The point of every businesses’ marketing/advertisement campaign, no matter how size, small, medium, or large, is to make sales. With B2B or B2C marketing, the only way to make sales is to attract quality leads—customers that actually spend. After a substantial and significant investment, you want to make sure you are hitting ROI (Return on Investment).
The questions on the lips of many a marketing director are manifold—how to improve lead generation; how to generate quality leads, and how to improve the quality of your lead generation?
Note: If you want to kickstart your lead generation funnel, you can click here.
The first thing to note is that not all leads are created equal. Every SEO and marketing expert will tell you that the goal is quality over quantity.
Our previous post on SEO and Lead Generation touched on the basic elements of garnering traffic—quantity—to your business. We touched on the following key pillars of optimizing your business’ online presence:
Prioritizing mobile platforms along with accelerated pages.
Leveraging the power of search engines and social media
Creating rich and captivating content
Placing a premium on user experience
Keyword research and proper link building
While these are great mediums to generate leads, you need to take a step further to ensure these leads convert into sales. The difference between a lead that converts and one that actually flows through your sales funnel is the difference between an effective marketing campaign and an unfocused outreach campaign.
It is vital to keep track of the various parameters and factors, beyond mere conversion or traffic stats. Setting up a tracking system gives a more comprehensive look at what does what in your marketing campaign. By setting up a data tracking protocol you have accurate measurements on the sources of your lead—what landing pages have the most conversions—what devices the majority of leads originate from, allowing you to focus on boosting mobile or desktop experience depending on the data acquired.
One tool our agency deploys to track this is Hotjar. It’s a great tool that creates live videos of what your leads are doing when they visit your website. This way you can understand their user behavior and improve your lead quality.
Using data management tools, you can track leads coming from a wide variety of sources, all displayed in a compact and condensed manner. The right data management tool aids your effort at customer segmentation—with proper data, you can create helpful client personas, which are then used for proper inbound lead targeting. Data management tools will also help improve the quality of your marketing campaign—eliminating the risk of redundancies while planning your marketing efforts.
Dynamic Lead Scoring System
Not all leads are created equal. Depending on client profiles, you must have undoubtedly drawn up, your marketing effort should be consistently changing, not a stagnant or rigid system. By creating a lead scoring system, you can channel your efforts towards lead prioritization.
Focus on the most profitable or potential leads—those that are most likely to convert to paying business. Determining what is or isn’t a quality lead is difficult as the market is always changing, and your potential customer base changes with it. Your scoring system must be flexible and able to adapt to the changing face of the market as well. When creating a lead scoring system, ensure you account for the foreseeable and unforeseeable elements that can affect your preferred demographic.
Automation provides a clear and streamlined scoring system, depending on how well you have accounted for changes in your preset parameters. The beauty of automated lead management is that you need not have any direct impact in the lead conversion process—hot leads are directed to the point of sale, while the more ambiguous or shaky leads can be provided with lead nurturing elements like offers, calls-to-action among the rest.
Sometimes that potential customer just needs a little nudge in the right direction to finally push through, commit and make a purchase. This is why lead nurturing is one of the most critical aspects of a marketing campaign. We have created an internal marketing automation platform for our customers that help in just that; Email Marketing, Live Chat, Visual Flow, and Automated Followups are part of the platform that we use for clients to build their nurturing funnel. You must commit time and effort towards ensuring hot leads are converted to sales, and that the leads that are colder in the process have potential are still watered to the point that they may reach eventual maturity.
Lead nurturing primarily involves establishing an engaging dialog with these prospects. Constant communication (this doesn’t mean spam) between your business and these leads will slowly but surely nudge them towards maturing into sales-ready leads. Lead nurturing is not necessary a time or money intensive campaign, rather it can be done on a little to no budget.
Providing valuable and engaging content to your leads, at no cost, is a great way to start cultivating potentially paying leads. Your prospective customer wants information that meets a certain need he/she has at that moment—and if your business provides helpful information, especially when such info is free, you have gained a level of trust in the eyes of such a person. People are more disposed to patronizing brands that they have developed a rapport or dialog with; it is in your best interest to embrace customer engagement.
Newsletters and email campaigns are also viable methods of nurturing ‘bad’ leads into more healthy leads. With automated email campaigns, it becomes much easier to keep track on leads, based on things as mundane as duration of website visits or specific pages visited. There is no point discontinuing contact with poor leads when you can consistently target them with valuable information geared towards their specific needs based on data you have collected.
The goal of lead nurturing is to move your inbound leads down the sales funnel. It is a mistake to dispose of the majority of bad lead—dig deep and you will find a paying customer or ten in there. Beginning from leads generated from top-of-the-funnel leads (read: e-books, blog subscriptions, email list) you must make it your mission to move as many as possible further down the sales funnel until you reach the more compelling late stage content in the bottom-of-the-funnel offers.
A list of bad leads is your opportunity to start updating your. See what you can do to improve your marketing campaigns and how they are entering your pipeline.
A significant proportion of businesses today fail to keep track of their inbound leads. They use outdated systems or traditional platforms that keep track of their opportunities. This creates a major problem because it’s hard to keep track of all opportunities coming and and prioritizing opportunities easily. This is the kind of lack of process leaves countless of businesses to basically throw leads away and blame it on an ineffective marketing campaign; they do not know what is going on behind the scenes.
The key is employing an automated lead management software to keep track of the following vital parameters:
i. Quantity of leads generated in the time frame under review. Usually from the start of the campaign or periodic depending on whether you have made tweaks to your marketing campaign.
ii. Lead maturity or progression in the sales process. You can see how long it takes to transform warm leads to hot leads, and eventually convert these leads to sales. You can spot the lead in the pipeline and see what may be affecting your lead nurturing process.
iii. Conversion rates of different sources. You can identify what source of traffic brings leads with higher conversion rates. Compare between to sources of inbound leads and make an informed decision on whether to prioritize or cut such campaigns.
Constant lead measurement will ensure you are always updated with your active campaigns. You know what works and what needs to be fine-tuned for more effectiveness.
Create Better Product Offerings
Before committing time and resources to a supposedly high-quality lead, you must do your due diligence on the viability of resources involved. Lead qualification means analyzing the lead and weighing it on whether or not such a client would eventually become a sale. You do not want to put resources into a lead who only wants to make an inquiry, rather than make a purchase.
An effective way to measure the quality of the lead is to see what their typical interest started at. What is the nature of the request you received from them; this is usually a fair indication of the intentions of the lead. Usually, leads who register for and actually attend a webinar should be considered further along in the sales process than a person who merely subscribes to the blog. There is a hierarchy of leads generated that every business needs to uncover, and you should be able to quantify them by using your CRM.
These participants who opt into your companies bottom-of-the-funnel program (late-stage content) are further along the sales process than someone who has merely stumbled upon a top-of-the-funnel offer like a free e-book or so. In the example given above, the person who is registering for your webinar definitely has commited more to your program. Once you uncover these funnels properly, you will start to to focus more on better offers to give your audience.
Diversifying Lead Generation Channels
Many may be tempted to believe that the only effective method of lead generation today is SEO, but this has really changed. There are still multiple channels that generate quality leads that are not restricted to the screen of a mobile device. A few great sources you can start looking into are Quora, Facebook Groups, Nextdoor, Reddit, and Linkedin. Focusing on traditional streams for traffic is important of course, but these other channels can definitely help.
Employ multiple channels of lead generation. Diversify your marketing campaigns to better cover your bases. With multiple channels, you can effectively source for quality leads with an advantage over your competitors. Use cold calling, which still works, email marketing campaigns, pay-to-click campaigns, social media engagement to the max of their potential to obtain maximum benefits.
All these channels work in harmony and independent of each other. Another major advantage of diversifying your lead generation means that you are not dependant on one source.
Outsource Lead Generation
Quality lead generation takes time, and sometimes it’s much easier to outsource parts of your lead generation to an agency. We actually offer lead generation as a service for our clients – we handle everything from targeting your decision makers, building unique personal messages, and starting the “handshaking” process. We manage all levels of the lead generation process: receive hot leads in your inbox every week.
The value cannot be overstated, and only a few marketing companies can truly offer lead generation as a true service. There are dedicated agencies who have spent years analyzing market data and signals to start outreach to qualified prospects. Outsourcing your lead generation needs a team that actually has the technical know-how and expertise to effect impactful tweaks that boost ROI.
The great thing is it can still go hand in hand with your lead generation already. Rather than continue to commit resources to ineffective campaigns, outsorucing it to agencies that have the experience can grow your sales pipeline. it would be in a company’s best interest to outsource to a team of experts.
In the real sense of it, there are no bad leads, only leads that need to be nurtured to maturity. Lead nurturing should be a key part of every business’ marketing campaign, due to the potential yield such perseverance can yield. Quality lead generation is a somewhat difficult task, but it is one that that is achievable with patience and making the right decisions.
To maximize your business’s return on investment for marketing campaigns, it is improtant you leveraged the experience of industry experts. At Brenton Way, we treat digital marketing as a process; there are many layers to generating leads and we are always at the forefront of new trends and innovations. Together we will change your approach to marketing, revamp your methods, and a breath a new life into your campaigns. The question of quality leads is one that is sure to become a thing of the past with our creative and radical methods.