Digital to Phone in B2B Sales: Time to Contact in Converting Leads to Sales

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We’re delighted to be co-sponsoring this blog post with the North American Equipment Dealer Association (NAEDA).

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It’s a generally accepted principle that speed of followup matters in sales success. This won’t come as news to anyone doing sales or reading sales literature. However, we decided to see how that principle was impacting our clients by doing an informal check-in with a few 40Nuggets customers about their practices in following up on leads they convert through 40N. As this post is a co-sponsorship between 40Nuggets and the North American Equipment Dealers we decided to focus our efforts on North American equipment dealers.

The three companies we checked with are B2B, focused on a sector of heavy machinery, and based in the US. Their practices varied widely. One company had a policy of near-instant followup by phone and personalized email – usually within 20 minutes of a lead converting, and often under five minutes. Whenever possible, this included international customers, including those who don’t speak English or Spanish (in which company employees are fluent) . The other two companies had slower followup, one “as soon as possible” and the other within 24 hours. In the latter case they occasionally phone, but just as often use a canned email – often it seemed to vary based on how busy the sales team was.

In terms of the visitor pool to their website (i.e., top of their internal funnel), the companies are using a similar 40Nuggets setup to optimize for lead conversions. They’re getting similar results, and the behavioral profiles that our algorithm is acting on look like they’re seeing on a client base that shares characteristics.

When it comes to results, however, they come out as you’d expect.  The company reps that call a lead within minutes a) reach their leads at a higher rate and b) seem to be converting more of them to sales (which is logical – to score field goals you have to shoot the basketball/kick the football/futbol). This is excellently explicated in a Harvard Business Review study from a few years ago: there’s a 100x drop in likely contact if you wait 30 minutes to follow up. (Steve Olenski summarizes the study in Forbes here, and be sure to check out the perspective of the study’s initiator Ken Krogue, founder of InsideSales.com).

Moreover, again informally, we got the sense that email followup–and remember emails are not being sent immediately or auto-triggered–has a terrible contact rate, something close to ten percent versus nearly 90% when it comes to immediate phone followup.

The lessons aren’t new, but it’s worth reiterating: all the conversion optimization in the world, no matter how intelligent, won’t help your bottom line unless the sales followup piece is strong. While marketing automation allows for some nice auto-engagement techniques for lead nurturing, when it comes to B2B sales, there’s no substitute for a well-designed phone followup protocol. Even if you’re an SMB struggling with resources, it’s best if that call goes out within a minute of the lead conversion.

 

No-Brainer Ways Your Business Can Protect Digital Data

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Most hacking isn’t sophisticated. In many ways it’s not even hacking. A marketing company may use shady but legal techniques to find out your annual budget, or a competitor may go after your customer list. Even as a small or medium sized business (SMB), without an IT security department, there are small things you can do that make a big difference in protecting your digital data.

In our work with SMB’s we’ve heard lots of stories about compromised digital data – we’ve tried to distill a few decent ideas below:

1. Search Your Site for Sensitive Files

Google and other search engines allow users to search for specific types of files, on specific websites. So, for example, someone could run a Google Search Query that in effect says “show me every excel spreadsheet (or PDF) on www.yourwebiste.com. See for yourself here.

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You’d be surprised how much data is hiding in plain site on a website, often placed there inadvertently by a careless webmaster or an employee who wouldn’t know better. Unless otherwise specified, Google’s robots will index this data and anyone can find it. You should search your own website for any excel (.xls,.xlsx), PDF files (.pdf) and Word file–and maybe PPT as well–to make sure you don’t have sensitive data hiding in plain site.

2. Check Your Sharing Settings

As there are more and more files being stored in the cloud, we have to be doubly careful about our sharing settings. Many companies are using Google Drive and Dropbox to manage proprietary data. Oftentimes you’re using these systems to share that data. Occasionally, this can go wrong, and something that should be shared with one person is accidentally shared with many, or even made public on the web.

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We recommend tagging or labeling sensitive data with an inconspicuous tag like “A-Check” and regularly check the sharing on those files to make sure it is private.

3. Google Your Email Address

We also recommend googling yours or your company’s email address to make sure internal data isn’t floating around on the web, or that you’re being included in unsympathetic databases. To do this, try surrounding your email address with quotation marks– “youremailaddress@yourwebsite.com”–so Google looks for that exact match. You should also do a search that looks like this “*@yourwebsite.com” where the little * is a wildcard character, telling Google to look for anything in front of the -@- sign.

If you find something that concerns you, see what you can do about it.

4. Calendar a New Password Day

Your biggest security hole is probably you or your employees being careless with passwords. Big companies force their employees to change passwords regularly. Even though you may not have that level of security in your company, you can nevertheless set a policy that this is a requirement. Then, you can easily create a quarterly calendar event that reminds employees that it is password change day, and send an email to everyone to that effect. We know – there is NOTHING more annoying that having to change your password. But there’s also nothing that will so quickly contribute to your security.

5. Insist on Passwords for Phones/Laptops

As per the above, make sure you but insist on basic protection for phones and laptops. This should be true even if clients are using their private devices. They’re accessing sensitive company information – you should make sure that if that device is lost it won’t be easily accessed. This is an easy thing you can do and get a big boost in security.

6. Cancel Old Employee Accounts

We’ve seen cases where SMBs leave old employee cloud accounts (Google Apps, Dropbox) open for a few months (or even longer) after that employee has left. That’s not smart – it creates more access points to your systems and data. Do your best to close accounts quickly, or at the very least change passwords immediately.

There you go! The above tips aren’t groundbreaking, but they’ll help your SMB improve its digital security and may save you some embarrassment or potentially business damage. By implementing these, you can sit back and let your digital operation focus on its real goal: converting more site visitors into happy customers.

Different CRM’s for Different Styles: Reviewing Three Great SMB CRM’s that Live in the Cloud

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Every small and medium business (SMB) worth its salt is trying to make more happy customers by converting new leads into sales, managing relationships, and driving repeat buying. A Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) can play a big role in organizing your team and its interaction with customers. (For those who’ve never seen a CRM, it feels like an expanded contacts list that you’ll recognize from your email. It’s expanded because it serves to store and manage contacts and potential deals, next-actions, and overall performance toward sales goals.)

We recently tried out three SaaS (software-as-a-service – no onsite IT) CRM’s, Insightly, Pipedrive Deals, and Asana that, among other segments, are targeting SMB’s. The truth is that we loved all three, each for a different reason. So we tried below to distill what makes one more relevant to your company. In the end it really came down to a question of company culture and goals.

 

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Insightly (www.insightly.com)

If you’ve used tools like SalesForce or SugarCRM in the past, Insightly will feel like home to you – a pleasant version of home. It initially made its name by being tightly integrated with the Google Apps infrastructure. Today it stands out as an all purpose CRM for SMB’s with a recently updated interface that makes it much more modern than the prior version.

Being a full-service CRM, Insightly centers its focus around contacts, organizations, and deals. In this it is great, and we highly recommend it if you’re looking for something easy out of the box, clean, but with room to grow into its features. We did find however that in Insightly it a bit of work to build an easy to manage sales funnel system. It requires viewing and managing reports that you generate and being very involved in setting up tasks and task templates. Some companies may see this as a downside.

Takeaway: use this if you’re looking for an all around quality CRM that can be customized in almost endless ways

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Pipedrive (www.pipedrive.com)

Piperive is different than Insightly in every way. It’s insanely and aggressively sales focused. Sometimes you hate Pipedrive, because it makes you feel bad about not moving things down the funnel (you can turn this “rot” feature off, but we recommend it). While you can manage non-sales related contacts, it feels inauthentic to do so. This has some benefits, obviously – it pushes and pushes and lifts sales. On the other hand, some organizations that want to use their CRM for broader marketing purposes or community engagement will find Pipedrive is just too sales focused. While you can use it for those purposes you’ll find it’s less conducive to success.

Takeway: use this if you have a very aggressive sales focus and want software that lights a fire under the sales team

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Asana (www.asana.com)

Asana is not officially a CRM, not is it primarily a CRM. Rather, it’s a project management platform. The beautiful thing about Asana is that it’s modular and moldable. It’s almost like a stem cell product that happens to be applied by its makers to PM, but could just as easily be applied to any other business function. (Which actually reminds you that most business functions are just derivatives of project management). They have a nice model for CRM tracking which, while having some problems, is manageable if you’re creative.

The challenge with Asana is that your CRM is operating in the middle of a broader project management environment. It can distract. Some, however, find this to be an advantage. We actually loved using Asana and found that, unlike Insightly or Pipedrive which present more of a position on how one should manage customers and sales, we were constantly discovering new and interesting ways to structure our work.

Takeawy: if you want to minimize the systems your team is logging into grab Asana and use it for CRM, project management, and beyond.

Finding Those Lost in Your Site

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Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 4.57.00 PMOne of the best converting nuggets we see clients use are those that target users behaving like they’re lost.

This includes visitors deep in the site that haven’t converted, or visitors clicking around without direction.

You can build those behavioral profiles from within 40Nuggets. We find that simply asking them, “Can we help?” or “We have more products arriving all the time – what are you looking for?” and providing a place for them to enter the information can lead to a significant number of conversions. Finally, personalize the nugget with an image of a sales person or a compelling graphic.

 

 

40Nuggets Debuts WordPress Plugin

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Find marketing popup windows annoying? They don’t have to be. 40Nuggets allows marketers and business owners to deliver high-converting popup lightboxes that don’t frustrate users. By tapping into deep intelligence and timing, business and ecommerce sites can get the benefits of converting more visitors while preserving the user experience.40nwp

Today 40Nuggets announces the availability of its system for WordPress users via a new WordPress Plugin .

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July 14th, 2014

40Nuggets works on the premise that a great customer experience can lead to more sales. Think about the last time you walked into a retail shop with a great salesperson. They can look at a customer and instantly tell: Is this person busy – should I engage immediately? Is this person looking to browse – give them a few moments? Overall this leads to better experience for everyone involved.

40Nuggets believes that this human intuition is largely lost on the internet, and has built technology to restore it to the sales process. What’s more, beginning today, WordPress Users can easily setup 40Nuggets by simply installing a plugin from the Plugin store. Once installed they can publish light boxes to their website within moments.

40Nuggets brings you intelligent popups–delivered as user-friendly lightboxes–that will grow your mailing list, drive leads to sales, and achieve other business goals. You’ll have full-control of your popups while benefiting from built-in intelligence, A/B testing, and advanced segmentation tools. Above all, 40Nuggets’ popups will enhance your site-visitor experience while bringing you the results you need – and no coding required!

Overlay popups are a powerful way to turn more of your traffic into leads. However, most of the popover tools on WordPress are largely one-size fits all, meaning that your popover is only appropriate for a small percentage of your traffic. In many cases these popups serve to annoy your visitors, rather than convert them.

40Nuggets is different. It provides you advanced segmentation tools, so you can customize messages to specific pages, specific visitors types, and more. Moreover, it puts algorithmic intelligence at your fingertips: with the check of a box your popup’s timing will be adapted to the behavior of each and every user, giving you a huge competitive-advantage in conversions, while preserving the customer experience of your site. Moreover, 40Nuggets comes with built in A/B testing–the test is managed automatically–so that you will always be a improving. The overall experience of your site visitors is that popups shows up exactly when they’re ready for it, rather than when they least want it.

One 40Nuggets Customer, Galya Harish, CEO of Rose of Bethlehem, a boutique jewelry eCommerce seller, had this to say “40Nuggets quite simply got us more leads from our traffic without once having to resort to programmers. We could do sophisticated targeting, and make changes on the fly — their algorithms made it all work. We saved money because we captured numerous sales leads for much less the cost of acquiring them otherwise.” In 45 days, 40Nuggets increased Rose’s by 10x.

40Nuggets can also be used to better fit other onsite engagement tools–chat, sliders, and more–to the user-experience. Through an easy to access tool, these other engagement apps can be launched from with all the power of 40Nugget’s timing and testing tools inside one convenient dashboard.

40Nuggets technology is well suited for individual bloggers, small businesses, ecommerce sites, & enterprise clients; 40N offers packages that operate independently of WordPress, and can be fully customized to your needs.

About 40Nuggets: Founded in 2012, 40Nuggets specializes marketing solutions with the aim of improving conversion rates for power-bloggers, small businesses, enterprises, and ecommerce sites. See 40Nuggets.com for more information or visit  our wordpress site for the new 40N WP plugin.

 

Contact:

Aharon Horwitz, CEO

(216) 395-4406

contact@40nuggets.com

@40nuggets

 

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Code Minded? Our New Feature Is For You

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We’ve just released an advanced editor for our clients that like to dive in and get their hands dirty with code. This editor allows you to have more control while still making use of 40Nuggets brain power.

Most of you are familiar with our A/B testing and variant system but just so we’re on the same page, for every Call-to-Action you can create multiple variations that can include slight changes in the text, design, or fields. 40Nuggets automatically runs the tests for you and when there’s a significant increase in conversions with one variant over another, we adjust to show the better performing variant more often. You can easily design and manage your variants in the Design section of each Call-to-Action.

Now the fun begins… let’s say you don’t want to use 40Nuggets’ WYSIWYG for creating an overlay – instead, you’d like to code your own HTML/CSS/JS functionality. Inside your Call-to-Action, you can go to the Design section and press on the </> button (it’s in the upper right corner).

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Pressing this will create a new variation with 3 sections:

1) HTML – here you can add any HTML code you wish to add to the DOM. This will be appended to the bottom of the <body> tag when the Call-to-Action is triggered.

2) CSS – here you can add any CSS style you wish to use (format should be the same as any .css file).

3) JS – here you can add your JavaScript code to be executed when the Call-to-Action is triggered (format should be the same as any .js file).

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Some additional pointers:

 - All fields are optional. Meaning you can run JS code without adding HTML or CSS; this can be useful for dynamically changing the page using 40Nuggets’ brain and the advanced settings.

–  If you don’t wish to use our WYSIWYG at all, make sure to delete the original variant. You do this by switching to this variant you wish to delete and then clicking on the “Trash” button (again, in the upper right corner of the Design section).

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Are you using WordPress? We just released our latest plugin for easy integration with 40Nuggets. Not on WordPress? No problem, get a free trial from our website.

The Most Important Features Your Lead Capture Must Have in 2014

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There’s no more important piece of your marketing funnel than that final mile from when a visitor hits your site until the moment track_finish_linehe/she converts to do something important for your business. After all, if you bring someone to your site (either by paying for traffic or by investing in your content) and don’t get that person’s conversion, you’re going to have to ‘spend’ again to bring them back.

Many sites are turning to lead capture tools like popups (modal windows, light boxes, etc.) for conversion rate optimization, that is to say making the final mile a bit easier to bridge.

If you’re in the market for a platform like that, whether you’re using 40Nuggets or not, here are ten things we think are key to a successful experience with a popup platform:

1. Customer Experience: Your popup system should have features that make them visitor-friendly, such as the ability to adjust frequencyinsuring that only one popup shows per session, no-target once someone has actually converted, and so forth.

2. Device Targeting or Responsiveness: There’s absolutely no reason to show a huge desktop light box on a mobile device. First, mobile conversions often need to be more sparse than desktop (click here v. name/email capture). Second, responsiveness is often a challenge in light boxes. Therefore, before you work with a provider make sure your popup call-to-actions can be targeted by form factor.

3. Automated A/B Testing: You should be able to create different design variants of your popup and run A/B tests. It’s best if you do NOT have to manage the A/B tests. Rather, you should set the variants and the system should automatically begin promoting the more successful variants. You should watch out for A/B testing that doesn’t adhere to best statistical practices – getting to statistical significance is a challenge for low traffic sites. At 40Nuggets, we designed a variation of Multi-Armed Bandit testing for our testing system. Other systems may take different approaches – just make sure it’s sound and easy to manage.

4. Easy Export or Data Transfer: Whatever system you’re using for your popups you should be able to push the data to wherever is necessary. Most systems today offer web hooks so that you can send data to tools like Zapier and thereby automate your follow-up. Some systems have direct integration with popular platforms like Mailchimp.

5. URL & Geo Based Targeting: You should be able to include or exclude a URL on your site, i.e., ‘popup 10% Discount’ should only appear on my thank contact page. Moreover, you should be able to target by state and country. It may be that a shipping discount in California is worth it, while in Mexico it may be break your bank. You should be able to segment in this manner.

6. Returned to Page Visitor Targeting: Often times you’ll want to make a stronger pitch to someone who is returning to a page. For example, let’s say you’re selling a product and a visitor returns to that page 3 or 4 times. There’s a high likelihood that they’re shopping you in comparison to a competitor. You may want to offer a person with that behavior–and only a person with that behavior–a 10% discount to tip the scales.

7. Exit-Capture or Beyond Exit-Capture: You should be able to build popups that show only when someone is about to close the browser window. Moreover, you should have something that’s even smarter than exit-capture, as per the next recommendation.

8. Intelligence: Related to the above, at 40Nuggets we also enable a broader vision then exit-intent. 40Nuggets clients can select a setting that lets our algorithm choose time best timing to create a conversion. This may be exit, or it may be on-page afar a certain amount of seconds. We drive this off of a massive learning platform that predicts a customized engagement formula for every visitor in real-time, and then execute the formula and learns from the results.

9. Referring Sources: You should be able to easily target traffic inbound from specific sources with customized messages. For example, you may want to style a popups for Twitter inbounds in a different color than Facebook inbounds. This should be easy to accomplish in your popup system. Moreover, you should be able to use the URL targeting system mentioned above in #4 to target inbounds from Paid Search campaigns and email marketing campaign by telling your popup to show up only on pages that include a customer URL parameter like UTM code.

10.  Advanced Control over CSS/HTML/JS: This is a bit more advanced, however still relevant: Let’s say you need to design a popup that is sophisticated, and you’re even willing to hire a developer for the project. It’d be a shame to lose the targeting power of your platform for this one popup. Therefore it’d be a big advantage if the system you’re working with gives you an advanced editor where you can manage HTML, CSS, and JS, but still take advantage of the timing and targeting features.

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Custom Data: If you have some tech-chops, consider platforms that allow you to pass custom/hidden data and create rules based on that data. For example, if you’re an insurance agent, you may want the quote number that the person had viewed to pass in the popup as a hidden field (meaning, it shows up in your conversion report but the site-visitor doesn’t see it). Or you may want to get more sophisticated and, should you have it, pass on data like Age. Once this is passed to your platform you should be able to create rules in your popups saying that certain popups fit certain segments.

We’re always happy to chat about what might best fit you, and to recommend services from across the spectrum. Be in touch with us contact@40nuggets and @40nuggets. And if you’re shopping around yourself, make sure to reference the above list.

Are you using WordPress? We just released our latest plugin for easy integration with 40Nuggets. Not on WordPress? No problem, get a free trial from our website.

Why Use a Hammer: Getting Beyond Exit-Intent

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We’ve heard a lot about exit-intent lately, and even published our own pieces on this blog. However, much of the hype around exit-intent confuses a method with the objective. In the end, we’re looking for tools like exit-intent popups because we want to bridge that Final Mile between when our hard work brings a visitor to our site and when they do something important, or ‘convert.’

Quick illustrative interlude: When I was in college I sold sandwiches at an on-campus cafe as part of my work-study grant. Each customer that came into my shop was a potential conversion. Each needed a special touch, customized to them. Some I let walk outsandwich because they clearly weren’t interested in what we were selling (they wanted sit-down, for example). Others liked to linger over the menu – I could sense that and knew to hang back until I could see they were ready to ask questions, or order. Others were in a rush, and it was imperative that I serve them ASAP. Others who turned toward the door without ordering needed only a quick ‘hello’ and some menu guidance before they’d turn into a customer.

As we build 40Nuggets, we often think about that sandwich shop, and ask how we can restore some of the human intuition to the online-engagement environment. For this article however, I like to imagine if I’d only focused on grabbing folks when they exit. 

In truth, exit-intent is a concession to the fact that we operate on the web with blunt instruments far more than we need to. Site-visitors are the same people that shop in real-world stores. They’re there for a reason, and if one could make a savvy intuition of hammerthat reason and act accordingly, the result would be a higher conversion rate. Exit capture is a default type of approach. It’s wonderful in some cases, but in other cases someone is going to linger 10 seconds and then need help, while another person will be deep in the site and need help after the 10th click.

40Nuggets (and other platforms like Monetate) is aiming to get beyond the one-size fit all approach, even when it comes to something as interesting as exit-capture. As you’re building your strategy for the Final Mile, focus on tools that want to understand and help your customer convert at their own pace and in their own style.

Are you using WordPress? We just released our latest plugin for easy integration with 40Nuggets. Not on WP? No problem, get a free trial from our website.

Easy Integration with WordPress

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I saw a surprising stat the other day by Tom Ewer over at the ManageWP blog:  Wordpress.com gets more visits per year than Amazon. This, along with other data points (80m sites using WordPress) just serves to emphasize how core WordPress is to the digital economy. Continue reading

Latest ECommerce Case Study from 40Nuggets

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40Nuggets has successfully helped several Ecommerce sites lift their conversion rates and engage quality sales leads. Learn how we did it with Rose of Bethlehem.

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