Reach into your pocket. What can you find? Is your smart phone in there? Probably. It’s there, or in your purse or bag. If you leave the house without it, you turn around to retrieve it, right? We are constantly evolving. Our technological capabilities have dramatically increased over the past few decades. Consider this - it took 40 years for almost every household to possess a television. Twenty-five years ago email was exciting – who didn’t love to get an email? In 1995, 1% of the world’s population had access to the Internet. Today, 40% of the world population has an Internet connection. From university to office to home to pocket, the Internet has steadily become ubiquitous. Nine of every 10 people in Australia have access to the Internet. Over 90% of them own a smartphone and spend two hours each day on it.
These always on, Internet surfers are your office technology target prospects. How do you think they begin trying to solve a problem or improve a process within their accounts payable department? They begin online: 92% of B2B purchases start online.
If your target prospect is starting their search online, do you have information on your website that will attract them? I’m not talking about a brochure website filled with information on the products you sell or your self-proclaimed “credibility” in the marketplace. They’re not searching for that. Often, they don’t even know what they need.
They want educational information that paints the picture of their problem – and offers a glimpse of the solution to it. If a CFO is struggling with invoice tracking, she is likely to begin to research a solution online. “System for tracking invoices” or “Trouble keeping track of lost invoices.” Do you have content on your website that feeds the search engines with information like that? If you do, are you keeping it fresh and relevant with periodic updates? Google (and Bing and Yahoo) looks for sites that are consistently adding good, quality content to their sites. That information is indexed so that when that CFO looking to find a solution for invoices presses the search button, she finds relevant and timely information. Search engines are built with a single goal – to provide their users with the exact information they want so that they’re happy and use the engine again.
Are you going to be in that search result? Is your information going to make our CFO happy?
If the CFO referenced above lands on a blog you produced which tells the story of a company struggling to keep track of invoices because they were consistently losing them, that CFO is likely to relate to that story. She will most likely read the entire story of how that problem was solved, which luckily was solved by your dealership, and she will be inclined to research further on your website. Why? Because you have thought out a path that leads into your sales funnel. This online lead generation funnel will flow like this:
1. CFO reads blog. That might be on her smartphone, tablet, or laptop. The story resonates with her. It’s very similar to that organization’s challenge.
2. She clicks on a button that offers a free download with the top 7 ways an organization can streamline paperwork and reduce the number of lost documents.
3. The CFO completes the form and gets the download. You now have her contact information.
4. You wait. Yes, you have to let her read the document. You do NOT pounce immediately.
5. You trigger an email nurturing campaign that sends her a new piece of educational content every week.
6. After a couple weeks, you finally send the email that offers a free assessment of your company’s workflow process, so you can understand what the issue is. The CFO takes you up on the assessment because she has begun to trust you. Why? Because you’ve offered her knowledge and educational content that makes her feel like she understands the problem better. You’ve also become trustworthy.
7. You go on the appointment and are able to discover that they don’t have scanning equipment.
8. You are able to make recommendations for not only MFPs that can scan, but a document management solution to streamline the accounts receivable process.
We are always connected. We consistently check our email and read articles while we’re waiting for our latte, in line to pick up our children from school, on a layover in the airport, and, more dangerously, when our spouse is trying to talk to us. Over 57% of the buying process is complete before your rep ever gets a chance to talk to the CFO. That CFO is not interested in cold calls, she is interested in finding a solution in her own way at the moment the pain is felt.
Being online with great content and being a resource is a valuable tool for a sales rep. Earn their trust online. It’s today’s most effective lead generation strategy.