Finding new customers is the lifeblood of most businesses. Few of us have customers lining up at the door, so “hunting” for new customer leads is a critical component of generating revenue. Yet, according to a report by BPM Forum, most companies never follow up on 80 percent of the leads they generate.
With some strategic efforts, you can ensure that valuable lead generation efforts are not wasted at your company.
Use the right marketing tool
Make certain you’re using lead generation tactics, if you’re trying to generate leads.
Marketing tactics, like email, direct mail, trade shows and pay-per-click ads are designed primarily to generate leads. Other marketing tactics, such as print ads, public relations and social media, are better at creating buzz and brand awareness. Use the right tool for the right job.
Map your lead process
Marketing is expensive and you don’t want to waste dollars on leads that fall through the cracks. Create a written procedure that maps exactly what happens to every lead the moment it enters your database.
Measuring and counting leads is one of the easiest metrics in the marketing tool bag, as is tracking which marketing tactic does the best job of generating the best leads. Metrics like cost-per-lead are a good start, but lead-to-sale ratio is even better, because you should be able to track a lead all the way to a sale.
Define a good lead vs. a so-so lead
Work with your sales and marketing teams to describe the ideal customer in terms of demographics, job title and job function. But don’t stop there; dig deeper to identify the customer’s needs, desires and concerns.
Armed with this information, tailor your messaging to the customer’s specific needs.
Develop a lead scoring system
Once you’ve defined a good lead, develop a lead scoring system based on demographics, as well as customer actions. Visiting your website, stopping by your trade show booth, attending a webinar or downloading a white paper from your website, for example, can all increase the lead score assigned to a potential customer.
The higher the score, the more likely the customer is to make a purchase.
Don’t throw away a lead just because they say “no” the first time. Send the lead back to marketing, so it can be nurtured until the lead is ready to re-engage with the sales team.
Marketing, sales alignment
Make sure the sales and marketing teams are on the same page. The marketing team should keep nurturing leads until the lead achieves a certain score in your lead scoring system. At that point, the lead is ready to be turned over to sales. Both teams need to agree and align on this process.
These simple steps will improve your efforts to attract new customers. They also will help you properly vet each valuable lead before turning it over to sales. More importantly, you’ll be able to determine which of your lead-generation marketing tactics performs the best, and then you can adjust accordingly.
Kelly Borth is the CEO and chief strategy officer of GREENCREST, a 25-year-old brand development, strategic and interactive marketing and public relations firm that turns market players into industry leaders™.