Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

10 Steps to Generate Leads for Software Sales Online

Photo (cc) by Flickr user Leo Reynolds.

Photo (cc) by Flickr user Leo Reynolds.

Lead generation is one of the primary roles of your marketing organization and the greatest demand of your sales force. As markets become more globalized your marketing team needs to make greater use of the web in generating leads for your sales team to follow up on and close.

Here’s a list of 10 key steps to take in generating those leads.

1. Identify Your Prospects

List the key characteristics of your target customers in order to find where they are on the web, what they are interested in, and what is likely to make them take time out of their day to visit your site and provide their contact information. This last point should tie back to your value proposition.

2. Give to Get

While many sales professionals refer to the first stage of the sales process as “Lead Generation” we’re really talking about “Contact Generation”. We want our prospects to visit our website and then provide their contact information in exchange for something of value. So we have to create something that would be interesting or useful to our prospects. Such as a Case Study, Tutorial, Whitepaper, or maybe you have the budget for an iPad giveaway. Whatever you determine to give your prospects make it available on your website with a simple sign-up form.

3. Write a Blog Post

You or someone in your company should already be contributing to a blog, so write a blog post that talks to the subject of your giveaway. The less it is about your product and more about your customers the better. Your blog post helps with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but also gives you an additional link to be used for subsequent steps.

4. Tweet

Very little about marketing is discussed without “Tweet” or “Twitter” being mentioned. Unless you have a very targeted audience (targeted using hashtags or your carefully nurtured list of followers) this may not be an immediately rewarding channel. However, post a comment with a link to your giveaway or blog post in order to build up that marketing channel at the least.  These links will drive your targeted prospects to your sign-up page.

5. Post to LinkedIn Group

Especially if your business is B2B, you should be using LinkedIn as a way to find and engage your target audience.  Search LinkedIn’s groups, join them (if you haven’t already), and start a discussion or join one.  Then, in a non-spammy way, post a link to your giveaway.

6. Post to Facebook

While the value of Facebook to B2B companies is still patchy, it is an essential channel for B2C businesses.  Search for groups that focus on your customers and post a link to your giveaway here.

7. Join a Conversation

Ideally you should be participating in online discussions important to your customers.  Either way, using tools such as Technorati, BlogPulse, or Google Alerts, find blog posts or articles from publications that serve your community (market).  Engage in the conversation by making posts.  You can add a link with your comments, but again - don’t make it spammy!

8. Answer a Question

Sometimes, within LinkedIn or Quora, your customers are asking explicitly for your help.  The question could be related to your value proposition, the problem you solve, or the field you’re in.  Perform searches on these platforms, answer the question in a meaningful way and include your link as a source of additional information.  But make sure that your giveaway content is indeed related to the question and your answer.

9. Buy Contacts & Engage

You can buy contact information using services such as Jigsaw.  But if you do, a best practice would be to enable your customers to opt-in to your marketing program.  Use an email marketing tool like ConstantContact of Mail Chimp to reach out to your new contacts with a “value rich” email and link to your giveway.  The same could be done with a purchased or rented email list.

Here’s an interesting perspective on evaluating the quality of your list.

10. Advertise

Last but not least, if your budget allows, purchase adwords from Google and include a link to your content and sign-up sheet.  It sounds pretty straight forward, but this alone is an art and a science.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By James Colgan

James Colgan is the Founder and CEO of Xuropa, a unique cloud-based Sales & Marketing Platform for packaged software vendors for the demo and retail of their products via the cloud. Built upon a unique lead nurturing and analytics engine, Xuropa enables software vendors to conveniently deliver their products on the cloud and drive the resultant sales pipeline to increase revenues and profits.
Built upon nearly 20 years of high-tech experience, James has been pushing the envelope of cloud computing, focused on the intersection between the cloud, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Social Media Marketing, particularly as it relates to traditional installed software.

Latest Stories
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
After more than five years of DevOps, definitions are evolving, boundaries are expanding, ‘unicorns’ are no longer rare, enterprises are on board, and pundits are moving on. Can we now look at an evolution of DevOps? Should we? Is the foundation of DevOps ‘done’, or is there still too much left to do? What is mature, and what is still missing? What does the next 5 years of DevOps look like? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by DevOps Summit Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists loo...
"Loom is applying artificial intelligence and machine learning into the entire log analysis process, from start to finish and at the end you will get a human touch,” explained Sabo Taylor Diab, Vice President, Marketing at Loom Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Tintri focuses on the Ops side of the DevOps, which basically is pushing more and more of the accessibility of the infrastructure to the developers and trying to get behind the scenes," explained Dhiraj Sehgal of Tintri in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is ...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists discussed...
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, highlighted the current challenges of these transformative technologies and shared strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” outlined the latest trends and developments i...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
"We focus on composable infrastructure. Composable infrastructure has been named by companies like Gartner as the evolution of the IT infrastructure where everything is now driven by software," explained Bruno Andrade, CEO and Founder of HTBase, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Hardware virtualization and cloud computing allowed us to increase resource utilization and increase our flexibility to respond to business demand. Docker Containers are the next quantum leap - Are they?! Databases always represented an additional set of challenges unique to running workloads requiring a maximum of I/O, network, CPU resources combined with data locality.
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing bes...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
In this presentation, Striim CTO and founder Steve Wilkes will discuss practical strategies for counteracting fraud and cyberattacks by leveraging real-time streaming analytics. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Striim, will provide a detailed look into leveraging streaming data management to correlate events in real time, and identify potential breaches across IoT and non-IoT systems throughout the enterprise. Strategies for processing massive ...