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
"Digital transformation - what we knew about it in the past has been redefined. Automation is going to play such a huge role in that because the culture, the technology, and the business operations are being shifted now," stated Brian Boeggeman, VP of Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"WineSOFT is a software company making proxy server software, which is widely used in the telecommunication industry or the content delivery networks or e-commerce," explained Jonathan Ahn, COO of WineSOFT, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
Sanjeev Sharma Joins June 5-7, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @Cloud Expo New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...