Lead Generation: How your peers optimize the lead


A complex buying process is, well, complex. And as H.L. Mencken said, “Complex problems have simple, easy to understand, wrong answers.”

So, if you have a buying process that requires more than grabbing a candy bar of the shelf, today’s Web clinic at 4 p.m. EST is for you – Converting Leads to Sales: How one company generated $4.9 million in additional sales pipeline growth in only 8 months. Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director (CEO) of MECLABS, and special guest Brian Carroll (author of “Lead Nurturing for the Complex Sale”) will help you find the right answer for your company based on our lab’s discoveries.

But first, we turned to your marketing peers for tips you can use. Here are some of our favorite insights…

It’s all about sales enablement.

Not too long ago, I saw some research that shows marketing organizations are increasingly throwing time and money at better sales enablement, and I’m not at all surprised.

When we talk about “Sales and Marketing Alignment,” this is what we’re talking about! Making the handoff from marketing to sales as seamless as possible. When sales understands what marketing is doing, is bought into it, is empowered by the materials and reporting they need to make the most of it, that is when you start to see conversions.

And by the way, organizations that realize this put a revenue number on marketing, making marketing responsible for revenue, not just leads in the top of the funnel. Nothing like having a looming bogey to make sure marketing is going to enable sales to engage.

When this is done well, the benefits are substantial: companies that adhere to best practices close something like 5 to 7 times the deals as their peers. Those are compelling numbers.

For us and for our clients, sales enablement plays out in a bunch of ways. Among them:

1.       Early sales involvement and buy-in for marketing-driven programs.

2.       Easy-to-use sales briefings and playbooks so the sales team understands exactly what happens next and why.

3.       Tools from real-time notification of website visits to “cheat sheets” for social media that help sales easily make better connections.

– Amy Bills, VP of Marketing, Bulldog Solutions

Lead scoring is essential

From past experience as a lead generation specialist, I can tell you that immediate and priority follow up to inbound inquiries is a critical success factor to optimizing the flow of the lead through the funnel. There is so much you can do and so little time for me to describe this in the detail I would like to. At a high level…

You need to establish criteria to define which funnels the leads fall into. Many of these leads will be very early nurtures while a few will be sales ready. Having a short list of direct qualifying questions pertaining to interest level, readiness to buy, decision making authority, etc… will guide the person following up in determining which funnel to drop the lead into.

Once qualified as sales ready (initiative, budget, and need), send them to Sales for prompt follow up. If they’re interested but not ready to buy, put them into the nurture funnel for attentive follow up with timely phone calls and e-mails with relevant content.

Also ensure that you’re matching these leads to existing records in the database so that you can better score the company and prioritize follow up with colleagues.

– Jason Croyle, Business Development Representative, MECLABS

Converting traffic into leads

Let’s assume you are using the organic/natural approach to drive traffic to your site, then I would follow these steps:

1.       Ensure keywords and key-terms (long tail) selection is optimal, having in mind that you might need to make changes depending on season, time, and whatever other variable affects your business year-round.

2.       Develop landing page(s) content based on the target keywords.

3.       Enhance the value proposition in the landing page (first step of the conversion funnel).

4.       The fewer the numbers of steps the faster the conversion, so make sure you have a simplified conversion process.

  • A) Create a registration process, which can be formalized through a “sign up” form which may or may not require users to confirm an email account. You could also have an informal “sign up” process, where you would rely on the user’s information to make use of email remarketing processes to increase your conversion. Studies have shown that you are more likely to increase conversion on dropped users through email remarketing by about 47%, but not only that, these recovered users are more likely to spend more compared with users that went through your original conversion funnel.
  • B) The formal or informal registration would allow for no-intrusive customers tracking aimed not only at conversion, but also email remarketing. That requires back-end custom programming through cookies, which would watch and match a customer with a desired action, and if the expected action doesn’t take place and automated email (remarketing) is sent to customers with additional incentives – such as discounts, free shipping, partner coupons, etc… – to get customers back into the conversion process.

5.       Use additional incentives throughout the conversion funnel.

6.       Use email remarketing with additional incentives, for only a percentage of dropped offs user, to increase conversion.

If you are using some sort of paid search (such as Adwords), you can apply the same principle. You may create a new conversion page for your Adwords campaign and insert the Adwords landing page into the conversion funnel already in place.

Most importantly, once these implementations are in place you MUST – and I can’t emphasize this enough – test them.

Marcelo Martins, Search Engine Specialist

Related Resources

Free Web clinic, today, March 30th, 4-5 PM — Converting Leads to Sales: How one company generated $4.9 million in additional sales pipeline growth in only 8 months

The Essential Sales Playbook: Helping sales close the deal

Lead Generation: Shouldn’t B2B companies have a sales and marketing research and development lab?

The difference between lead nurturing and lead generation explained in two minutes

What else can I test … to improve my lead generation rate?

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