How to Generate Quality Leads with Lunch and Learns

How to Generate Quality Leads with Lunch and Learns

8 Keys to Successful Networking Events

Today’s decision-makers are bombarded with emails and text ads from local MSPs and global vendors everywhere they turn. Tech companies looking to grow their business can’t rely on digital marketing alone. So how do you generate quality leads in a crowded marketplace? One of the most cost-effective ways to garner new leads is with Lunch and Learns, or networking events.

1. Cast a wide net.

  • Market your event to your clients. Your biggest fans will most likely be an easy sell. (They may even volunteer to give you a nice testimonial at the event.) Networking with clients is a smart retention move. You can reinforce the value of your relationship and position yourself for a cross-sell/up-sell opportunity at the same time.
  • It’s the prospects, out there on the fence, who you need to work to attract. More on that later.
  • Target all levels of leadership. You never know where you might find your next lead.

“Within the first seven seconds of meeting, people will have a solid impression of who you are — and some research suggests a tenth of a second is all it takes to start determining traits like trustworthiness.”  –Forbes.com

2. Go big, or go home.

When it comes to planning your next event, think “big picture.” Every last detail (the venue, the food, the email invite) sends a message. The choices you make communicate to your customers and your prospects what you think of your business and what you think of them. Everything, from your initial introduction to your marketing collateral, should be professional and on brand. Lastly, send your guests home with high-value swag. A Yeti mug, with your company logo, will stand the test of time and earn a coveted space on someone’s desk.

The choices you make communicate to your customers and your prospects what you think of your business and what you think of them.

3. Choose an inclusive, high-value venue.

The right venue can entice the most challenging of leads. As mentioned earlier, your fan base will most likely accept your invitation with little hesitation. You’ll need to work harder to lure in the others. Imagine a local professional in the market for IT support services. He may not agree to sit down with you for an hour to listen to your sales pitch. But, he might be tempted to join your event at a Major League baseball game or a posh steakhouse. (Note: If you’re feeling a little sticker shock, consider this: Networking is one of the most cost-effective ways to grow your business.) And, if you’re looking to cut costs, think about working with a vendor to support your event.

If you’re looking to cut costs, think about working with a vendor to support your event.

4. Hosting virtual events

There will be times when being physically together isn’t possible. Bad weather and simple geography can leave you with no other option but a virtual event. Online events present their own set of challenges, but when done well, they can be successful.

  • Make it easy. Be sure to use a user-friendly, well-known business communication platform like Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Stay away from products not universally known. You want to make the entire experience easy and stress-free. As with any marketing effort, limit every potential obstacle you can.
  • Class it up. Just because you can’t meet at a high-end restaurant doesn’t mean you can’t send participants an electronic gift card. Once people enter your event, email them an Uber Eats or DoorDash gift card so your guests can order food. Everyone can enjoy a nice lunch delivered to their office around the same time.
  • Don’t multi-task. Don’t make the mistake of trying to host a hybrid onsite and online event. Choose one or the other, so you can devote your undivided attention to your guests.

Networking is one of the most cost-effective ways to grow your business.

5. How, and when, to effectively measure ROI

Calculating the ROI is fairly straightforward – revenue compared to cost. In this instance, the primary goal of your event is to generate leads. That’s our measurable objective.

Take the total cost of your event and divide by the number of leads generated. That gives you your total cost per lead. Compare that number to your ROI on other marketing efforts. (Networking events prove to be cost effective tools to generate leads in comparison to other marketing efforts.) That’s welcome news when the average lead in the IT space could cost you over $1k. And finally, networking is a long-term investment. Give your event time to work. Wait 90 days before you measure your progress.

Networking is a long-term investment. Give your event time to work. Wait 90 days before you measure your progress.

6. Set the right agenda.

  • Do give a high-level overview of all the products and services you offer. Even if your event is centered around VoIP, don’t neglect to mention you offer cloud services. You never know who is listening and what they may need now or sometime in the near future.
  • Don’t make this about a sales pitch. Yes. Your event should have a sales component, but your primary objective here isn’t to sell. The time to sell will come later. If you’re sharing the event with a vendor, prep them before time on your preferred tone and message.
  • Do allow for breathing room. Realize people will converse and conversations will evolve. Be sure to incorporate free time in the first few minutes for people to arrive and make introductions.
  • Don’t get too technical. Remember, among your guests may be an engineer. But don’t forget the business people who aren’t tech-savvy. Speak to business value so your message resonates with everyone in the room.

The average lead in the IT space averages about $1k.

 7. Don’t forget about marketing.

  • Announce your event and generate excitement through company newsletters, social media, email and telemarketing campaigns.
  • Send a thank you follow-up email.
  • Call each participant following your event. Thank guests for attending, and ask if they would like more information about your product and service offerings.

8. Keep your eyes on the prize.

  • Don’t be short-sighted. Remember, networking isn’t a sprint. It’s a long-term investment.
  • Do make it a habit. Commit yourself to a regular cadence of events, say one per month. Regular events can not only keep your business top of mind, but they can also establish you as an industry thought leader.
  • Don’t lose sight of your objective. Your goal with this event is to produce a lead. Leave the details and the hard sell for later.

Interested in how to generate quality leads? Marketopia can help.

If you have a tech company to grow, Marketopia has the marketing and lead gen tools to make it happen. We’re in the business of more leads, more sales and more profit for everyone in the IT channel. So, whether you’re looking for support for your TSP marketing, channel marketing or lead generation for IT industry customers and partners, Marketopia is here to help.

  • Tools to run your own event
  • Professional collateral
  • IT industry specific
  • Sales and marketing focused

Interested in how to generate quality leads? Contact us today, and let’s get started

Sources

RECENT POSTS

Recruit New Partners in the Era of No Events

Recruit New Partners in the Era of No Events

From conferences to concerts, sporting events and more, large gatherings of people have been put on hold for the foreseeable future. According to Forbes, more than 83 million attendees have been forced to change their plans because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

It’s no secret that conferences are the bread and butter of making connections, forming partnerships and expanding your organization’s market share. Without the ability to have these face-to-face interactions, many professionals feel like there is no opportunity to gain new business and expand their organization’s brand. However, it’s not the end of the world. The partners are still out there – but you must change the tactics you use to reach them.

Here are five areas to consider for recruiting net new partners when in-person events are not an option.

Chat with us today and discover how it’s done.

Virtual Events

Nearly all internal meetings take place virtually nowadays; why not hold an entire conference the same way? These events are much easier to put on from a logistics, planning and marketing standpoint. You can have greater attendance by people and speakers from around the world since travel is not a factor.

Unfortunately, the market for virtual events has become oversaturated. But don’t allow this to be a deterrent. You need to be creative and offer a different kind of experience with information that people want to consume so you can attract the partners you want. The key is to create a fun and engaging atmosphere. People are already living in dull video calls. Break up this monotony by introducing captivating keynote speakers, software, videos and gamification into your presentation to keep them hooked. It helps if the topics of these items are timely.

It’s also essential that you encourage your audience to watch the event live and not recorded. It cannot be overstated how much more effective lead generation is when an audience is watching live. Plus, attendees can interact in Q&A sessions, making them more likely to stay tuned in and deeply engaged for the entire event.

When it’s all said and done, you now have a library of content that you can break up and repackage as value-added marketing collateral in the form of videos, blogs and other media. These will help you attract new partnerships long after the virtual event ends.

Stronger Together: Partnerships

You don’t have to hold these virtual events on your own. One tactic that’s winning for many businesses right now is sharing the stage with other business personalities at these virtual events. This “better together” approach empowers both of you to grow each other’s database of leads. The key here is to have a large attendee list. It helps add greater value because you both can attract more viable leads that you may not have reached before on your own with your combined wealth of knowledge.

Partnering with vendors helps you explain product knowledge and sell the ease of use for your solution offerings. They help you with lead generation and marketing tools so you can close more deals in the virtual space.

Social Power

For sales reps who are used to being road warriors at different events, the battle is not over – it’s taking place elsewhere. Social media is a sales rep’s best tool for reaching people when face-to-face interactions are limited. Reps must take their personal brand from the show floor and use it to prospect on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Reddit and others to pursue new leads.

They will become an active member of these communities by engaging in discussions, commenting on other peoples’ posts and participating in their events, perhaps even as a guest speaker.

Social media is also an excellent tool for holding small to medium virtual events. For example, you can host a LinkedIn Live event with value-added information in your presentation. These gatherings can be even more effective because they’re more intimate and provide more opportunities for one-on-one discussions with those in attendance.

Revisit & Reinvigorate Relationships

Don’t forget about the clients you already have. Customer relationship management is the most crucial factor here. To start, make a targeted list of partners with whom you want to increase business. Once established, start devoting more time and resources towards sparking new deals with them.

They already know your value, it’s a perfect opportunity to offer them more. Send them resources and useful information about what they need to survive in difficult times and feature solutions you can provide at a discounted rate.

You can also reach out to organizations in your contacts that never quite became a client. Revisit your data, check attendance to past events and your own virtual events and see who was there but did not convert. Have your sales rep engage with them and see if there’s a solution you can offer that will be your in.

Marketing Always Matters

At the end of the day, the tactics all businesses use to attract the prospects they want remains constant. Keep up with the marketing efforts that have always informed the world of your value. Important areas to keep up on include:

  • General advertising
  • Telemarketing
  • Email campaigns
  • Public relations
  • Optimizing content for SEO

The audience you want to reach is still out there, you just need to get creative in all these areas to increase your success rate.

How Marketopia Can Help

Between hosting and joining virtual events with vendor partners, offering comprehensive training sessions, engaging social and reaching out to close a deal, the entire team at Marketopia knows how to get it done. Don’t wait for the normal to return; we can help you take advantage of the opportunities in front of you right now so you can build even greater success. Contact us today to get started.

RECENT POSTS

How to Become a Savvy Business Advisor: A Channel Account Manager’s Road Map for Success

How to Become a Savvy Business Advisor: A Channel Account Manager’s Road Map for Success

As a CAM, you’ve devoted a lot of energy to developing business relationships and learning about how to make the most out of those connections. But to become a true business advisor, you’ll need to fully understand the ins and outs of every partner business. If you’re serious about building partnerships within the channel, demonstrate your commitment to the industry by respecting everyone’s respective role in the supply chain.

With a polished skill set, a strong sense of professionalism and a bit of training, you’ll be able to speak directly to partner businesses’ pain points — and connect the right people with the right resources and solutions.

To do so, you need to first earn credibility the old-fashioned way, by becoming someone your partners can trust and turn to for advice. Getting there is hard work, but it’s all worth it. Start studying your partner businesses to figure out what makes them tick, and then determine how you can improve their bottom line.

Learn More

Understanding How a Partner Business Makes Money

Step One: Appreciate and Respect the Supply Chain

Consider how each organization, person, task, data point, tool and asset impact the integrity of the process before making any hasty changes or decisions. Resist the temptation to eliminate parts of the supply chain in order to save money or automate processes without fully considering what’s at stake.

Step Two: Pay Attention to Organizational Structure

Take time to understand how your partner business makes money and what they must accomplish in order to turn a profit. From billing and collections to sales and advertising, there’s a lot that has to get done. Remember that a smaller partner might have different needs than an enterprise, and develop strategies and offerings with both in mind.

Step Three: Facilitate Success for the Front End

When consumers visit professional websites on their smartphones, they are enjoying a clean user experience thanks to a lot of work on the front end. What they see is the result of a long process that the customer benefits from, but likely knows very little about. While the front end of a business tends to get all the credit, they share systems with and often need just as much support as the back end, so give them the services and IT infrastructure they need to thrive.

Step Four: Give Credit to the Back End

The back end is everything an ordinary consumer doesn’t see. It’s all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes, and it doesn’t resemble the neatly-packaged front-end presentation that the customer admires. Managing databases, processing orders, handling finance — everything is easier with the right resources, and there are a lot of departments that demand your attention and support.

Step Five: Recognize and Rectify Inefficiencies

As a successful CAM — and emerging business advisor — your job involves helping partners reach long-term goals through a combination of insourcing and outsourcing. Provide clients with the best cloud offerings, the right managed services, industry-specific technology solutions and professional IT support, and you’ll empower them to simplify everything from inventory and customer support to research and development and more.

Step Six: Consult Like the Pro You Are

In your quest to become a top business advisor, you will continue honing your expertise and eventually cultivate a reputation for solving problems on the fly. This may mean establishing yourself as a consultant and conducting business as such. People look to you for advice about how to handle emerging technologies and solve problems in the supply chain, and you’ll want to be able to tell them what to do next. By investing in high-level training, you’re putting yourself in a better position to understand each partner’s business and how you fit into the equation.

What’s Next? Scout Out New Opportunities for Growth!

As you master the art of pleasing every partner business, you’ll become a pro at helping everyone get the quality service they deserve. Consider how the needs of large and small partners differ from one another and develop new offerings that target a partner business’ operations, services, finance, product development, marketing and sales accordingly. To continue building value in a dynamic business world, find innovative ways to connect with partners new and old, and stay relevant by networking, upskilling, outsourcing and knowing when it’s time to bring in professionals who can take things to the next level.

Ready to Elevate?

As a vendor or reseller, working with a partner like Marketopia means that you don’t have to spend your time training and creating lead generation for your partners – let our team of IT industry leaders handle it instead. At Marketopia, we speak the language of the channel and have the expertise it takes to support your business goals. We know the channel inside and out and have designed cutting-edge marketing strategies for CAMs who are ready to grow and build a better future. Let’s Get Started

RECENT POSTS

Reaping the Benefits of Social Media Advertising

Reaping the Benefits of Social Media Advertising

“With nearly half of the world’s population now active on social media, social selling is more relevant than ever. Sales leaders who’d rather be ahead of the curve than chasing it would be smart to start systemizing the practice in their sales force.” -HubSpot

You don’t have to be an influencer to understand the connection between social selling, lead generation and profit.

But if you want to excel in an online marketplace, you do need to get serious about your brand’s digital presence and how you’re using social media channels to support your advertising and marketing campaigns. In this blog, we’ll explore the benefits of social media advertising and why it’s such an integral part of any aggressive sales strategy.

What is Social Selling?

Social selling is an accessible way for salespeople to reach target audiences, attract new prospects and close more deals by posting relevant content and engaging friends and followers. To maximize the power of social selling, develop a strategic social media marketing (SMM) campaign with ads specifically designed for YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other platform.

The Power of Social Selling

With a bit of creativity and drive, your business can create an effective social campaign and start bringing in money through a blend of direct and indirect approaches. Creating a content calendar and coming up with posts may sound like a lot of hard work, but once you see the results, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without this simple sales technique. Start by setting some goals.

1. Maximize Your Exposure

Because you’re advertising on social media and working with different hashtags, locations, and mentions, you have the ability to use your brand’s distinct personality to catch the interest of people you’d otherwise maybe never even get through to. Reaching huge audiences and turning clicks into conversions is, of course, one of the many benefits of social media advertising. This approach is also valuable because of its relationship with consumer data, digital traffic figures and SEO keyword research.

2. Personalize Your Brand

Build authority as a leading MSP and distinguish yourself by developing unique content that caters to your clientele and separates you from your competitors. On social media, you also have more freedom to be more playful or creative than in other mediums, which is great in terms of building brand loyalty. Once people develop a more nuanced understanding of your brand, they’ll come to understand how your IT services can improve their bottom line. And finally, after earning prospects’ trust and gaining their attention, you’ll be able to start a conversation that can generate more leads and convert more sales. The process can be simplified by setting up automatic drops of prepared posts and ads that represent your brand and are timed and themed to get more business.

3. Keep Costs Down

They say word of mouth is the best advertising, and on social media, it’s often free. Some social ads can be generated for a relatively minimum cost, repurposed from one channel to the next (i.e. Facebook to Instagram) and depending on the content, even recycled for future use down the road. One thing to remember is that coupling the right copy with the right graphic is not as easy as it sounds, especially when the goal of each ad is to generate leads and grow your business. Yet it pays off, and in reality, placing a few ads on social is a great way to stay in the foreground without investing too much. By interacting with other users via likes, comments and direct messages, your organization can nurture relationships without spending a dime.

4. Get Huge Returns

When you consider all of the benefits of social media advertising, including how inexpensive and effective it can be, it’s easy to see why more businesses are relying on social selling. Not only does SMM keep your brand in everyone’s feed and therefore on their minds, but it’s also a quick way to simply get your name out there and increase the odds of making a sale through virtual networking. By integrating a social media advertising campaign into the mix, you’re giving your business a better chance of connecting with clients and prospects on a daily basis, including those who will stumble upon your brand through hashtags, mentions and more.

Don’t forget to think deliberately about your image as you develop your online persona and your messaging as you start churning out popular posts. After all, the only thing worse than having no social presence at all is having no clear online identity or digital marketing plan.

How Marketopia Can Help

If you’re ready to take advantage of all that social selling has to offer, it’s time to partner with a marketing agency that understands the IT channel and what it takes to generate leads and grow your brand. Our content creation team can collaborate with you to ensure your social posts are optimized and on point, and through careful collaboration, we can get your business’ message out into the world. From our content, design and digital teams to our appointment setters and sales team, you’ll have a whole agency behind your company when you work with Marketopia. Contact us today to learn more.

RECENT POSTS

The Big Blog of Video Marketing

The Big Blog of Video Marketing

The world moves faster than it used to. People have less time in their day-to-day lives and even less of an attention span. It’s difficult for many professionals to break away from their tasks and focus their minds solely on reading. That’s why media like video has become such effective forms of marketing. They can be played in the background while people multitask, and therefore, are more likely to be consumed from beginning to end.

The pursuit of increasing your digital footprint is never-ending. Video is the leading way to take the next step. Easily consumable content is how your audience wants to hear from you. If you can get even a sliver of their attention, you can sell your services more effectively. In this blog, we’ll examine the benefits of video marketing and what you need to do to implement it successfully.

Get Started on Your Video Marketing Efforts Today

What is Video Marketing?

Video marketing is much more than a television commercial or YouTube ad. It’s easily consumable content that not only pitches an offer, but also provides useful information to your audience. An example would be a video about how managed services can help a business succeed in a post-COVID-19 world. At the end of the video, you would then present your managed services as the solution. This sort of value-added content is the most successful in attracting new business.

When Should You Use It?

Video is the most efficient way to get the word out about what’s new in your organization. According to research from HubSpot, four of the top six social channels on which global consumers obtain marketing content is through video. This means video marketing is the most popular and successful way to reach the masses. When you introduce new services or products, you can use video to insert it into your sales cycle and promote it via your sales cycle emails.

Where Should You Post It?

The best technique of deploying your video marketing efforts is by parceling it out through your social media accounts. When you produce video content, it can easily be shared across all of your accounts like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. Most businesses choose to host their video content on YouTube and Vimeo. It’s important to remember these should be treated with equal care as your other social accounts. Meaning, that the engagements and comment sections should be curated to foster engagement and maintain appearances, just as you would with your other social accounts. Your company website can also be used to host video content, either natively or via embedded links.

How Should You Do It?

Not everyone is as adept at producing video as others but learning to do so will significantly improve your online presence. Here is a checklist of things you should keep in mind when creating video marketing content:

  • Be organic. Prospects want to work with genuine people. You don’t need to put on an Oscar performance or do your best Billy Mays pitch, just be you.
  • Expensive equipment isn’t necessary. You’d be amazed at the great content you can produce with your phone. Tutorial videos can be helpful for recording and editing tips.
  • Always use stats from reliable sources to back up your claims. Accuracy is important, and prospects will appreciate it when you’ve done your homework.
  • Produce content that people want to consume. Videos on timely content, like COVID-19, will bring the most attention. You can also do branding videos like office tours and employee interviews to promote transparency.
  • It’s vital that you use optimized search keywords in the titles and descriptions of your videos. This will boost the click-through rate of your content.

The techniques you use to create this content should be a reflection of WHO your team is and WHAT your organization represents. Put care into what you produce, but remember, intriguing content will always shine through the level of production.

How  Marketopia Can Help

If you’re ready to begin your video marketing journey, reach out to Marketopia and see how we can help. Our content and design teams are more than capable of producing the polished message you want from topics to scripts, recording and editing. Not to mention, our digital team will use of appropriate SEO terms and post at the proper times across all your social media to get the most engagements. Put an entire agency behind your company to tell its story the right way. Contact us  today and let’s start writing yours.

RECENT POSTS

It’s Time to Start Building Your Partner Value Proposition

It’s Time to Start Building Your Partner Value Proposition

If you’re a CAM, you’re probably a natural when it comes to nurturing relationships among key players in the channel. But when your primary goal is to drive revenue, building the partner value proposition is always on your mind. To do so effectively, you’ll need to learn how to develop and position the value vendor solutions provide to your partners and your partners’ customers. With the right strategy in place, you’ll easily be able to evaluate value prop statements and understand their impact on channel partner recruitment. By optimizing and reprioritizing offerings, you’ll be able to get through to both prospective and existing partners in the channel. The next step is to use your talent and expertise to build your partner value prop.

It will require additional training, tools and time to reach the next level, but it’s worth it. After all, as a CAM, you’ve invested a lot to get to this point in your career and probably had to make some sacrifices along the way. The professional relationships you’ve built in the IT channel are a solid foundation, but until you’ve invested in building the partner value proposition, you haven’t reached your potential. In this blog, we’ll lead you through a few ways to build your partner value prop and grow your business.

Discover Your Potential

Refine Your Understanding of the Buying Cycle

Remember that businesses can bring value to their clients and their channel partners at the same time, so it’s best to begin by considering the buyer’s journey and taking a bird’s eye view. If you were a partner stakeholder, what kind of concerns might you have and how they might be addressed? Be the solutions-oriented person you are and anticipate any counterarguments ahead of time. Be prepared to address them during conversations with decision-makers, and then press on in the recruitment process. Since selling through partners on a routine basis requires that you sell to your partners first, you’re going to need to do some marketing and consider the buyer’s journey.

Continue Building Your Partner Value Prop

To succeed, you’ll want to have some assets ready that add value to your offerings and help your partners achieve long-term success. As a CAM, your IT solutions and products are one way to develop profitable relationships with partners who are already paying attention to you, but you need to attract and delight new prospects, too. Creating and offering downloadable PDFs, case studies and other resources will help partners understand what you’re bringing to the table. By establishing credibility and value in the field through things like tools and testimonials, you’ll be in a better position to persuade the specific channel partners you’re targeting to act.

Get Through to the Decision-Maker

Dedicate time and resources to learning how to reach the decision-makers at key partners and communicate with them. Getting through isn’t easy—that’s why you need to develop a personalized value proposition statement that prepares you for these conversations. Your job is to quickly convince the decision-makers that a given program or service has the added value it takes to give customers a high ROI. Now is the time to apply what you’ve learned as a successful CAM and establish joint vendor partner value propositions.

Ready to Elevate? As a vendor or reseller, working with a partner like Marketopia means that you don’t have to spend your time training and creating lead generation for your partners – let our team of IT industry leaders handle it instead. We know the channel inside and out and have designed cutting-edge marketing strategies for CAMs who are ready to start building their partner value prop. Team up with Marketopia to help your partners separate themselves from the competition. Get Started

RECENT POSTS