Setting the different stages in your own lead management process is important for the continually flow of leads from beginning to end of the sales funnel. The lead generation process of reaching leads, retaining interest, nurturing leads to prevent them from dropping off and establishing their desire to interact with your company is the focus of the marketing team.
Host events of your own. You can host your own events too, of course. They could include launch parties, anniversary parties, info sessions, or holiday parties. If you’re unsure about how to host an event, or if you have a smaller events budget, you can always co-sponsor an event. Just be sure to be realistic about your goals, to find a partner that syncs well with your brand, and to add value of your own. Your company could be the food sponsor or the “brought to you by…” company, for example.
While inbound marketing is getting a lot of buzz, a well-rounded marketing mix should include both inbound and outbound marketing strategies. Inbound works for broad lead generation activities, but outbound is good to amplify your inbound efforts, and target specific opportunities. So what exactly is outbound marketing? It’s using outbound channels to introduce your message and content to your prospects, typically through rented attention, rather than making your content and messages availableon your own properties.
Focus your teams efforts on nurturing better quality leads that will have a greater impact on your sales since these leads are already interested in your content and services, closer to converting to a customer than other leads with a lower score. Analyze the rise and fall of your lead’s score to better understand what stage in the process most leads begin to fall off and how can this be corrected, as well as when most leads are ready to be passed off to sales.
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Lead nurturing also increases lead to opportunity conversion rate, drives more revenue, and shortens the sales cycle. It is about finding the right buyers at the right time. Lead generation brings buyers into the funnel, but lead nurturing and scoring sends them to sales so that your sales team can close the deal at the right time. In fact, according to MarketingSherpa’s Lead Generation benchmark report, companies who leverage lead nurturing see a 45% lift in lead generation over those companies who do not use lead nurturing.
Promote your business on news sites. Use news sites to distribute press releases concerning your business. This begins with writing a press release in which you discuss something newsworthy about your company: a new product launch, a special event, a co-branding initiative, charity work, or a high-level change in management. Use terms and language optimized for search. Also be sure to include a press contact’s name, email address, and phone number in the release.
Don’t drop your customer after the sale. A happy customer who has a continued relationship with you and your company is likely to buy again. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s cheaper to sell to an existing customer than to acquire a new lead. Follow-up calls are a strategic way to nurture customer relations and a great time to ask for referrals. Sometimes the most quality leads you have are actually your current customers.
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Lead generation firms supply your company with the hot leads you need to acquire new clients, while freeing up your time to spend on other tasks, like product development or quality assurance. Conversely, you could double down on new leads, drumming up business in tandem with leads provided by generation firms. Business expansion is directly correlated to finding new clients and making them happy, and the free time gained to reallocate time on these pursuits is what makes lead generation so powerful.
Product qualified leads are contacts who've used your product and taken actions that indicate interest in becoming a paying customer. PQLs typically exist for companies who offer a product trial or a free or limited version of their product (like HubSpot!) with options to upgrade, which is where your sales team comes in. An example of a PQL is a customer who uses your free version but engages or asks about features that are only available upon payment.
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Gone are the days that a marketer only relied on outbound techniques like trade shows, cold calling, and advertisements to get leads. Today’s buyer is in control. According to Forrester, buyers seek out three pieces of content about a vendor for every one piece sent by a marketer, and for every one piece sent by sales. Because of buyer self-education, your job as a marketer is to be heard through the noise and come up with new ways for leads to find you. To be a marketer in today’s world, you need a solid grasp of inbound in order to truly amplify your lead generation impact.