Hashtag Team: Using analytics to power B2B sales teams, generating leads with LinkedIn

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This week, B2B News Network’s Hashtag Team returns to sifting through Twitter to uncover what’s trending among B2B insiders. We bring you reports on how modeling ensembles combine algorithms to boost performance, how analytics are essential to B2B sales teams, generating more leads using LinkedIn, and more.

As usual, we sort and analyze our data via Nexalogy, a B2BNN technology partner.

B2B Marketing

Market One offers this comprehensive introduction to modeling ensembles, which it defines as “the combination of multiple models to solve a particular problem.” By combining multiple algorithms in a single project, marketing ensembles offer the alluring prospect of significant performance increases.

Modeling ensembles can reduce the risk of relying on a single algorithm type, as well as lower overall error rates by combining various algorithm scores. They also leverage the strengths of different algorithms at different stages of the process and can solve unique problems like creating “filter models” to eliminate individuals who likely would not donate to a specific project. On the downside, utilizing multiple models requires significantly more time, analysis of multiple scores is more difficult and projects will eventually experience diminishing returns with each added algorithm.

B2B Analytics

Scale Venture Partners partner Stacey Bishop asserts salespeople must be armed with a wealth of information about prospects, while efficiently managing their time. To that end, she explains three ways analytics help power sales teams:

  • Locating the Right Prospects: How to zero in on the leads that are really worth focusing your time and energy on? By combining pipeline data and customer insights, sales teams can determine which prospects are most likely to make satisfied customers.
  • Personalized Predictions: Every potential customer is different. Using predictive analytics, B2B sales teams can utilize data about what works best based on clients’ individual needs and desires, allowing greater accuracy when presenting options to prospects.
  • Picking the Right Deals: Even the best CRM systems can’t tell you which potential deals will close or which ones are risky endeavors. Too often, sales managers apply hunches to manually generated Excel forecasts, often with disastrous results. Predictive sales solutions atop existing CRM systems bring a level of predictive accuracy that was not too long ago the stuff of science fiction.

B2B Social Media

Social Media Today explores how to generate more leads—and revenue—using LinkedIn. With 364 million members, LinkedIn is the world’s most prominent professional network. According to Kissmetrics, LinkedIn outranks all other social media platforms in business link generation. By using InMail, lead hunters can directly message any LinkedIn user, a tactic the site claims is 30 times more likely to receive a response than cold-calling.

Transforming company pages by adding attractive images and more persuasive company descriptions, and connecting with people on LinkedIn groups, can also significantly increase lead generation.

Bonus: Read our report on how any B2B firm can use LinkedIn strategically 

B2B Infographics

Best times to post on Social Media

Glen Gilmore, author of Social Media Law for Business and Strategic Digital Marketing, posted this well-shared infographic about, well, sharing. Social media sharing, to be exact, and he outlined which times of day and which days of the week get the best results.

For Facebook, Gilmore says Thursdays and Fridays are the best days to post, with slight variations for specific industries. Eight-six percent of posts are publishing during the work week, with peak engagement occurring on the last two days. The less people want to be at work, the more they log on to Facebook—and clicks peak toward the end of the work day, at around 3 p.m.

For Twitter, B2B tweets perform best Monday through Friday, while B2B-related tweets do best Wednesday through Sunday. Experts believe this is because businesses work with each other during the work week, while consumers engage with brands more on their days off. As for the best time of day to tweet, it all depends on the desired results. CTR peaks at noon and 6:00 p.m., while retweets are most likely to occur at 5:00 p.m.

Engagement metrics are simpler for LinkedIn, where Tuesdays through Thursdays during business hours are the best days and times to post. The importance of LinkedIn continues to grow, with 93 percent of B2B marketers rating the site as the top B2B social media lead generation source.

Missed last week’s Hashtag Team column written by Sarah Dawley? Check it out here!

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Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for U.S. news. Based in San Francisco, he is the editor and publisher of Moral Low Ground and is a Yahoo! Featured Political Contributor.
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