When I speak with sales teams across the country, there are 2 major areas they wish to improve upon. New lead generation is generally the focus for startup companies and business that sell to a variety of potential buyers. Established companies with well defined or niche markets are desperately looking for better control of their pipeline, and opportunity management.
Crushpath is a lightweight SaaS tool that aims to assist in both categories. The overlying concept of the platform is to provide new lead generation for marketers and sales both by creating “pitch sites”. Pitch sites are basically a user friendly landing page builder, where users can customize pitches to target specific prospects and garner interest for their product or services.
Once someone expresses interest in your offering via a form submission on your pitch page, Crushpath becomes a lightweight CRM that sits above Salesforce to provide a more collaborative and user friendly sales process management tool. Integrations with social media, Salesforce, Evernote, and Box provide a friendly and transparent environment for sales people to interact and share content with prospects from initial contact until a deal is inked.
Inbound Sales vs. Pitching
Inbound Marketing is all about creating unbiased content that answers your prospects’ questions and identifies your company as a thought leader in your space. Generally people searching on Google that have a specific question or problem will stumble upon this content, and will become a sales lead when they are enticed by an offer on the page. This offer could be as lightweight as further information in the form of an ebook, guide, or webinar. It could also be a direct request to enter into a sales process via a contact sales request or demo request.
Before I reach out to my leads I spend a great deal of time doing research. I am trying to understand:
What they already know about my industry
What they are interested in
Who they follow on social media
What is keeping them up at night
What their major pain points are
I do this research to ensure that when I reach out whether it is via phone or email, I am controlling the conversation and we are only talking about them and their problems. No matter how much research I can do about a person, they always know more about themselves than I can figure out about them online.
My strategy is then to find pain this person has, and offer my help and knowledge to provide relief. I do not pitch HubSpot or how I can potentially help this person until we have had a thorough exploratory meeting and I can not only pitch my product, but help my prospect co-create a plan that will allow them to be successful with my product offering.
When I saw Crushpath for the first time, I was intrigued about the concept of “pitching” to generate new leads. The following are ways that you can use a Crushpath pitch site to generate new leads:
Email Your Pitch Site
The first way that Crushpath recommends salespeople use pitch sites to generate leads is to email them to prospects. You could look at this 2 ways:
Send your pitch to a cold list
Send targeted email pitches to warm leads or networking relationships
Sending a pitch out to a cold list might yield a few one-off responses, but would need to be done on a pretty mass scale in order to provide any scalable results on a regular basis. Now I am imagining myself as a consumer and I just downloaded an ebook, or met a new person at a tradeshow. I check my inbox and have 2 choices as to which email to engage with:
A well written email with an insightful suggestion (highly personalized) and offer to provide more ideas and helpful resources
A link to a pitch site that has links to potentially broad content and information, and clearly screams ‘You are entering a sales process!!!”
Crushpath pitch sites are glossy and very aesthetically pleasing. But is that really what your consumer is looking for? During your initial outreach, it is better to take the trusted advisor role and work more on providing real feedback and starting a strong buyer focused conversation.
Get Found In Google - Search Engine Optimization
Domain authority means that there are other people online that are linking to your page because there is strong content living there that helps them prove a point they are trying to make. The trouble with building authority on a Crushpath pitch page is twofold:
You are pitching a product or service, not providing unbiased information that others would reference to prove a point
Unless you are a very saavy user, you will most likely be publishing pages under the Crushpath.com domain, therefore not contributing to your company’s overall seo rankings because Google will have no clear way to identify that this page is connected with your company
To assist with relevancy, you want to make sure that your pitch site is optimized for the keyword (prospect’s problem or question) of your choice in the following areas:
Header (H1 tag)
Alt Tags (Images)
If you are interested in getting your content found on Google, a much more direct and customizable approach would be to set up a blog. Your blog will provide an easy way to publish pages that are optimized for search. A blog also sets the tone for unbiased, helpful content rather than simply pitching someone on a product or service without being worried about what their unique problems really are.
Promote Your Pitch Site on Social Media
Your social media network is very similar to an email list when it comes to lead generation, it just provides more opportunity for viral effects. With Sell Inbound, we generate thousands of site visitors a month just from sharing our articles and offers on LinkedIn.
Crushpath allows you to easily share your pitch sites on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But the same problem arises, you are sending a sales pitch message into a large pool of people that have vastly different needs, wants, and desires.
A cool way to potentially use the pitch pages in social media could be for new product announcements, or event registration, but regular landing pages on your website could easily do the same thing. A better option for establishing yourself as a thought leader and true industry expert on social media is to have an industry commentary blog and share your analysis and answer prospect and customer questions directly. This will not only give you much more at bats due to the ability to speak to a variety of subjects, but will bring more of the right types of people into your sales funnel; people that are really looking for the expertise and knowledge that you can share.
Advertise your Pitch Site on Paid Channels
A surefire way to get eyes on your pitch site is to pay for some good ole' fashioned digital advertising. You could advertise on any of the following sites:
Search Engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing)
Social Media (Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon)
Industry Hubs (TechCrunch, Mashable)
A few things to keep in mind about paid search:
It can get expensive fast
You want to make sure that the copy of your ad is directly in line with your pitch
The best consumers are not clicking paid ads
If you have deep pockets to bring people into your sales funnel and want quick results, paid is the best channel for you to experiment with. I am running the risk of being a broken record here, but a better solution is to send paid ads to landing pages that live on your website. This way if a visitor that clicked through requires more information prior to submitting a form, it is accessible and transparent.
Overall Thoughts on Using Crushpath for Lead Generation
I set up a few pitch sites that I planned on using in my sales process. Since I blog and drive traffic already, I found no need to share my pitch on social media. In fact, I felt anxiety about my professional reputation when I considered sharing a pitch. What I am trying to build is thought leadership within the sales and marketing technology space. How am I contributing to that goal by sending out an offer to consult to my network?
The next way I planned to use Crushpath was to target pitches to each of my inbound leads and send out my pitch site instead of my current initial outreach email. I quickly found 2 major downfalls to using Crushpath is this capacity:
It was very time consuming to edit my pitch to be extremely targeted to each of my leads (from a guy that creates a ton of content)
These messages are not buyer centric! It is very hard to make a pitch site the beginning of a consultative buyer focused process, which the rest of Crushpath’s platform is based around.
Overall I found no value in the lead generation piece of Crushpath’s toolset. This is not to say that the rest of the platform is not excellent. Once someone is a lead inside of your Crushpath portal, the tools are extremely transparent and create a great community space to collaborate with your prospect and team on deals.
If I was in charge of product at Crushpath, I would transform the “pitch” element of the platform into the exact opposite. I would make it all about “questions”.
What do you think? Is there anyone who has done anything unique to generate new leads and sales opportunities with Crushpath? Were you able to maintain a consultative and buyer focused sales process?