Prospecting for leads is a totally valid and standard way to fill a Close sales pipeline. While prospecting is never going to disappear, we can take some simple steps to have prospects raise their hand and ask for help. Plus we can set this up to just work without any manual effort or maintenance.
Close is the perfect CRM for this sales hack thanks to the easy way it integrates with third party systems. Plus as a Close user, you know that sales hacking is a legit route to success.
This guide does assume that you have invested time in writing blog posts and articles for your website, or that you have a set of landing pages with a range of keywords that you can take advantage of. It also assumes that you are using Close as your CRM.
Let’s get to it.
Identify useful content clusters from your website
Find clusters of useful content on your website that are related to each other.
A way I like to do this in Google Analytics is to go to
Content -> Landing Pages -> Popular blog post -> Entrance Paths to look at popular posts and see where visitors go after reading a particular article.
Here’s an example from my personal programming blog where I can clearly identify that Spark and Hadoop Tutorials is a theme I could easily build a small E-book around.
Collect several posts and build a small e-book
You can literally copy-paste articles, write a small forward, and maybe a little text to glue them together, and hey-presto, you have a small e-book.
In my personal website example above I could write an e-book titled ‘Getting started with common big data processing frameworks’.
Write a little exclusive content for the book
To make it clear that you did a little more than just copy-paste some existing articles, do something that is only available in the e-book. This can be something simple like a new article, or more involved like providing access to tutorial videos or audio content.
In my personal website example I could write a new article comparing the ease of use of all the different technologies that I’m providing a guide to and giving an opinion on what to learn and when. This would also be a great way to wrap up my book.
Distribute the e-book for free
Of course the catch is that the potential customer needs to provide their contact information.
You can do this for free by using 99Inbound. Build a quick landing page where you provide the table of contents for your book and include a 99Inbound form that can be completed in order to get a copy of the book. Make sure your landing page has a quick introduction to the book that covers all the important keywords.
99Inbound will automatically create a lead for you in Close, and notify you by email or via Slack. With these final pieces in place you have a fully automated, maintenance free lead generator.
Link to this ebook from relevant pages on your website, post to social networks, and maybe tell other friendly bloggers you know to re-post it. At this point you have all the pieces in place to just sit back and wait for the leads to start arriving.
Notes on content selection
A good rule of thumb is to choose content clusters that directly relate to your potential customer problems. In my personal website example my ebook would be great if I were trying to sell software development training services, but terrible if I was trying to sell something less relevant to the content.