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This is certainly counterintuitive because recommended software always seems like a risk-free option. However, the software industry is constantly evolving and changing. New softwares are created every day and someone making a recommendation to you may not be aware of new tools.
Therefore it is always important to do a quick landscape overview of the software you are choosing to ensure you are shacking up with a provider that will improve over time as your businesses grow.
When choosing software, you must see it as setting the foundation. You want that foundation to improve over time and evolve as your business does otherwise you will see yourself replacing that foundation in a few years which is a painful experience.
So take time to meet the people behind the software, and understand where they are going with the business and what improvements they have in store. Be also cautious that the bigger the company, the more rigid the software meaning it will be less prone to change over time and so whatever you’re purchasing is likely the best product they have.
Smaller companies, however, are still tinkering away at their softwares and you are very likely not buying a version of the software that has peaked and there is much to come. In addition, smaller companies are likely to include features and mold the software to your needs if you are indeed the customer target for that smaller company.
When setting up your website it is important to do an SEO analysis to identify keywords that customers will type into Google to find your site. For this study you can use one of the below tools:
Ahrefs is the best tool, while also the most expensive. It is important to only take out a 1 monthly subscription for this tool as you will only need it for the SEO research analysis.
Once you have identified what your potential customers are searching for, you now need to embed these keywords into your website text. It is important not to add the keyword aggressively everywhere on the store otherwise Google will demote your ranking and recognize you are simply trying to fool its crawlers. You need to intelligently embed the keywords throughout the website and the text has to have logical meaning.
Following on-page SEO, you need to create a content plan with the keywords you have researched. This will entail blogging. You need to create a first blog that is 1800 words long and then several sub-blogs that can range from 900-600 words. You need to blog consistently. A good practice is to release one blog post a month. You can also always change the text in your blog to ensure your posts are always relevant and get this post re-indexed.
B2B email works really only if you have correctly identified two things:
Without these two important points, B2B email will inevitably fail. You can experiment with these using B2B email tools but understand that if you are not closing businesses it is not because the tool is ineffective but mainly because you have not yet fully understood these two points.
There are two B2B email tools that I recommend.
Use Apollo for when you want to send a lot of emails like 200+. Use Interseller when you want to send more targeted emails to like only 10-25 emails.
Before you start using these email tools, it is important to create a separate email to send emails. You need to then warm up this email using Lemlist - https://www.lemlist.com/. The reason you need to warm up this email is because your email is new and will land in the recipient's junk mail or get bounced by their server. You need to warm up your email for at least 60 days before you create and send an email campaign. Do not send emails before warming up your email and do not send emails from your own email account because your email could get blacklisted from servers and it’s very difficult to remove it from the blacklist.
For email to be truly effective, I recommend using video embedded into the email.
Yes, cold calling still works. Again, for it to be effective you need to know your customer profile and messaging similar to the B2B email scenario.
For this, I recommend investigating a tool called Lusha - https://www.lusha.com/. You download Lusha as a plugin and once you are on LinkedIn you are able to scrape the phone numbers of key contacts that you want to call.
Linkedin is a very powerful tool to find key customers. When contacting potential customers on Linkedin DO NOT use “InMail”. InMail is ineffective and it is viewed as ads. You need to connect with people who work in companies you want to discuss a relationship with.
For this you can automate LinkedIn connections by using one of the tools below:
For these tools, it is best to create automated drip campaigns to send connection requests to a group of your customer profiles. In the connection request, do not use messaging that can sound like a sales pitch. Your google with the connection request is to connect with the individual as you are both part of the same community and have similar interests.
Your second message should be sent 5-6 days after the connection requests and should aim to create a conversation. Not to sell the customers anything. Your second message should be used to prospect the customer.
In the below examples, you will see the campaign is targeting people on LinkedIn who are founders in the internet industry with companies that are 10 employees or less.
After the connection request, a message is sent to understand what their current payroll setup is. Not to see them as payroll software but simply to prospect them to learn whether they are a good fit and a conversation can be started.
If you are not intending to send multiple messages following the LinkedIn request, then my recommendation is to use Octopus to send a single connection request to a person on Linkedin. This service is cheaper and serves the same purpose as Dripify.
To target your customer profile more accurately, you may need to purchase a LinkedIn Sales Navigator subscription. I have used Dripify and Octopus without LinkedIn Sales Navigator however when I want to get more focused on my customer profile I needed a LinkedIn Sales Navigator account.
For example, on regular LinkedIn, I can target founders in the internet industry but I cannot target founders in the internet industry who work at companies with less than 10 employees. For the less than 10 employees target, I needed a LinkedIn Sales Navigator account.
Video is the way to communicate. Whether you have a video on your website or a video when you send an email it is a very engaging way to start conversations with your prospective customers.
For this I would recommend the below tools:
Loom is great for video creation. If you want engagement, I would highly recommend using Tolstoy and embedding this into either an email or even your website. You can also help prospect your customers as they click through the video to get them to a specific call to action.
Check out this Tolstoy that is embedded directly on a website. - https://www.earny.ch/.
The entire purpose of your website should be to lead the user towards ONE call to action. You should not have more than one call to action. To do this, you need to know what users are doing on your website. Where they click, how long they stay on certain pages and sections.
To optimize user activity on your website, you need to know how users are engaging with your website. For this, I recommend Hotjar. - https://www.hotjar.com/
Hotjar creates heatmaps and reporting to allow you to optimize your website for the call to action. If you don’t know how users are engaging with your website then it becomes extremely difficult to help navigate them to the call to action.
You need to provide quick and efficient customer support through your website. great tools for this can be one of the below:
Typically it is best to have these support tools embedded directly into your website. Depending on which tool you have used to build your websites such as Shopify or BigCommerce there are typically integration mechanisms.
If you are still a slightly smaller business, I would advise using Pipedrive as your CRM. - https://www.pipedrive.com/. This should link directly with your website so that leads flow automatically into your CRM to avoid having to do this manually.
Another option would be to trial HubSport - https://www.hubspot.com/. HubSpot however offers several additional tools that you can connect and integrate with. If you are not going to use all features of HubSpot I would advise staying away from this application.
As a B2B professional, you should post on LinkedIn almost every day to build brand awareness and create a community of potential customers. To track your LinkedIn activity and see which post does well versus others, I would advise using Shield - https://www.shieldapp.ai/.
Tracking will allow you to change your LinkedIn posting activity and adapt based on engagement.
Create a newsletter with your existing customers and potential customers to keep them updated on company and industry news. The choice for this should be Mailchimp - https://mailchimp.com/ if you have a large volume of newsletter recipients.
If you have a smaller group of newsletter recipients, I would advise using SendBlue - https://www.sendinblue.com/.
In order to prospect your customers to see whether they fit your customer profile, utilize a very short survey and think clearly about the questions you are asking to entice them to complete it. Great survey tools can be seen below:
Jotform is the cheaper option however has less logic in its options. If you are focusing on identifying your NPS, I would advise choosing Delighted - https://delighted.com/.