As the sales landscape has changed and evolved, many new techniques and strategies for lead generation have been created with the single goal of making sales easier by filling your pipeline with potential customers who are ready to buy. Simultaneously, new challenges like the introduction of GDPR force marketers to constantly adapt to the changing environment and determine which strategy will help generate the best leads for their businesses. Therefore it is important for organizations to focus on building continuous relationships with potential customers and to position themselves as a partner and not just another vendor.
Here are some of best practices that I recommend for upgrading your lead generation strategies for 2019:
- Use surveys as a roadmap
A survey based lead generation strategy can serve as an effective roadmap. It can be used as a device to find out what’s going on in an organization and what their pain points are. This information can be leveraged to engage with a potential client. It gives you a way to open the door and start the conversation. Once the door is open, if you are a good sales person, you can get in deeper into that account.
- Ensure buy in from both marketing and sales team
In terms of lead generation programs it is essential that both marketing and sales have a seat at the table and they both jointly help construct the survey and the overall framework of the program. If you get both the sales and the marketing team engaged, the chances of running a successful program go up tremendously.
- Focus lead quality over lead quantity
When considering a marketing strategy consider it in terms of quality of and not just the volume of leads. You must really look at it holistically and say are these really quality leads? Because if you have qualified leads, and you have account level information, you can push them down the pipe faster opposed to having to nurture them for a period of time before you can engage them.
- Understand “what is the measurement of success”
A lot of organizations don’t really have a clear understanding of “what is their measurement of success.” Lacking this understanding can affect the outcome of your lead gen program. Do you want leads within certain companies, titles, or accounts or is there some other measurement of success? How do you measure these metrics accurately? Once the measurement of success has been identified and metrics are put in place, you need to follow your game plan in order to reach your goals. Success in lead generation programs requires the nurturing of high-quality leads with the objective of ultimately converting these leads into customers. In order to do this both the marketing and the sales teams must be fully engaged throughout the process.
- Keep your engagement simple
It is important not to overwhelm your potential customer. You should make the first outreach really conversational and light by using a softball question that is no more than a sentence or two. Your prospects are busy and sending an 8-paragraph pitch as your opening touch will be the death of your program. You need to establish trust before you can start pitching. In fact, all your interactions should be short with the goal of getting them on the phone to do the heavy lifting.
- Talk to the client
Nothing beats the human connection so get on the phone and talk to these people. Go out and meet them. Take the time to understand their pain points and goals. Each of your potential clients will require a selling process customized to their pain and needs. Don’t forget that they may have personal as well as business drivers behind their purchasing decisions. Someone might be worried about losing their job so they’ll want to go with a big-name company.
- Follow up quickly
Leads are a valuable asset for any business and should be handled accordingly. To increase engagement follow up on a lead quickly. Optimal timeframe would be to engage within a couple of hours of getting a lead but at most no more than 24 hours.
- Don’t overly rely on technology
There is this perception that the internet and email is free. That it will magically produce results. We now, more than ever, we have greater insight into the sales process and buying behavior of our prospects than ever before, but there will never be that one tool or platform that will filter through everything and at the end result in a sale. Technology will never replace the human connection. Sales is hard. It will always be hard, but by using a combination of technology and the human touch you will go a long way towards making your lead gen programs successful.
Lisa Vitale has been the President for SimplyDIRECT for the last 10 years. SimplyDIRECT is a direct marketing service company working primarily with Hi-Tech companies that sell enterprise level solutions. SimplyDIRECT helps companies in the innovation economy identify buyers and early adopters using the latest in big data tools and high-response surveys. Since 1997 SimplyDIRECT, and its research division, Gatepoint Research, have leveraged custom-built lists and surveys deployed into a client’s target accounts. The result: actionable sales intelligence revealing an account’s needs, pain, plans and trends. As a cutting-edge ABM provider, SimplyDIRECT has worked with over 500 organizations, ranging from IBM, Oracle and Microsoft to hundreds of start-up companies. You may reach Lisa via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.