The Next Generation of Lead Generation

Discover, Optimize, Track and Repeat

by Krista Medlock

INTRODUCTION: There is Good News and Bad News

The Good News…

By factoring in the Internet, businesses have access to more potential customers than ever in today’s global market.

Businesses who nurture leads make 50% more sales at a cost 33% less than non-nurtured prospects. [Forrester Research]

The Bad News…

  • 68% of businesses report struggling with lead generation. [CSO Insights]
  • Just 13% of marketers say their lead gen strategies are “very successful” in achieving their main objectives. [Ascend2]
  • B2B marketers say their greatest barriers with lead generation are the lack of resources in staffing, budgeting, and/or time. [B2B Technology Marketing Community]

Here is the clincher, 45% of businesses do not have standardized sales and marketing processes. The remainder have sales and marketing processes but are most likely disjointed. When it comes to lead generation, marketing and sales alignment is crucial. It is a dynamic and complex corroboration of sales and marketing strategies.

Lead generation is a complete online strategy. Generating the lead is only the beginning, driving it through the funnel is where teams should live and breathe the majority of the customer acquisition journey. In fact, we are really transitioning to more of an account-based strategy approach. Account-based marketing (ABM), also known as key account marketing, is a strategic approach to business marketing based on account awareness in which an organization considers and communicates with individual prospect or customer accounts as markets of one.

“To break down walls between sales and marketing, ABM is pretty close to a silver bullet in that it aligns programs’ dollars and focus behind the accounts that the sales teams cares about. So there’s inherent buy-in. That said, ABM is only as good as your visibility into your highest potential accounts and best-fit customer segments, which gets clearer over time. So it’s most effective when deployed as part of a comprehensive set of targeting strategies.”

— Dave Karel, Head of B2B Marketing, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions

Finding, reaching and attracting the right audience for your business can be very challenging in and of itself. The inherent difficulty of lead qualifying and converting is only compounded when you do not have internal cooperation and champions for lead generating activities.

The biggest challenge for B2B marketers is “generating high-quality leads (61%).” (Source: B2B Technology Marketing Community).

Gaining opt -in and conversion is even more of a challenge. Typically, this is due to inept lead nurturing.

Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel and through every step of the buyer’s journey. It focuses marketing and communication efforts on providing the information and answers prospects need.

Only 13% of those responding to lead generation campaigns are ready to buy, which is why you have to nurture your leads until they are ready to purchase. But a little good news…. Up to 70% of initially disqualified leads become qualified within 12 months if nurtured.

  • 73% of all B2B leads are not sales-ready. (Source: MarketingSherpa).
  • Approximately 96% of visitors that come to your website are not ready to buy. (Source: Marketo).

Competition is stiff. A host of digital marketing resources lay at our fingertips but we seem to battle to just generate leads and get stuck at the top of the funnel underutilizing tools that can drive prospects through a clear and engaging journey.

Some common lead generation vehicles are:

  • Facebook Advertising
  • Facebook Retargeting
  • LinkedIn Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Google AdWords
  • Email Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Linkedin Advertising

The three most common lead generation strategies are: email marketing (78%), event marketing (73%) and content marketing. (67%) (Source: DMNews)

These vehicles require a great deal of day to day management. Your audience no longer wants their attention bought––they want it earned. View the chart for pros and cons to these vehicles.

So your question is probably what is the best method? Where do I start?

ASSESS: We call it Lead Discovery

The answer is all of the above but before you start, partner with experienced data scientists that drive true conversion enablement where data capturing, precise data delineation and lead nurturing are interconnected. Sales and marketing alignment occurs with a complete solution. Today, one cannot occur independent of the others. This approach really helps you to get a good grasp on your audience.

Who are you talking to?

In many cases, databases have been purchased and disseminated to sales team. Unfortunately, most of the data is unverified and/or incomplete. In most instances, existing databases do not match your ideal prospect profile. If you aren’t generating quality leads, the strategy to the final sale is useless from the start.

  • Verifying business leads before passing it to the sales team is conducted by only 56% of B2B companies. (Source)
  • 61% of B2B marketers still send all leads they receive directly to sales while only 27% of those leads will actually be qualified. (Source)
  • 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of nurture is the main cause for this. (Source)

We have previously spoken about the buyer persona and how important it is to understand, but, it is also critical to the entire buyer’s journey. It’s essential for identifying and creating quality leads. This also includes, identifying and creating content specific to your targeted audience. Your content needs to be focused and tailored to each target audience.

FLOBILE SOLUTION: Our data scientist will discover more insight about the prospect and will qualify all data from your database. This is what we have coined High Influence Data Management.

PLAN: We call it Lead Modeling

It’s conversions that count. Again, generating inquiries is just the beginning. A methodical plan that you follow and measure are the proof in the pudding. To drive successful lead conversions, you should devise a clear pathway from prospect-to-customer strategy and foster collaboration with sales to deliver high-quality leads.

What is your conversion plan? To better define, ask yourself these questions:

  • What happens when someone sees your content?
    NOTE: If you didn’t capture full contact information, or at least an email address, most likely that prospective lead is gone forever.
  • Is your offer strong?
  • Is the offer in an enticing format?
  • Do you have capability follow up right away?

The Next Generation of Lead Generation

FLOBILE SOLUTION: There are more than 80 attributes our data scientist can gather and equip your sales team to get prospect attention. We will help you answer:

  • What are the parameters for your ideal client?
  • What is the process that you will take to qualify the lead?
  • What will it take to nurture each ideal prospect profile?

IMPLEMENT: Show and… Tell some more

The first step in this ever-evolving process of “show and tell” is to create compelling content which is key to establishing yourself as the go-to, educational leader in your industry.

Per dollar spent, content marketing generates approximately 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing. (Source: Demand Metric)

The second step is to use that content to convert visitors into leads. Of course, this is easier said than done.

Best practices for generating leads using your content is to give useful, valuable information freely. Encourage an opt-in so that a prospect can gain insights right away. Respond in a timely manner, in other words, quickly.

You may have not realized but even within this article we have applied the principle of giving value to continue to nurture adoption. You read on to this point because we have done just that.

FLOBILE SOLUTION: We design customized nurturing email sequences. We become experts on your prospects and their mindset and optimize engagement throughout the journey.

70% of the buying process is conducted without a sales representative. (Source)

Lead Nurturing is a two-way street. It should evolve into a conversation. When you talk to your prospect, they should be talking back. Furthermore, you should be tracking and quantifying feedback across the entire customer journey. This is critical.

  • What pages of my site get the highest traffic?
  • What blog posts had the most shares?
  • How many click-thrus did my call-to-action get?
  • What is the download rate of my latest eBook?

And repeat, discover, optimize and track.

The Next Generation of Lead Generation

GROW: Keep Going

Remain agile as your marketplace is constantly evolving. Maintain consistency. Your process should be proactive, not reactive; keep engaging. Strategize, test, and adjust your lead generation process regularly. Is there a tactic that isn’t working. Stop, Drop and Roll. Stop it, drop it and roll out a new strategy.

Bottom line, pun intended, when consumers are ready to hear more about your organization, they will be more than willing to provide you with personal information.

Don’t get discouraged, Nurturing leads take time. You need to prove your leadership and knowledge.

Summary of key points:

  • Develop a strategic plan centered on your target personas.
  • Provide information and an experience that invites your ideal target audience in.
  • Quality matters, so invest in your leads. Offer valuable information that informs and solves an issue.
  • Implement programs to help streamline your marketing strategy, don’t shortcut the process.
  • Nurturing leads is a process, have a purpose with your marketing efforts.
  • Adjust and adapt quickly in your lead generation based on your target audience.
Krista Medlock

Author

Krista Medlock

Senior Director of Strategy | Flobile

A visionary who leads with vast brand and customer marketing experience. Highly accomplished in strategic planning, integrated marketing, product/promotional marketing, commercialization, digital marketing, brand development, large-scale events, product development and operations.

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Next Generation of Lead Generation