Lead Generation Tactics – Five Tips to Boost Your Number of Leads
This guest post was written by Jonathan Catley, Digital Content & Marketing Manager of AG Salesworks.
In a time when the business landscape is evolving at an ever increasing rate, marketing professionals must continually update and improve the methods that get their products in front of those that need it and increase the number of qualified leads being generated by campaigns. And if we now accept it as a given that today’s consumers don’t want to be sold to and are more likely to listen to their peers over company-generated messaging, how do we then adjust our tactics to insure that we are leveraging the most effective ways to “lead” consumers to our product(s)?
Here are five ways for marketers to make those changes and adjustments, and increase their qualified lead output, which should also serve to bridge the gap between marketing and sales.
1. Lead Nurturing – With today’s consumers being more knowledgeable and having more resources at their disposal to make more informed decisions than previous generations, it is not enough to get prospects into your sales funnels. We now have to nurture those prospects until they are ready to buy. When someone shows initial interest in your product, don’t immediately convert that contact to sales for someone to reach out. It is now your role as a marketer to nurture that relationship and help lead that contact down the funnel until it is appropriate for a sales rep to engage the prospect. For example, perhaps a prospect showed interest by downloading a white paper. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are in the market for your product. Add the contact information to one of the many lists you have compiled and follow up at a later date with additional marketing content/materials. What the prospects responds to, clicks through, downloads or views on your website will factor into when they are ready for a sales conversation. Be sure to have the internal bandwidth to monitor your nurturing campaigns so you’ll know when the optimal time is for a sales conversation.
2. Inbound Marketing – a great way to build brand presence and create awareness for your product. It is also an ideal way for your organization to become a thought leader in your respected industry. To increase brand recognition, your organization needs to develop a strong Inbound Marketing Strategy. Whether it is through blogging, webinars, channel partnerships with non-competitive organizations, social media campaigns, Search Engine Optimization or research studies, these concepts are highly effective ways to lead potential prospects to your organization’s website where you are able to track and monitor their activity. Inbound opportunities can be extremely beneficial, but only if you have a great nurturing program in place and the proper tools to maximize this benefit.
3. Outbound Marketing – Outbound campaigns still have a place in the marketer’s handbook, and outbound activity can provide an immediate impact on sales pipeline, but it should be used in conjunction with your inbound marketing strategies. Email and teleprospecting campaigns can generate a high amount of interest quickly and give marketers the chance to get their message out to a large volume of prospects in a short period time. Teleprospecting campaigns should be used to follow up on other campaigns like webinar attendees, web site conversions, and trade show prospects, but should also be used for their own outbound cold calling campaigns from a list generated internally or purchased. Use the market feedback generated you’re your teleprospecting activity to develop your strategy for future campaigns. Teleprospecting provides the intelligence needed to make better decisions since the market feedback is coming straight from the prospects during live conversations.
4. Develop a Social Media Presence- Social Networks give organizations “real-time” access to their customers and prospects. As a marketer, you should be constantly engaging and monitoring these networks for opportunities that match your product. Linkedin is a great B2B resource for industry professionals to discuss amongst their peers their struggles and product needs. Join LinkedIn groups that fit your industry and monitor the discussion threads for keywords or active opportunities. Answer as many relevant and appropriate questions as possible, and contribute to discussions, but try not to be too self promotional of your product or you’ll lose credibility fast and may be removed from the groups. Twitter is another social networking site that gives marketers the opportunity to get their message out to a large volume of industry professionals. Marketers should be using Twitter to distribute their content and become a respected voice within the industry. Twitter should be the hub of your social media campaigns as it is the best distribution channel. Remember that Twitter, as with all social networking sites, requires users to be engaged and maintain two-way conversations to be successful.
5. Continue Developing Strong Content- This idea overlaps with many of the above mentioned concepts, but is extremely vital to your marketing department and your organization’s success. With regards to social media, you should have different forms of content for each channel. Your Facebook content should not be the same as your Twitter content, just as your Tumblr content should differ from what you distribute via Linkedin. Blogging is the easiest way to produce fresh content regularly and can impact your web traffic immensely. If you have the resources available, I would recommend trying to post something at least once a day. You don’t always have to stick to the traditional blog format for posts and the more creative you are the easier to get noticed. Do a series of interviews with leaders in your industry to promote once or twice a month. Find industry experts to guest blog on your site and offer to reciprocate on their blog sites. Utilizing the social media channels you have developed, find webinar partners that accentuate your product or solution and provide another platform or audience to get engaged with. Regularly developing fresh content for all the different channels being utilized offers the opportunity to get more potential prospects to your site and into your funnel.
As marketers, we often find ourselves in a struggle with our sales counterparts over what constitutes a qualified lead and the optimal time for marketing to let go and allow sales to take over. Embracing the concepts outlined above and generating more marketing leads can significantly ease the strain on this relationship s. By keeping in mind the five tips mentioned above, the marketing/sales struggle will lessen in time and lead (pardon the pun) to a mutually beneficial relationship.
About AG Salesworks
AG Salesworks is a B2B teleprospecting and marketing services firm that helps technology, media, financial services, and communications companies significantly increase their sales pipeline. AG Salesworks services empower its clients to focus on their core business and provide them the qualified opportunities they need to grow their sales pipeline. The company has perfected a process that uses the best combination of people, methodology, and execution to ensure industry leading results. AG Salesworks provides sales opportunity development, database development, event optimization, channel development and support, and marketing intelligence acquisition that helps clients drive growth.