With the buying process and customer journey changing so quickly, brands are continuing to explore new channels and creative strategies that will help teams meet their lead generation goals. As marketers, we work really hard to plan, write, design, publish and advertise content to ensure we’re filling the funnel with qualified leads. But a challenge we often hear from our clients, though, is what happens to those leads once you convert them? Does your sales team need to reach out? Should they go into a lead-nurturing campaign? There are plenty of things to consider during this phase of a lead generation strategy to ensure that you’re giving yourself a good chance to actually close those leads. And oftentimes, it means bringing in your sales team!
Create alignment between marketing and sales.
One of the most important things in creating a more meaningful and productive lead generation strategy is to create a strong alignment between sales and marketing. When both sales and marketing are in agreement about what a “qualified lead” is, everyone has a clearer picture of the sales funnel. As marketing and sales become more integrated, both learn more about the customer, and at the end of the day, that’s what is going to lead to success.This will also help your marketing team develop better, more targeted content that can be used throughout the customer journey.
Use lead scoring.
Not all leads are created equal. Lead scoring is a methodology used to rank leads based on behavior, demographics, job function, etc. The score can then be used to determine which leads should be a priority for the sales team. This way, the sales team is working smarter, not harder, because they will, in theory, be following up with more qualified leads.
Have a plan for your lead-nurturing.
Lead nurturing, or marketing automation as it’s often referred to, is one of the most powerful digital tactics that we can use. It also can be difficult to do it really well. We want to make sure that we’re delivering the right content at the right time to move a lead through the buyer’s journey. Take the time to set the strategy and leverage a tool, like HubSpot, to execute your plan. This will ensure that your sales team is getting leads who are primed to buy. A few things to think about when you’re setting up your workflows:
Every email stream should have a goal.
Whether it’s getting a lead to request a demo, sign up for a webinar or make a purchase, every automated workflow should have a very specific goal. This ensures you not only deliver relevant content but it also will allow you to measure what’s working and what’s not.
Make the ask.
If your goal is to get leads to request a sales consultation, don’t be shy about it. Ask. Sending helpful, educational content is important but we’ve found that by sending a simple email asking “Are you ready to talk?” has not only converted well but it has sped up the time between first conversion and close.
Document your plan.
If there is one area that we recommend you slow down and write down a plan, it’s now. If you jump into HubSpot and start writing emails and building workflows, you’re bound to make it harder on yourself in the long run. Just by using a simple flowchart, we’ve drawn out workflows for clients that have stood the test of time. Yes, we have tweaked some things to keep the content current, but many of these email streams have been running successfully for more than four years. And, it’s all because we developed an informed plan from the start.
Use your data.
When you’re using tools like HubSpot, Salesforce, Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics, you have access to an endless amount of data. But if you can figure out how to close the loop (not an easy task) and start to attribute marketing channels and sources (both offline and online) to revenue, you can focus your efforts on what actually works. At the end of the day, both sales and marketing need to be working smarter, not harder.
Through effective communication with your sales team, data, tools and a smart lead generation strategy, you can deliver high-quality leads that improve close rates and increase the bottom line for the organization. And if you need some help, let’s chat.