Shawn drilled holes through me with his stare. Sitting in a booth at Abuelo’s, his hands clinched and his jaw tightened. Shawn just explained how he made a recent purchase, did all of the research before the purchase, and avoided any contact with sales people. He also told me about a recent campaign he launched for his own company. Temple veins pulsated around that shooting stare when I asked Shawn why he was selling in a way so different from how he prefers to buy.
Shawn, like most people, suffers from greedy marketer syndrome. Greedy marketers lunge at customers like they’re sizzling fajitas waiting to be devoured. You may be a greedy marketer, and that’s OK, as long as you’re a well-disciplined greedy marketer. Make a profitable change to your business before you go to bed tonight. You’ll sleep like a well-fed baby when you’ve just acted to increase your leads and sales from your website.
The change you need to make is to sell in the same way you prefer to buy. The Harvard Business Review explained that 60% of the buyer’s journey is self-education. Up until that point, the typical buyer would rather not talk to sales, or make an appointment, or contact you, or whatever greedy marketer action you are hoping for. That was certainly the case for Shawn when he described his purchase.
“. . . customers completed, on average, nearly 60% of a typical purchasing decision—researching solutions, ranking options, setting requirements, benchmarking pricing, and so on—before even having a conversation with a supplier. In this world the celebrated “solution sales rep” can be more of an annoyance than an asset. Customers in an array of industries, from IT to insurance to business process outsourcing, are often way ahead of the salespeople who are ‘helping” them.’ – “The End of Solution Sales,” Harvard Business Review, July 2012
Think of a purchase you recently made between $500 and $50,000? Did you immediately:
- Call a company offering that product or service and ask to talk to sales?
- Do online research until you understood the product or service better?
You probably chose the second option. The good news is you can change the way you connect with your prospective customers, and you can complete it before you go to bed tonight. We’ll tell you exactly how through these 5 basic steps.
Step 1: Identify Lunge-worthy Sizzling Fajitas Your Customer Wants
What would make your customer lunge at their computer and BEG YOU to take their email, name and other personal information? It could be information through a downloadable document. Remember, 60% of the buyer’s journey is self-education. Most people want to research in anonymity. More accurately, they don’t want to be on anyone’s sales radar – not yet.
For your soon-to-be customer to sacrifice their anonymity, they need something valuable in return. This is important!
Here are some questions to help you brainstorm lunge-worthy content:
- What are the top questions your prospective customers always ask, but can’t find easily on the internet?
- How can you help your customers make decisions?
- How can you help your customers make choices? (e.g. unbiased buyer guides)
- What’s the problem your customer is trying to solve before they consider you?
If you still can’t think of an idea, here is a simple one. Publish a pricing guide. This is one of the top questions on your customer’s mind. If you are like most businesses, you probably just rattled off all the reasons that don’t make sense for your business. Guess what. Your customer doesn’t care about those reasons – they want to know about pricing. You can’t control that. You can only control whether they learn it from you or one of your competitors.
You probably already have a good idea for content your prospects are hungry for. Put it together in Word, Excel, .pdf or some other form that can be downloaded. Sure, you could have a designer make it pretty and more presentational, but you won’t be done tonight – and that’s the goal. You may be worried that it makes your business look bad. But if it is true lunge-worthy content, they’ll never notice. Get it done tonight and have a designer clean it up tomorrow.
Step 2: Select a Lead Capture Tool for your Website
This part may feel overwhelming, but it really isn’t. You really can do this before you go to bed tonight. There are multiple tools, but we’ll only focus on two tools you can get for free.
|Available Form Fields||Name
|Track website visitor activity||None||Up to 7 days|
|Contacts & Company Insights||No||Yes|
|Email platform integration||No||Yes|
|CRM (Customer Relationship Manager)||No||Yes|
|Create & track deals||No||Yes|
|Create & track tasks||No||Yes|
|Collect contact data from all website forms||No||Yes|
|Create & deploy Facebook lead ads (inside platform)||No||Yes (Beta)|
|Automatic import of leads from Facebook lead ads||No||Yes (Beta)|
|Number of users||1||Unlimited|
Sumo has other features that aren’t included in the list above. But we chose to focus on the features that most directly convert visitors to leads. Sumo has features like heatmapping and A/B testing. These are indeed powerful features. But if you are reading this blog, those are probably a little advanced for your needs.
The fact is you can’t go wrong with either one. Both are great tools. You can sign up tonight. No credit card required. All you need is an email address and a website.
So, go ahead and pick one and sign up. It’s hard to go wrong when your choice is free vs. free.
Step 3: Install the Lead Capture Tool Code on Your Website
OK. This may sound complicated, but you can do it in less than 5 minutes once you know where to look.
You are in great shape if you use WordPress. You simply download a plugin and you’re off to the races.
From your WordPress Admin panel, go to Plugins and hit “Add New.”
From there, enter either “sumo” or “hubspot” into the search box. Once you find your tool:
- Press “Install Now”
- Then Press “Activate” after it’s been installed
That’s it! You’re done! (If you’re using WordPress.)
Is Your Site on a different platform?
This gets a little more complicated, but it can still be done in 5 minutes once you know where to look. As you are setting up Sumo or HubSpot, you will get a tracking code. It looks like this:
Your website platform should have a place where you can insert Google Analytics tracking code or some other sort of tracking code. Insert that snippet of code there and you’re done!
See how easy that was? You are still on track to get this done tonight.
Step 4: Connect the Lead Capture Tool to your CRM and/or Email Provider
The free version of Sumo doesn’t connect to your email platform. So, this is how you connect if you are using HubSpot.
First, look in the top-right and make sure it says “Sales.” If not, then click on the arrow and select “Sales.”
Next, click on “Settings”
Once you do that, you’ll have a menu on the left. Click on “Marketing” and then “Email Service Provider.”
HubSpot will connect to 4 of the top email providers. Select yours.
You will be prompted to login or provide an API key depending on the platform. But once you’ve done that, BAM! You now have a way of automatically porting leads from your website to your email platform.
Now is a good time to take a quick break. Grab a cup of tea and prepare for the home stretch.
Step 5: Design your Pop-up Form
You are almost done. Hang in there and in just a few minutes you will have your new lead-generating tool up and running. (Isn’t it amazing you can get this much functionality for free?)
Setting Up Sumo
Sumo has 4 steps you need to complete and they put them in a nice, linear flow.
Step 1: Set your goal. You probably want to set your goal to “Collect Emails.” We had a different goal, so you see we selected “Add a Call to Action” for our form.
Step 2: Select your form type. Think about how your visitor will be encountering your web page and select a form type consistent with that. We selected a scroll box. We like it because it is visible, but not overly intrusive on our visitor’s experience. (Yes, we are also greedy marketers, so we would like to be more intrusive. But since we are well-disciplined greedy marketers, we defer to the needs of our visitors.)
Step 3: Design your form. They make this very easy. There are templates you can pick from. Then you just modify to your needs. Here is the form we created and it took about 5 minutes to do.
Step 4: Visibility. This is another time to be a well-disciplined greedy marketer. How do you feel when you come to a webpage and are immediately interrupted by a pop-up? Be patient. Give your visitor time to want more. Think about what you would want if you came to the same page.
You’ll see how we set this up. We don’t show ours until you scroll 40% down the page. You can also set how often they see the box as well as pages where you don’t want the box shown. For us, we didn’t show the box on pages where we were trying to get the visitor to take some other action. We don’t want to interrupt our own sales process.
That’s it for Sumo. You are done and ready to roll. Just click “Make Live” in the lower-right hand corner and you are off to the races!
Setting Up HubSpot
You will find a different interface with Hubspot. Check in the upper-left corner of the screen and make sure you are on “Marketing.” From the dashboard, you will see that you’ve already completed Hubspot’s first step. You’ve installed your tracking code. Now you just have a few steps to complete.
Click on the “Create a flow” button under step 2 on the screen.
Next Step: Select your flow type (this means what kind of pop-up). We’re not sure why Hubspot calls a pop-up a “lead flow”, but either way it is a powerful tool and the steps are similar to Sumo. We selected the slide-in box from the right.
Next, you want to design your callout (the pop-up). We like the power of this interface. You can set different properties and it arranges everything in a nice presentation. We set the featured image, the callout text, the button text and the color.
The result was a pleasing callout.
Next Step: Select your form. Again, the interface is powerful and gives you a lot of control.
Next Step: Set your Thank You message and link to your content. This is where your visitor actually gets the lunge-worthy content you promised.
This is where you set the conditions where the form pops up. Again, you don’t want to be too aggressive with the pop-up. Think about how you would want it to happen if it were you. Notice that one of the nice features of HubSpot is it assumes someone in your organization would want to be notified when they complete this form. This is a powerful feature.
That’s it! You’re done. Press “Publish” in the top-right corner and start collecting your leads.
Congratulations! You’ve done it. You’ve launched your new lead-generating tool on your site. Yes, this is something you can do today. How much would your business grow if you took one action each day (or even each week) to increase leads and sales? Take your first step and launch this today.
Yes, there are other things you should also do after this. You should make sure you can measure the effectiveness of the campaign. You should monitor and optimize the campaign to improve the results. But that’s something we’ll focus on another day.
Pour yourself a nice glass of wine or whatever you like. Sit back and bask in the satisfaction of doing something meaningful for your business. You’ve earned it.