Sales & channel enablement leader Mindmatrix enhances its social media marketing module to include social lead generation tool

Mindmatrix users can now source leads from LinkedIn with a few clicks

Mindmatrix has enhanced its social media automation module to offer a specialized lead prospecting tool that helps users get the most out of their presence on LinkedIn.

The prospecting tool provides users with any LinkedIn user’s email ID, regardless of their connection level with the user. Users can add them to their contact list in the Mindmatrix platform with one click. The tool also allows users to procure the email IDs of all the members of a LinkedIn group.

Harbinder Khera, CEO, Mindmatrix, said, “We all know that social channels are a great platform to build brand on the web and to attract leads, but generating leads on social media requires ongoing time and effort. As a result, your social media activities get sidetracked when you are too busy selling. The social lead generation tool is a powerful enhancement to our existing social media marketing module which simplifies the social lead gen process.  LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network is also a great source of B2B leads and is one of the leading social media platforms used today for B2B sales and marketing. This enhancement helps users get the most out of their presence on LinkedIn.”

Apart from the newly added social lead prospecting tool, Mindmatrix already offers social media automation via social drips and auto blogging. It also allows users to create custom fan pages, cover images, profile pictures or backgrounds.

Click here to learn more about the social selling and social media marketing module of Mindmatrix.

Why you need smart sales prospecting?

Idea Plan Action
Sales prospecting is the process of connecting with the potential target audience with expectations of discovering new business. It aims at initiating a conversation with potential leads and converting them into customers. Prospecting involves collecting the contact information of the leads who may be interested in buying your products or services. Prospecting plays a vital role in the sales cycle and in producing quality lists of potential buyers.

Great salespeople are not reactive, they don’t sit back and wait for their prospects to walk in. They are proactive and reach out to their potential target audience and kick-start the process to enable sales. This process of reaching out to the right audience is what constitutes prospecting.

Traits of a successful prospector

Targeting the right audience: 

Successful prospectors know what they are selling and target the right sales audience. It is essential for your salesperson to fully understand your products and services and the ideal buyer for those products and services. This means your salespeople need to have an in-depth insight of their leads and their preferences. Being aware of a prospect’s actions enables salespeople to adapt their sales strategy to prospect behavior, thus lending greater effectiveness to their sales prospecting efforts.

Value in Every touch: 

Great prospectors add value to the lead in every interaction.The prospect is usually least interested in hearing your pitch, product or company history. The only thing that matters to them is how you can make their lives simpler. A good prospector will make the prospects want to talk to them by hinting how their product/service can resolve prospect’s challenges.

No Tricks:

A good prospector earns their lead’s trust by being transparent about the details of the products or services they have to offer them.

What Is Smart Sales Prospecting?

Smart sales prospecting involves following prospect footprints and developing appropriate, proactive responses. In order to enjoy the benefits of smart prospecting, a basic requirement is total integration of the marketing and sales functions as each possesses critical pieces of information about prospects. However this calls for coordination of all types of interaction between the business and the prospect, then reviewing each to draw an integrated prospect profile. Smart prospecting tools can do this.

Smart Prospecting Tools

Smart sales prospecting tools create intelligent programs that respond smartly to a prospect’s behavior. It bridges a gap between the prospecting and sales conversion ratio. With the help of sales prospecting tool, salespeople can create multi-step, multi-channel lead nurturing programs using various channels including web, print and social.Smart prospecting programs automatically adjust to any specific action that a prospect may take. Here are a few examples of how a smart prospecting program works…

  • E- mails: An e-mail thanking the prospect for their interest will automatically follow if they download a white paper.
  • Assets: An MSP can provide a free e-book or e-guide to add value to the lead in the initial prospecting stages.
  • Print: As a goodwill gesture, a company can send postcards to their top leads on July 4th wishing them a Happy Independence  Day.
  • Social Media: A MSP can share zero day alerts on social media. It will add value to prospects that follow the MSP on social  networking platforms.

To stand out from the crowd and prospect successfully, salespeople have to come up with innovative ideas to stay in touch with potential clients. Leads need on-going attention that is relevant to them. Smart sales prospecting automates mundane sales prospecting tasks and lends intelligence to the sales prospecting process, while freeing up salespeople’s time so they can pay more attention to leads that are near the end of the buying cycle.

Control issues aren't always a bad thing

Today’s blog addresses the problem of getting your arms around the complex issue of channel sales. The channel route offers a lot of opportunity for driving new revenues, but it involves a considerable ongoing investment of your time if it is to succeed. The biggest challenge companies have today is to increase their return on channel investments in order to drive increased channel revenues. To do this, it falls on you to find new ways to help channel partners sell more and close deals more effectively. Another challenge is managing and tracking channel partner performance and making sure they understand and follow your marketing and sales vision. In short, you need to help them sell AND make sure they don’t deviate from your defined branding standards.

control issues aren't always a bad thing
Does any of this sound familiar to you? One path to developing and maintaining better control of your channel partner’s efforts is the use of a Partner Portal. A separate partner portal for your channel partners means you get to control the information your channel partners can see and use like your marketing assets, proposals, pricing, etc. By setting up permissions, you can further ensure that your data is not interfered with. In short, you can customize your partner portal to suit your functional as well as your branding requirements. More importantly, it makes life easier for them. They have access to everything they need to sell your products or services, and don’t have to spend their own time developing sales or marketing assets or strategies. It also makes things easier for you. Everything is ready, set, go - sell.

5 ways in which Channel Sales Enablement differs from Direct Sales Enablement

Success in B2B sales largely depends on the effectiveness of the company’s sales channels. Sales enablement is now being seen as the driving force behind well-managed sales channels, successful selling partners who meet or exceed quota and, ultimately, the key to driving sales revenues. This has caused the average sales enablement budget to double in the last two years. The overall investment in sales enablement has increased by over 65%.
5 ways in which channel sales enablement differs from direct sales enablement

While channel sales enablement can make sales channels more effective, it also presents unique challenges. In the case of direct sales, ultimately the company and the salespeople are clearly a team. There is no conflict of interest and the challenges are pretty much the same across all sales teams in the company. However, channel sales enablement is a very different ball game. For one thing, every channel partner deals with multiple vendors. This translates into intense competition amongst vendors to grab the channel partner’s attention. Vendors want to ensure their brand gets the attention it deserves. To add to the complexity, you have multiple channel partners to manage, and not every partner’s needs are the same. For every channel partner who works wonderfully, there’s one who is struggling to push the brand. For every partner who is extremely successful with marketing campaigns, there’s one who wishes the vendor offered them better marketing support.

Adding to this chaos is the lead generation challenge—the challenge to capture the attention of the next-generation buyer and holding it. Today’s buyer is more knowledgeable and empowered than ever before. With information at their fingertips, the next generation buyer is constantly evaluating the seller’s brand, researching, getting peer reviews and has pretty much made up their mind before the seller’s channel partners even approach them. How can businesses help their channel partners engage with these buyers at the right time? How can they make their brand a favorite with their channel partners? How does one ensure that products and services are marketed effectively? Vendors all over are having a difficult time answering these questions.

This blog outlines the unique challenges that are a part of channel sales enablement and explains how this affects channel sales enablement efforts

Challenge #1: Maintaining the brand
When you sell through channels, channel partners become your brand ambassadors. They become the face of the business as far as the end customer is concerned. But how do vendors ensure that their brand and its messaging are portrayed exactly the way they want? What if there are compliance requirements in relation to the messaging. How to ensure they are met? One inadvertent slip-up can prove fatal for the brand.

Sales enablement for channels requires providing channel partners with tools that allow them to customize sales collateral, without disrupting the vendor’s branding standards.

Challenge #2: Generating, following and closing quality leads
Lead generation and closure is often a bone of contention between vendors and their channel partners. Vendors may perceive that their channel partners aren’t pursuing their leads effectively; channel partners argue over the quality of leads handed over by vendors.

With leads flowing in from multiple vendors, it is only natural that partners  gravitate towards leads that are hot. They invest time and efforts where they believe results will be better and quicker. However, this means leads that are not ready to buy immediately are often ignored and lost for good.

Sales enablement for channels means providing channel partners and vendors with lead scoring, segmentation and nurturing tools that ensure only the most potent leads are shared with channel partners and those that are not ready to make an immediate purchase are automatically groomed until they are worth the channel partner’s time.

Challenge #3: Poor marketing results
Vendors feel they are not being marketed correctly by their channel partners and that their channel partners don’t always use the right messaging. Ultimately, companies and their channel partners alike are disappointed with their marketing programs as they don’t bear the desired results. For the best results, the marketing campaigns designed by vendors should be tightly woven into the channel partner’s business goals and should be easy-to-implement. If this isn't done, no one is happy, and both blame the other.

Sales enablement for channels entails empowering vendors to provide their channel partners with pre-approved marketing and sales collateral. This ensures that the message sent out by the channel partner resonates with corporate messaging, yet still can be personalized by the channel partner to reflect their identity.

Challenge #4: Lack of trust between vendor and channel partners
Vendors often accuse channel partners of not giving enough preference to their offering. There is a general sentiment that the vendor’s products/services are not being ‘pushed’ enough by their sales channels. Also, vendors end up relying on complex spreadsheets or sales/marketing records of channel partners which contain manually input data. From the vendor’s perspective, such records raise questions about the accuracy, authenticity and freshness of data. Channel partners, on the other hand, feel that vendors are on a fault-finding spree and not truly interested in supporting them.

Sales enablement for channels entails bringing about transparency in the relationship between vendors and their channels. This becomes possible by providing access to a detailed reporting system so that vendors know every bit of important information such as marketing/sales campaigns run by channel partners, actions taken by them on incoming leads, lead closure/drop rates, etc.

Challenge #5: Measuring channel effectiveness
Vendors have too much to keep track of: managing multiple partner relationships, various marketing programs, and multiple products and services. All of these elements come together creating a complex mesh that makes it difficult for vendors to measure the effectiveness of their channels. Often vendors know who their top-performing channel partners are, but when it comes to identifying the problems with their other channel partners, vendors are left clueless. End result? They are left battling poor channel performances with no idea of what’s wrong with their channels.

Sales enablement for channels entails keeping the vendor in the loop with respect to every interaction that happens between channel partner and prospect. It involves making the performance reporting system independent. When vendors need not rely on their channel partners for performance reports, it helps on three accounts. One, it lends more authenticity to the reports, since they are system generated and can be directly accessed by the vendors. Two, reports pertaining to all channel partners are available in a single format. Third, the vendor is able to provide all its channels with a standard repository of marketing/sales assets; making an apple-to-apple comparison of channel partners easy. This enables vendors to understand which channel partners are doing well and which ones are struggling to perform. With all the subjectivity and ambiguity out of the relationship, vendors are able to make effective channel partner management decisions that are based on solid facts and figures.