16 min read

Effective Strategies for ERP Software Lead Generation

Effective Strategies for ERP Software Lead Generation


If you are an ERP Value Added Reseller (VAR), you understand the challenges of generating leads for ERP software and professional services, especially if you are new to the industry. Companies like SmithDigital, specializing in ERP lead generation, are well aware of these difficulties.

The ERP market is highly competitive, with industry giants such as Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle investing billions in sales and marketing efforts. Meanwhile, numerous ERP channel partners vie for the attention of potential customers.

These factors, combined with limited marketing knowledge and long sales cycles, create significant obstacles for VARs trying to acquire new leads while managing existing clients.

If you are an ERP Channel Partner, ERP VAR, ERP Consulting firm, etc. struggling to build a strong sales pipeline through inbound or outbound marketing methods, this blog post is specifically designed to help you.

We will provide valuable insights and guidance to jumpstart your software & service lead generation process more efficiently and effectively.

When it comes to selling enterprise software and generating leads, ERP Partners often face challenges in several key areas. Let's explore the primary areas where ERP Partners struggle the most when it comes to ERP software sales and lead generation.

Let's explore each of these briefly:

Lack of Qualified Leads from ERP Vendors

ERP consultants often face a significant challenge when it comes to generating leads for their businesses. Many consultants find themselves relying heavily on the leads provided by the ERP vendors they represent, only to be left frustrated by the minimal or non-existent support they receive. This lack of marketing assistance can make lead generation a daunting task for ERP value-added resellers (VARs), leaving them struggling to maintain a consistent sales pipeline.

Even if you are part of an ERP ecosystem that provides leads, it is crucial not to rely solely on this source. The reality is that referral sources can disappear at any time, leaving you without a predictable pipeline of potential new business. This scenario can be particularly devastating for ERP VARs who have not taken steps to establish their own lead generation strategies. To avoid being caught off guard and ensure the sustainability of your business, it is essential to learn how to generate ERP software and service leads independently.

The challenge of lead generation for ERP VARs is further compounded by the fact that many ERP software vendors, such as Oracle-NetSuite, have already established extensive direct sales teams. These teams, consisting of hundreds of Account Executives (AEs) and Business Development Representatives (BDRs), are vital for the vendors' success. As a result, these vendors may find it increasingly difficult to allocate sufficient leads to their partner network, leaving ERP VARs to fend for themselves in the competitive market.

Given these circumstances, it is imperative for ERP VARs to take the initiative and develop a self-sufficient lead generation strategy for their businesses. By taking control of lead generation, ERP consultants can ensure a steady flow of prospects and reduce their reliance on external sources. This independence allows them to maintain a consistent sales pipeline and avoid the risk of being left with no leads if the referral source dries up.

Website Not Optimized to Generate ERP Leads

With a significant portion of ERP sales cycles starting with online research, search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and Google play a pivotal role in driving traffic to your site. Google, in particular, dominates the search engine market, making it essential for your product or service to rank on the first page of Google search results.

Moreover, the rise of AI-powered tools like ChatGPT, Google Gemini, and Perplexity/Claude.ai has revolutionized the way potential customers conduct research and gather information. These tools leverage vast amounts of data from the web to provide users with instant, accurate, and comprehensive answers to their queries. As a result, potential leads may find the information they need directly through these AI assistants, without ever visiting your website.

For example, if a potential customer asks ChatGPT, "What are the best ERP software solutions for small businesses?", the AI tool can provide a detailed response based on the information available on the web. This response may include a list of top ERP software providers, their key features, pricing, and even comparisons between different solutions. If your ERP software and/or services is not prominently featured in this response, you may miss out on a potential lead, even if your website ranks high in search engine results.

This evolving landscape presents new challenges for ERP software providers looking to generate leads through their websites. Not only do they need to optimize their online presence for search engines, but they also need to ensure that their content is comprehensive, authoritative, and easily discoverable by AI-powered research tools.

Furthermore, attracting traffic to your website is only half the battle. Once potential leads land on your site, it is crucial to engage them and encourage them to take action, such as submitting a form or requesting more information. Low form submission rates may indicate that there is too much friction for potential leads to engage with your digital assets, which can hinder your lead generation efforts.

Some common issues that can contribute to low form submission rates include:

  1. Complicated or lengthy forms: If your forms are too long or ask for too much information upfront, potential leads may be discouraged from completing them.
  2. Lack of clarity or compelling calls-to-action: If your website fails to clearly communicate the value of your ERP software or does not provide compelling reasons for leads to take action, they may leave without engaging further.
  3. Poor user experience: A website that is difficult to navigate, slow to load, or not mobile-friendly can frustrate potential leads and cause them to abandon the site before submitting a form.
  4. Lack of trust or credibility: If your website does not convey a sense of trust or credibility, potential leads may be hesitant to provide their information or engage with your business.

These challenges highlight the importance of not only optimizing your website for search engines and AI-powered research tools but also creating a user-friendly, engaging, and trustworthy online presence that encourages potential leads to take action.

In the following sections, we will explore the various strategies and best practices for addressing these challenges and optimizing your website for maximum lead generation in the competitive ERP software market.

Understanding Google's Preference for Fresh Content

The importance of consistently publishing high-quality blogs and other forms of content cannot be overstated when it comes to acquiring valuable keyword positions in Google's organic search rankings. It's a well-established fact that Google has a penchant for fresh, relevant content, rewarding websites that regularly update their content with better visibility.

But why does consistency matter so much? Firstly, it signals to Google that your site is active, relevant, and aiming to provide value to users. This is a key factor in how Google assesses the quality of a website. Regularly updated content increases the chances of your website being indexed more frequently, improving your site's visibility in search results. Moreover, each piece of content is an opportunity to target new keywords, covering more ground in the vast landscape of search queries. 

However, the challenge for many businesses, especially small to medium enterprises, lies in balancing content creation with the multitude of other business activities they must manage. This is where prioritization and strategic planning come into play. Content creation should be seen not as a sporadic activity but as a core aspect of your marketing and SEO strategy. Allocating resources, whether in the form of dedicated personnel or outsourcing to content creation specialists, is essential.

It's also worth noting that quality trumps quantity. While consistency is key, it should not come at the expense of the content's relevance and value to the audience. Engaging, well-researched content that addresses the needs and questions of your audience will always yield better SEO results than content produced merely for the sake of regular publishing.

The Role of Keyword Research in ERP Software Lead Generation

As an SEO professional, I cannot stress enough the importance of thorough keyword research when it comes to generating ERP software leads. It's the foundation upon which your entire content strategy should be built. By dedicating time and resources to identifying the ideal keywords your target audience is actively searching for, you can significantly enhance your content's visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract high-quality leads.

To excel in the competitive landscape of ERP software, you must adopt a strategic and nuanced approach to keyword research. This involves striking a delicate balance between targeting high-volume keywords and long-tail keywords that directly map back to your revenue streams. 

Many businesses make the mistake of solely focusing on popular keywords with high search volumes, believing that this will automatically translate into a flood of leads. While these keywords may seem attractive, they often come with intense competition, making it challenging to rank on the first page of SERPs without a robust and well-executed marketing strategy. Investing all your efforts into these highly competitive keywords can lead to frustration and a lack of tangible results.

On the other hand, some businesses swing to the opposite extreme, targeting only long-tail keywords that are easier to rank for but generate minimal traffic. While these keywords may be less competitive, they may not attract the volume of leads necessary to drive significant growth for your business.

To develop a comprehensive and well-balanced keyword strategy, start by conducting thorough keyword research using tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs. Identify a mix of high-volume keywords that are relevant to your ERP software offerings and long-tail keywords that target specific pain points, features, or industries. By combining these different types of keywords, you can create content that appeals to a broader audience while still capturing highly targeted leads.

ERP lead generation

7 Things You Can Start Doing Right Now to Generate More Sales Leads

As an ERP consulting firm, you understand that selling ERP software solutions is not the same as selling commodity products and services. The ideal ERP buyer is highly knowledgeable and selective in their product choice, as the credibility of the software they choose directly affects their daily work life.

Furthermore, ERP systems tend to be incredibly sticky, often staying with a company for 5-10 years or longer. Given this, it is essential to have a deep understanding of your target audience, including their desires, fears, and objectives when it comes to this significant investment.

To help you start generating leads for your ERP software business, we have outlined seven steps you can take advantage of today.

These steps will help you reach and engage your target audience, build credibility, and establish yourself as a trusted advisor in the ERP space.

1. Leverage the 'Big 5 Themes' in ERP Software Search Queries

Thorough keyword research is critical for generating ERP software and services leads. This means pinpointing the search terms and phrases your target buyers use when seeking ERP solutions online. The "Big 5 Themes" serve as an excellent starting point:

  • Price or cost (e.g. "ERP pricing", "ERP implementation cost")
  • Product comparisons (e.g. "Oracle vs SAP", "compare ERP systems")
  • Customer and analyst reviews (e.g. "ERP reviews", "Gartner Magic Quadrant ERP")
  • "Best of" or "Top" lists (e.g. "best ERP software", "top 10 ERP")
  • Problems that your product resolves (e.g. "inventory management challenges", "improve supply chain efficiency")

These themes encompass what a typical ERP buyer might search for during research. With these in mind, you can identify keywords and phrases ERP buyers likely use in Google queries.

Next, assess if your website currently ranks for any target keywords. Tools like Ahrefs and Semrush streamline this process. They reveal existing keyword rankings and provide insights to improve your strategy.

2. Aligning Keyword Research with Lead Generation Campaigns

After completing your keyword research, it is crucial to align your chosen keywords with the content you plan to create or optimize. This can be done by utilizing an editorial calendar, which serves as a roadmap for your inbound marketing strategy. It helps keep you organized and on track to meet your publishing and revenue objectives.

To ensure your team stays organized, you can start with a basic Google Sheet template or consider using tools like HubSpot's SEO tool to visually structure and link your content.

In the industry, it is common to come across marketing professionals who create excellent content without proper search engine optimization (SEO). On the other hand, there are SEO professionals who write solely for search engines. It is important to strike a balance between writing for human readers and search engines to achieve successful content marketing.

When crafting assets for your target audience, focus on creating content that is engaging, readable, and relatable. Avoid using overly technical or formal language that may lose the reader's attention. Instead, aim to captivate your audience by delivering information in digestible and enjoyable segments.

While writing content exclusively for human readers is important, it is different from writing for search engines. Search engines have evolved to detect content that is solely written to manipulate their algorithms. In the past, marketers could rank high in search results by overloading their pages with keywords. However, this tactic now leads to poor user experiences and high bounce rates, which can adversely affect your Google ranking. While on-page optimization of target keywords is still crucial, search engines now also consider factors like page load times, linking page authority, and dwell time when ranking your page for specific keywords.

3. On-Page Optimization for Lead Generation Success

I cannot overemphasize the significance of on-page optimization when it comes to enhancing your website's visibility and ranking in search engine results. By carefully examining and optimizing various on-page elements, such as keyword selection and usage, title tags, meta descriptions, internal and external link structure, and page speed, you can significantly improve your website's exposure on major search engines like Google and Bing.  

Two primary SEO ranking factors that demand special attention are dwell time and bounce rate.

Dwell time: which refers to the duration visitors spend on a specific page, is a crucial metric for Google rankings. A longer dwell time is considered a positive ranking factor, while a shorter dwell time is viewed as a negative one. The logic behind this is simple – if your content is valuable, relevant, and engaging, readers should naturally spend more time on your pages.

To increase dwell time, consider adding more content to your pages, incorporating video content in your blogs, and adding chat functionality to your website. These strategies not only keep readers engaged but also provide more opportunities for them to interact with your site, ultimately leading to improved rankings and increased ERP software leads.

Bounce rate: on the other hand, is a critical metric that reflects your website's ability to provide answers and relevant information to your audience. A high bounce rate indicates that visitors are not satisfied with your site's content and are leaving without further exploration, which can negatively impact your website's performance and potentially harm your brand's reputation.

To address a high bounce rate, focus on creating new or additional calls-to-action (CTAs) to engage visitors. Offer enticing incentives on key pages, encouraging your audience to take action, such as clicking to a landing page in exchange for contact information. Upgrade your CTAs if they currently consist of a single hyperlink text at the bottom of your website by adding visually striking buttons or images above the fold. Tools like HubSpot offer entry-level solutions for easy CTA and form creation, potentially increasing your conversion rate and reducing bounce rate.

Site performance is another crucial aspect of on-page optimization. Google PageSpeed Insights is an essential tool for measuring your website's performance speed, assigning a score between 0-100, with 100 being the highest and fastest rating. This score helps you understand your website's speed and is used by Google to rank your site in search results. To enhance your website's SEO, focus on increasing page speed by utilizing tools like Google's Lighthouse, an open-source, automated tool that audits your website pages and offers improvement suggestions.

Lastly, optimizing your website's schema is a critical component of on-page optimization that should not be overlooked. Schema markup is a powerful tool that helps search engines understand the content and structure of your website, blog, and landing pages. By implementing schema markup, you can provide search engines with valuable information about your content, such as product details, reviews, events, and more. This additional context can significantly improve your website's visibility in search results, leading to higher click-through rates and increased ERP software leads.

To optimize your schema, start by identifying the most relevant schema types for your content, such as product schema for ERP software offerings or review schema for customer testimonials. Use tools like Google's Structured Data Markup Helper or Schema.org to generate the appropriate schema code and implement it on your website. Regularly test your schema markup using Google's Rich Results Test to ensure it is correctly implemented and free of errors.

4. The Role of High-Quality Backlinks in Boosting DA

BacklinksI cannot stress enough the importance of understanding that Google's ranking algorithm goes beyond keyword research and on-page optimization. While these things are essential, Google's primary goal is to surface the most authoritative and trustworthy sites for each search query. This is where the concept of domain authority (DA) comes into play.

Domain authority is a score, ranging from 0 to 100, that reflects a website's credibility and ranking capability in the eyes of Google. Essentially, the higher your DA, the better chance you have of ranking against competitors for a particular keyword. Moz, a leading SEO software provider, developed the DA metric to help businesses and SEO professionals gauge the strength of a website's backlink profile and overall online presence.

One of the most effective and proven ways to increase your domain authority is by obtaining high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites. Google views these links as "votes of confidence," essentially vouching for the quality and relevance of your content. When reputable sites link back to your website, it sends a strong signal to Google that your content is valuable and worthy of ranking higher in search results.

To build a robust backlink profile and boost your domain authority, consider implementing a strategic guest posting campaign. By contributing valuable, informative articles to industry blogs, news sites, and other influential domains in your niche, you can gain exposure to a wider audience while establishing your expertise. Most importantly, you can include links back to your own website within these guest posts, effectively building a diverse portfolio of domains linking to your site.

However, it's important to understand that the quality of your backlinks matters just as much as the quantity. Google's algorithm has become increasingly sophisticated, and it can detect and penalize sites that engage in spammy or manipulative link-building practices. To ensure the effectiveness of your backlinking efforts, focus on obtaining links from reputable, high-authority domains that are relevant to your industry.

In addition to the quality of your backlinks, pay close attention to the anchor text and context surrounding your links. Anchor text refers to the clickable text that appears within a hyperlink. To maximize the SEO impact of your backlinks, align your anchor text with your target keywords whenever possible. However, be cautious not to overdo it, as excessive keyword-rich anchor text can appear unnatural and may trigger Google's spam filters. Strive for a balanced mix of branded, keyword-rich, and generic anchor text to maintain a natural link profile. (A good rule of thumb is to keep exact match anchor text below 5%)

Furthermore, ensure that the content surrounding your backlinks relates naturally to the linked page on your website. Google's algorithm analyzes the context in which a link appears to determine its relevance and value. By securing backlinks within content that is closely related to your ERP software offerings, you can reinforce the topical authority of your website and improve your chances of ranking higher for targeted keywords.

It's important to recognize that building a strong backlink profile and increasing your domain authority is a long-term SEO investment. It takes time, effort, and persistence to earn high-quality links from authoritative sites. However, the payoff can be substantial. As your domain authority grows, you'll find that your content starts to rank higher in search results, attracting more organic traffic and generating more qualified leads for your business.

5. Convert Website Traffic into Qualified ERP Leads

Once your website starts ranking for the ideal ERP related terms and attracting a steady stream of organic traffic, the next big step is to nurture those visitors into marketing qualified leads (MQLs). The goal is to create an engaging, interactive experience that encourages prospects to provide their contact information and express interest in your ERP software and/or professional services.

One common mistake to steer clear of is relying on static forms that demand excessive upfront information from the user. This can hinder the lead generation process, leading potential prospects to abandon the form and seek out competitors offering a more user-friendly experience. Instead, focus on creating an interactive journey that gradually gathers pertinent information while providing value at each step.

Consider incorporating smart forms, like those powered by Typeform, that adjust the questions based on the user's responses. This dynamic approach enables you to collect more specific information while keeping the user engaged and decreasing the likelihood of form abandonment. By customizing the form experience to each prospect's needs and interests, you can enhance the likelihood of converting them into a marketing qualified lead (MQL).

Another effective strategy is to offer gated assets, such as whitepapers, e-books, or case studies, in exchange for contact details. By providing high-value content that addresses the specific challenges and pain points of your target audience, you can create a compelling incentive for prospects to share their information. This approach not only captures leads but also positions your ERP software as a solution to their problems, building trust and credibility.

Interactive tools, such as quizzes, calculators, and assessments, can also be powerful lead generation mechanisms. By offering prospects the opportunity to receive personalized advice or recommendations based on their input, you can demonstrate the value of your ERP software while collecting valuable data points. These interactive experiences not only engage users but also provide them with tangible benefits, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

To further enhance your lead generation efforts, consider leveraging reverse IP lookup solutions like Zoominfo and Clearbit. These tools allow you to identify anonymous website visitors and gather valuable information about their company, industry, and location. By combining this data with third-party buyer intent data, which tracks online behavior and signals purchase intent, you can tailor your outreach and nurturing strategies to convert unknown traffic into known, sales-ready leads.

6. Harnessing Intent Data to Generate ERP Leads

Buyer intent data refers to the aggregated signals and insights that indicate an organizations increased interest or engagement with topics related to ERP systems. By leveraging these insights, ERP software resellers can identify prospects who are actively researching and considering ERP solutions, enabling a more targeted and effective outreach.

Buyer intent platforms, such as Bombora, ZoomInfo, 6sense, and G2, have emerged as top providers in the buyer intent data space. These software vendors aggregate a wide range of signals from across the web, including searches, page visits, content downloads, and more, to uncover patterns of intent behavior. By analyzing these signals, they can identify companies that are showing a heightened level of interest in ERP-related topics, signaling their readiness to engage with ERP software providers.

By identifying companies that are actively comparing various ERP solutions and researching specific features, ERP software resellers can focus their outreach efforts to match the interests of these prospects. This level of relevance and timeliness in outreach can dramatically improve response rates and conversion rates compared to traditional, generic approaches like cold calling. Some of tools provide buyer intent data in near real time.

To fully harness the power of buyer intent data for outbound lead generation, it's essential to integrate these insights with your customer relationship management (CRM) system. By automating the flow of new, high-intent opportunities into your lead pipeline in real-time, you can ensure that your BDR and sales team is always working with the most relevant and promising leads. This approach to lead generation allows you to move beyond relying solely on website traffic and form submissions, and instead proactively engage with potential prospects who are showing clear signals of interest in ERP solutions.

To maximize the impact of buyer intent data on your ERP lead generation efforts, consider the following best practices:

  1. Identify the right intent data provider: Evaluate the top providers in the buyer intent data space and select the one that best aligns with your target audience and ERP software offerings. Look for providers with a strong track record, comprehensive data coverage, and robust integration capabilities.
  2. Define your ideal customer profile (ICP): Clearly define the characteristics of your ideal ERP software customer, including industry, company size, geographic location, and key decision-makers. Use this ICP to guide your intent data targeting and prioritization.
  3. Establish a lead scoring system: Develop a lead scoring methodology that incorporates buyer intent signals alongside other key factors, such as company size, industry fit, and engagement history. This will help you prioritize the most promising leads and allocate your sales resources effectively.
  4. Create targeted content and messaging: Develop a library of content assets and messaging templates that align with the various stages of the ERP buyer's journey and address common pain points and questions. Use the insights gained from intent data to personalize these assets for each prospect, increasing their relevance and impact.
  5. Monitor and refine your approach: Continuously monitor the performance of your intent-driven lead generation efforts, tracking key metrics such as response rates, conversion rates, and revenue generated. Use these insights to refine your targeting, messaging, and engagement strategies over time, optimizing for maximum impact and ROI.

7. Aligning Sales and Marketing for Effective ERP Lead Generation

Generating high-quality leads for your ERP software and professional services requires a strategic approach that starts with defining your ideal customer profile (ICP). Your ICP represents the perfect client who would benefit most from your ERP solutions, taking into account factors such as industry focus, company size, geographic reach, and the demographics of key decision-makers. By clearly identifying your ICP, you can tailor your lead generation strategies to resonate with your target audience and maximize your chances of success.

Once you have a well-defined ICP, the next step is to identify the industries and business sizes that stand to gain the most from your ERP solutions. Take a close look at your ERP offerings and consider where they shine brightest, whether it's in sectors like manufacturing, healthcare, finance, distribution, or retail. Be introspective and honest about your ability to win deals in specific industries and various sales scenarios. This self-assessment will help you focus your efforts on the most promising opportunities and avoid wasting resources on less viable prospects.

In addition to identifying your ICP and target industries, it's crucial to ensure that your sales and marketing teams are tightly aligned. A seamless handoff and effective knowledge transfer between these departments are essential for a cohesive approach to customer acquisition. Marketing should focus on attracting and nurturing high-quality leads that fit your ICP, while sales should be equipped with the information and resources they need to engage these prospects effectively and guide them towards a successful close.

To facilitate this alignment, consider implementing an integrated platform like HubSpot. HubSpot provides a centralized hub for sharing information, tracking lead progress, and coordinating efforts throughout the entire customer journey. With HubSpot's features and analytics capabilities, ERP providers can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of their strategies, optimize their approach, and ultimately drive more qualified opportunities to close. By leveraging this powerful tool, you can ensure that your sales and marketing teams are working in harmony to maximize the revenue potential of your ERP software.

Proven Track Record in ERP Lead Generation

Generating ERP software and services leads on a consistent basis can be a real challenge, but the financial rewards can be huge. With our deep expertise, we rank among the top ERP lead generation services in the market. We have an winning track record helping ERP consulting firms drive more web traffic, more sales-ready ERP leads, and more customers. You can check out some real-life examples of our successes here: Inbound Marketing Examples.

If you are serious about enterprise software and professional service revenue growth and need a team that deeply understands the ERP industry and knows how to consistently generate qualified appointments for your sales team, you should request a meeting with one of our ERP marketing specialists. Let us show you how we can add immediate value to your ERP consulting practice.

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