing strategies to obtain personalized information and offer them to B2B clients.
Such data is generated from website visits, emails, live chats, and online form submissions. All these give out valuable insights about customers, especially in terms of preference and buying behaviors. Further advancements in technology enable companies to leverage big data employing artificial intelligence (AI) marketing strategies. This sheds light on customer behavior which can aid in developing account-based personalized campaigns necessary for attracting B2B clients.
The purpose of a website is to draw visitors and convert them to buyers. Aside from an attractive design, your website should have interesting quality content, detailed descriptions, good reviews, and images and videos with clear resolutions. Easy navigation of your website and an effective conversion rate optimization strategy helps in providing a good user experience; thereby, boosting revenue.
Effective Ways to Develop SaaS Leads
Because of the different nature of industries and products, it is inevitable for best generation methods to vary significantly.
Fortunately, some common techniques have been discovered and have proven to be effective ways to develop SaaS leads. Here are six (6) of these strategies that companies can leverage:
Premium Content Creation
It has been proven time and again that great content works, and SaaS marketing is no exception. Premium content like eBooks, eGuides, and whitepapers still work as best lead generation opportunities.
How does this work? Here’s an example scenario: You provide essential educational content, like a free e-book they can download about the benefits of the services you offer. In exchange, your website viewers give basic but important details about themselves, such as their name, email address, company name, and job title, through a landing page.
The important thing to remember about creating premium content is ensuring that the information you are giving out will value. If you are offering outsourcing services, make content that will clearly explain what benefits a business owner will gain from you and improve his company’s performance.
Integration with Other Products
If you want to speed up generating new SaaS leads, integrating with other software has proven to be quite effective. How do you do this integration? One of the best sources is your customers. You can post a question and directly ask them what tools they would like your software to integrate.
For sure, they would be happy to give you recommendations, and interaction with them would also make them feel assured that a real live person is indeed handling the website that they are following.
If your customers are not as massive, it pays to be on the lookout for software that compliments yours. If you are into accounting software, integrating with invoicing software would be ideal. Remember that when you integrate with good complimentary software, you strengthen your reputation and attract new customers who are already familiar with the tools you are integrating with.
Excellent Free Trial Offering
Offering a free trial may raise some eyebrows as people who did your free trial may not precisely convert to customers.
Though this may be true, there is also another side to the coin. The very people who took up your free trial offering may not be ready to make a purchase but will see your product’s potential. These people are sure to share their free trial experience with their network, who, in turn, will visit your website to experience the free trial themselves.
The point here is to continually get people to go into your site and try the free trial because they are that steady stream of SaaS leads that you need.
Regular Webinar Hosting
An effective way of engaging visitors to your website is by hosting webinars. As attending a webinar entails time commitment, you can be sure that these visitors are interested in what your company has to offer. Consequently, the SaaS leads generated from this activity are surely more promising.
If you get industry experts to host your webinars regularly, you get to add more credibility to your company; thereby, establishing trust among your audience. All these contribute to building an excellent reputation for your webinars which people will attend willingly and repeatedly.
Continuous Conversion Rate Optimization
When we say don’t let conversion rate optimization stop, we mean critically looking at what lead generation methods you currently have and continuously looking for ways to improve them. Never underestimate what even the smallest changes can do because they can have impressive impacts.
Something as simple as changing the button’s color or changing the CTA button from “Give Us a Call!” to “Call Us Today!” can alter the response of your website visitor. The new CTA has a more urgent tone and may make him click the button immediately.
Note that conversion rate optimization is a cycle. There are never-ending ways to improve, and with the always-evolving market, you have to keep up with the latest marketing strategies to compete effectively.
What does it mean to guestpost? It is touching base with publishers, influencers, and bloggers and asking them to feature the content you wrote.
Guestposts offer an author bio where you can tell them who you are and what products or services your company offers. This is an excellent platform to drop the link to your website to drive traffic and generate SaaS leads.
Groove has reached more than a million people with this method, to cite some examples, impacting lead generation with lots of website visitors signing up for their free trial. Buffer also used the said tactic and succeeded in engaging their first 100,000 customers.
Top 5 Best Lead Generation Tools
In this age of technology, it is no surprise that there seem to be new B2B lead generation tools emerging every day. With the list growing daily, how then can you determine which is the best?
Many of these tools have withstood the test of time in terms of efficacy. Here are five of the best lead generation tools that have made it to the list:
A very user-friendly website, Visitor Queue offers visitors features that make up a seamless experience, especially since it allows direct generation of high-quality leads from your website automatically. Moreover, its lead generation software is capable of giving 30 days worth of leads!
Visitor Queue starts its task of tracking its activity and adding its information into your “queue” of new leads when a visitor browses through your website. From this, you can obtain his contact details, a report of his website activity, and a list of his company’s social media channels for easier ways of reaching out.
How can you hunt for good B2B leads? Hunter is on the list of best lead generation tools for that purpose!
It enables you to look for a person’s name or company so that you could find their email address and touch base with them right away. Not bad in giving you possible leads. It gets better because this lead generation tool allows you to browse all email addresses of a company!
Hubspot is a familiar name in the internet scene, and making it on the list of best lead generation tools comes as no surprise.
It has an array of features that aids you in generating, organizing, and closing leads, but its best feature lies in its ability to track email opens. When a subscriber opens an email, you enter the picture directly or adding them to a segmented email campaign. This enables immediate contact and, with the right content, can entice this user to convert.
This is different among the lead generation tools in this list because it is a live chat software. This means there is real-time interaction with website visitors while simultaneously capturing user details that aids in closing a sale. Just a few minutes is all it takes for the user to sign up, install and customize according to their preference.
It comes with perks as you, too, can customize the look and feel of the chat widget, depending on the theme of its page. It also allows you to create support and sales bundles because they can be integrated with multiple platforms simultaneously.
Hyperio.ai is a b2b lead generation company with a methodology based on best practices derived from years of experience offering B2B services to companies of different nature and focuses. With a workflow that is based on its gathered data and insights, their campaigns always incorporate:
- Clear definition of the target population
- Selection of appropriate content pieces
- Timely schedule and frequency of reach tailored to customer persona and attributes
- Selection of appropriate means of communication based on buyer persona
Top 5 Winning B2B Sales Strategies
As you know, B2B buyers are good researchers. And that’s inevitable because of easy access to information about the products or services you are offering. Reading about reviews has become a credible source because these are accounts of real-life customers who have experienced your product.
The paradigm shift now is B2B buyers trust these reviews more than a sales representative; therefore, the latter needs to focus on establishing trust with their customers.
Here are six B2B sales strategies that could win you this trust:
Research Target Market and Prospects.
When you have your list of qualified leads, do your research before making contact. Find out first which among the list are the most qualified. You can do this by visiting their website and following them on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Learn about the goals, challenges, and pain points of their company. If you are quite thorough in researching, you just might get an idea of their budget. All these will aid you in preparing a sales pitch that would clearly show what benefits your product or services can bring to your target’s table; thereby, making it value for money.
Provide Sales Reps with Product and Industry Background
Your sales reps must have detailed knowledge about the product or service you are offering, your company, and the industry you belong to. B2B customers ask very relevant questions; thus, it is important that they would be able to give satisfactory answers. Moreover, this gives them confidence as they go about the inquiry, and they can successfully tailor their conversation according to that customer’s needs.
Among B2B sales strategies, it is recommended to provide sales reps a hard copy of your company brochure with images and detailed descriptions of your product or service so that they can carry it with them and serve as their reference.
Now that you have the necessary background, it is time to contact your most qualified leads. This time, the intention for the call is to gather more details about them, such as their goals and challenges. This can guide you in your consultation, and consequently, you can tailor your product or service to suit their needs and present it as a solution.
Listen more, talk less.
A basic rule in a normal, ordinary conversation also applies to making a sales pitch. Of course, you will be talking when you introduce your product or service and explain it to your B2B customer but keep in mind the golden rule among B2B sales strategies: Do 20% talking and let your customer do the remaining 80%. This shows that you have a genuine interest in customer concerns, not just closing a sales deal.
Make Use of Consultative Approach.
A new technique has emerged among effective B2B sales strategies: To Pitch is to Teach. In other words, your business relationship with your B2B customer goes both ways. They buy your product or avail of your service while you, in turn, can give them tips on how they can make their business flourish even more.
Of course, you do not share tips that would lead them away from you. Just focus on general suggestions that could be applied to any other business, like what online courses to take or helpful blogs that tackle the nature of their company.
7 Steps for Nailing Successful Sales
There are still times when it is difficult to convert a qualified lead into a closed sale. There is a definite need for varied knowledge and skills to convince your customers that the product or service you are offering is ideal for their business.
If you recall your business classes back in the day, textbooks have outlined a seven-step sales process that you can follow. However, keep in mind that this serves as a good start because customizing these steps and applying them to your business and kind of target customers is ultimately up to you.
In the process of sales strategies, the first step to take is prospecting. This involves finding possible customers and determining if they need the product or service you are offering and if they can afford it. This process of evaluation is called qualifying.
Remember that there are 6.8 customer stakeholders involved in a typical purchase, so it would be good to connect with numerous decision-makers. This is known as multi-threading. How do you identify these decision-makers? Account maps can help you in fulfilling this task.
In this second step of sales strategies, you will commence contact with our prospect, so preparation is vital. Gather data about the market and have a thorough presentation about your product and service to tailor it according to your potential customer needs.
The third step is critical among all seven sales strategies because you are already making your first contact with your likely customer. He can form an initial impression of you from this encounter.
Depending upon his preference, you can meet either face-to-face, over the phone, or in the video. Note that this first meeting involves three methods of approach:
- Premium Approach – This method would have you presenting your potential client with a gift this first meeting.
- Question Approach – With the second method, you ask your potential client a question to capture his interest.
- Product Approach – The third method involves you giving a free trial or sample to your potential client so he can evaluate it.
Presentation or Pitch
This step is the meat among all the sales strategies because you go all out to do your pitch. Aside from having an impressive deck presentation with complete relevant data, make sure that both features and benefits of your product or service are properly and conveyed.
Likewise, don’t forget the golden rule of talking only 30% and having the remaining 70% for your customer. Yes, you are pitching a sale, but listening would have you reacting accordingly to what your customer is saying or asking. This would make him feel that you sincerely care about his needs, not just closing a deal.
All salespeople aim, pray and hope for a positive response from a potential customer; however, getting objections is also a sad reality. While some customers may have closed the door, some need just a little more convincing.
Perhaps it may be a concern that needs clarification or some details left out. Either way, it is crucial that you would be able to determine the signs so that you would know when to continue with your efforts or to stop because it is a dead-end already.
Among the sales strategies, Closing is when you have the customer make his final decision to move forward or not but ultimately aiming for the former. There are three methods of doing this:
- Alternative Choice Closing – With this method, your customer has already closed the deal, and you are offering him payment options like “Will this be cash or charge?” or “Will you be paying the whole fee or in installments?
- Extra Inducement Closing – This method involves offering some perks to finally get your customer to close, like a discount, free trial, or even one month free of the product or service you are offering.
- Standing Room Close – With this method, some sense of urgency is created to feel that he has to purchase now. This could be something like “Offer lasts only until tomorrow!” or “Only three spots left!”
This is the last of the sales strategies, and assuming that you have already closed the deal, the follow-up stage comes next. This is necessary because aside from obviously still keeping you in contact with your prospect now-turned client, he can give you referrals. Plus, it pays always to keep good relations with all your customers because the ultimate long-term goal for sales is repeat business after all.
Benefits of Cost Per Lead
Also known as Pay Per Lead Marketing, the Cost Per Lead Model works as an online advertising method wherein one pays only for the leads. The advertisers pay only for visits who “convert” or sign up with their website. So, if you are an affiliate, you get paid by the number of visitors you could drive to your client’s site.
What are the benefits of the Cost Per Lead model? How does this help your business? Of course, the most obvious one is that you are paying for sure results – it is already a lead after all!
Other advantages are:
You get to save more.
The Cost Per Lead model has been proven to be more profitable because you only pay for the leads. Know its difference from Pay Per Click, though. While both do involve clicking through the website, the difference is the former gives you a qualified lead, while with the latter, the viewer may check your website but not sign up or convert at all.
Quality Traffic is Higher.
Your aim when it comes to traffic should be quality over quantity. Even if you have many website viewers or leads, it still does not count for much unless they convert. One of the benefits for Cost Per Lead is affiliates come with an established audience – whether these are social media influencers, vloggers, or even celebrities. They can give you profiles of their audience and determine whether they would become your potential customers.
Results are scalable.
Recording and monitoring your return on investment is easy. Set up an ad campaign with a fixed price per lead so you can find out how your net earnings are affected by each conversion.
There is longevity.
A good blog post can be shared, reposted, or retweeted in social media accounts over months or even years if you think about the times. A cost per lead can stay in your publisher’s platform for a long, long time. What’s more, for every interaction with your post, Google’s algorithm gives it a higher rank in its SERPS. This is one of the long-term benefits of Cost Per Lead because it generates new interest and even more leads!
There is Better Brand Awareness.
For every person who clicks on your website, there is a promotion of brand awareness. A blog post or social media campaign, such as Facebook Ads, can be a tool to drive leads to your website; however, an affiliate ad guarantees repeat business. Having people come back to your website time and time again to check for anything new you have to offer are benefits of Cost Per Lead that is a good long-term business goal.
Smart Strategies for Effective Lead Generation
Because of the increasing popularity of digital lead generation, many marketing specialists have been using it for generating qualified leads. Here are some effective lead generation strategies that would enable companies to get the best results of their lead generation strategy:
With over 90 billion emails daily, email marketing is considered among the most effective lead generation strategies. Not only can you send personalized emails to users who are most likely to have an interest in your products and services, you can also employ strategically targeted campaigns and send follow-ups based on their response.
Website/ Landing Pages
With the digital age we are in, it is not just enough to have an attractive website design to draw potential customers. Though your website and landing pages will initially attract them, unique and interesting content makes them stay and ultimately purchase. And how do you do this? Through optimization of your website or landing page, complete with Call to Action.
You have probably heard of this so many times, but the reason for that is because it works! Statistics have proven that unique, high-quality content is an effective lead generation strategy because it can draw in more customers.
Depending upon your website’s niche, make sure that you have content writers who can create content that your target market is sure to be interested in. Ideally, it should explain well the features and, more importantly, benefits of what you offer.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Along with great content are keywords that your writer must incorporate so that your website would rank number one, or at least be part of the top ten, once a user googles about your products or services. This process is known as Search Engine Optimization, and you would need an SEO Specialist to work with your content writer to achieve this number one rank.
Social Media Marketing
With over 50% of the world using social media practically every day, it is no wonder that social media marketing is among the effective lead generation strategies. Having interaction with prospects is effective because it makes viewers feel that they are handling the page and talking to them. Regular posting, engagement with prospects, and participation in popular groups are also sure-fire ways to generate more leads.
Paid Search or Online Advertising
This method enables an advertiser to have a wide reach of customers. An example of this is Google Ads’ Pay Per Click advertising, wherein you pay a certain amount for every person that clicks the button or link that leads to your website. It is also an effective lead generation strategy to lead your target to the products and services you offer.
It still pays to collaborate with people in social media, be it a celebrity, social media influencer, or even your business partner. The point here is that these people you collaborate with have followers, so, in the process, you get exposure for your offered product or service from someone that they already trust.
Lead Generation: How Your Business Benefit from This
The goal of opening a business is to earn and profit. Over the years, we have been taught how to generate revenue, but as the years go by and the market continuously evolves, what has worked for the past years is no longer effective if we apply it now.
In this age of the internet which has made the world a smaller place, lead generation has proven to be a particularly effective method of generating this revenue. To discuss further, here are some lead generation benefits:
Increase in Online Presence
In the previous topic, we have discussed that social media is an effective means of generating leads. That is because, with everyone practically glued to their social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you already have an audience.
Making sure that your social media page is on point can promote your presence in the market. You need to put in details of your company, so they will know who you are and what you do. Also, you need to post relevant data about the products or services you offer so they will know what they will get from you. These moves enable you to convert qualified leads into purchasing customers.
Increase in Following
One of the lead generation benefits is an increase in your followers. How is this done? By posting good content on your social media accounts. Huge brands are particularly good at telling their brand’s story through their posts because such knowledge helps engage with customers. Likewise, it is ideal for posting your activities, such as launchings or promos, because your followers are sure to see them.
Reviews from Customers
You may wonder why this is listed as one of the lead generation benefits when it is not exactly something you will directly do. This is true, but keep in mind that you are building your reputation over the years. Of course, the aim is to have a positive one, and supposing that you succeeded in this goal, the customer reviews will serve as your testimony.
The customer reviews that they shared will be read by other visitors, including B2B clients and your prospects. This will go a long way in building your company’s credibility and trust level. This is also what will lead to what makes every shareholder or owner happy: repeat business.
Increase in Revenue
The main goal of lead generation is to convert your prospects to clients. The more you succeed in this venture, the more paying customers you have; thereby, increasing your revenue. As you combine this with the best-customized techniques and practices you have learned along the way, the more your business becomes sustainable. This is a long-term lead generation benefit one can enjoy.
Why Lead Generation Matters
While lead generation is an ideal solution for generating revenue, there are still many businesses currently having lead generation problems.
Mainly, the reason for this is because salespeople believe that they have reached the limit of companies where they can offer their products and services.
But such is not the case. The probable reasons for their lead generation problems are:
- They do not have a proper process for qualifying and disqualifying leads.
- They may not have their buyer personas mapped out correctly.
- They may not be at the right place for a new business.
Remember that sales do not mean cold calling many businesses until you close a deal. More than that, it is also essential that you find the right target market or buyer persona to offer or sell to. And this is why lead generation matters.
So is there any way that you can avoid having these so-called lead generation problems?
Yes, there is a way, and we, at Hyperio.ai can help!
We are a lead generation tool that employs a combination of the best practices we have learned from offering B2B services through the years. With gathered data and insights, the workflow we apply to our campaigns integrates the following:
- Target population that is clearly defined
- Content pieces that are appropriately selected
- Timely schedule and frequency of reach that is tailored to reach persona and attributes
- Appropriate means of communication that is selected based on buyer persona
We employ such strategies in collaboration with your team, and we continuously evaluate milestones and fine-tune them along the way. Such methodology enables us to deliver the best results and ultimately show you why lead generation matters in this age of business and technology. Head over to our website to learn more.