If your company sells B2B, odds are that your sales team members are getting at least some of their Leads from your company’s website. We’ll look at two levels of automating the creation of new Leads in CRM from website visitor form submissions.
Deploying Basic CRM Web Form Code
Before online CRM systems were as prevalent as they are today, Web Leads were mainly distributed by email. However, most of today’s cloud-based CRM systems allow marketers to easily generate Web form code that the company webmaster can plug into a website page. When a site visitor fills in the form and hits the submit button, a new Lead automatically appears in the CRM system.
When an organization starts using an online CRM system for the first time, the marketing department soon takes advantage of this new (to their company) CRM web form capability. The company webmaster is asked to add the Web form code to their “Contact Us” page and then Web Leads start to flow directly into the new CRM system. No more manual entry or emailing leads around.
A Contact Us form is the only Web form you will ever need if so many people want what your company sells that they will seek out the Contact Us page in your website navigation and immediately fill out the form — because they can’t wait to start a dialog with one of your reps and get onto your email marketing list.
But what if you sell a product or service for which people are not lining up to fill in your Contact Us page Web form and you need more Web Leads for your sales team to follow up with? That’s when you want to start thinking about creating B2B landing pages with free downloadable offers that will attract the types of Leads you want to get. Of course, you’ll need ways to drive visitors to these landing pages, but that’s a topic for another post.
Creating Effective B2B Landing Pages
So, what exactly is a landing page in B2B marketing context? Well, it’s normally not one of those pages that requires you to scroll past a lot of large red text and italicized “we tripled sales in a month” testimonials, eventually to arrive at a $47 dollar, time limited offer. This is one form of landing page, but it’s not the most effective type of B2B landing page for most businesses. It’s often referred to as a “squeeze page” and is a common form of B2C landing page that’s sometimes used for B2B online marketing. Here’s a snippet of one:
An effective B2B landing page is actually very sparse and is devoid of shiny object distractions. It excludes standard website navigation menus or links. There is minimal scrolling required by a visitor. In fact, the most important parts of a B2B landing page should be “above the fold” and not require any scrolling at all. Here’s an example of that type of page:
When a visitor fills in the form and clicks the button (which, ideally, should read something more compelling than “Submit”) they should either see an inline “Thank You” message and then immediately be emailed whatever they requested — or they should be redirected to a Thank You page with a link to the downloadable offer.
Roll Your Own B2B Landing Page With CRM Web Form Code
After you get through the entire process of designing and publishing your first landing page several weeks or several months later, how long will it take you to get a second or third landing page/thank you page pairing set up? What will it take just to make simple changes to your first landing page? Is there an easier way to manage all this?
Marketing Automation Systems and B2B Landing Pages
In addition, the form submissions from these systems integrate with CRM systems in a superior way to the Web form code that the CRM vendors supply from the admin area of their apps. For example, the workflow within a marketing automation to CRM system integration might check for potential matching Contacts before adding a Lead to the CRM system that’s a duplicate of an existing Contact. As another example, each Lead can be pre-scored based on site visitor behavior such as the number of pages that the visitor viewed.
While marketing automation systems help marketers manage a lot more than landing pages, B2B landing pages are where the rubber meets the road. Only properly designed landing pages will ensure that all your other online marketing efforts are maximized in terms of the number of [good] leads that appear within CRM for your sales users to follow up with.
Often, the only technical prerequisite to setting up landing pages with a marketing automation system is to have someone with access to your company’s Web host set up a subdomain such as contact.yourdomain.com and associate the subdomain with the account that was set up with the marketing automation vendor. It’s also a good idea to have your webmaster add the tracking code that the marketing automation vendor provides to all of your website’s pages.
While CRM Web form code is a good starting point for getting leads directly from your website into CRM, the landing page capabilities of marketing automation systems can take your Web lead capture to the next level.