Posts tagged ‘lead generation’
More and better leads – that’s what B2B marketers are screaming for. A recent Marketing Sherpa piece claims that 69% of B2B marketers consider generating high-quality leads their main challenge.
But what’s a high-quality lead?
We know you need to ask for permission to engage in a marketing conversation. The customer is then in control of that conversation – that’s the power of permission-based marketing.
The same principle applies to the sales conversation. If you try to start it before they’re ready, you create resentment.
And you don’t want resentment.
So you need to ask permission. Permission might be a request for pricing, or for a demo or consultation, depending on the complexity of the sale. By then, if you’ve done your work, you’ve engaged them with value propositions that resonate with their needs. And finally, you will have framed out their needs so that the salesperson who follows up the lead will know what to offer.
That’s a lead you can bank on.
I’ve mentioned before that 70% of all sales leads are discarded by sales teams, and the reason is the obvious one: poor quality.
A couple of posts on grokdotcom are adding some insight. Brendan Regan notes that marketers who try to increase their conversion rate often do so by lowering the quality of their leads. Ultimately, their boosting their own numbers and giving junk to sales.
Melissa Burdon lays into a site that asks for personal information too early.
Remember, it’s not about you or your sales process. Your visitors are volunteers in the process and are coming to your site with motivations and intent
It was Peter Drucker who said that in the dance between the customer and seller, the customer is the lead. That’s a hard fact for people to accept, but a necessary one.
Google still rules paid search marketing, says Marketing Sherpa in this article (open access till 26 Feb 2010):
Google continues to separate itself from the field in terms of both the quality and quantity of leads generated by a paid search marketing provider. But the secret to optimizing paid search results obtained through any provider is the sequential relevancy of the search term to ad listing to landing page.
My only reservation is with the word “leads.” Yes, when a user enters “plumbing supplies” they’re trying to solve a problem, but you’re probably getting them early in the customer conversation, and they may not yet be a sales-ready lead.
What do they get when they click? Does your capture mechanism treat all visitors as if they’re ready to buy? If not, what is your strategy to nurture a prospect until he or she is sales-ready?
Remember, it’s a conversation – and half of conversing is listening.
Occam’s Razor brought up an interesting topic: “How do you measure success of a online webinar?” Using the number of questions asked per attendee is an interesting idea. Obviously, if your audience is asking questions, it’s engaged.
There’s a bigger question, though – how do you get some return on that investment? Answering questions might help build awareness, but a webinar’s real value is as a lead generation tool. All you need is a conversion mechanism.
One good lead gen method is to immediately follow up the webinar with an email to all participants, offering additional materials and access to the webinar archive. This email brings them back to a landing page where you can identify those who are ready to enter into a sales conversation. Then you have some real ROI on your webinar.
Studies show that most sales leads – as many as 70% – are not followed up by sales. That’s an enormous waste of resources.
The problem? The sales team haven’t a clue whether or not leads are any good. Without a way to judge value, they cherry-pick the leads, looking for key companies that might have potential. The rest they chuck out.
And why shouldn’t they? Most leads rely too much on the customer’s self-qualification. They’re scored based on the question “When do you expect to purchase?” which, upon reflection, isn’t much of a question.
So, what’s the solution? Suppose instead you deliver sales-ready leads — leads which indicate who wants to start a sales conversation with your reps, and what type of problem they’re trying to solve. Those leads will get followed up on – and bring you the love you deserve (at least from your sales team).
These days we’ve learned to ignore Web surveys, registration forms and other lead generation devices. Chances are the Web form on your “contact us” page hasn’t generated a lot of leads lately. In any case, a static form asking everyone the same set of questions won’t help you understand which leads are sales-ready and which are just entering the sales funnel.
However, there is a way to increase response and better target sales-ready leads: create a conversation-like experience. Ask a question that’s relevant (hint: it’s not “when are you buying?”), and ask a relevant follow up question based on that answer. As an example, you might find out the problem they’re trying to solve, and then ask a value proposition – would it be valuable to have a way to do x to solve y? Get them thinking if it really might be valuable. In short, let them know you’re listening, and open up the possibilities.
On the Web, dynamic surveys and forms (which branch into different topics depending on the answer) are proven to double the number of leads generated from a given activity. It’s all about relevance.