Sales and marketing teams continue to invest in tactics to drive new leads, but still miss their revenue targets.
We find ourselves every year, every quarter, and every week evaluating the current position and next move for each dollar spent. This go around, consider the following:
1. Prioritize tactics that engage real people.
While building a healthy email list and nurture campaigns are important, we all know that when you can catch someone live you can have a bigger impact. That’s of course why the goal of lead generation is to funnel them to a sales person to convert. Focus on where you can move this up the funnel—zone in on scheduling meetings with your sales team with interested attendees to your booth at a conference, the referrals you get from other people who come with an implied endorsement, etc.
2. Automate the process wherever possible.
Reviewing and qualifying leads can be time consuming, and increase your overhead tremendously—more leads is not always better if they’re not high quality and you depend on a person to score them. Look for automated tools to set parameters on how to evaluate leads and funnel them to the right person on the team to take action. Determine where in the process you can automate responses and reviews, to leave the human effort to converting.
3. More consistent and better quality follow-up on leads.
The fastest way to increase your overall cost per sale, and to frustrate your sales team, is to send leads through that have not been qualified. Likewise, for the buyer it’s painful when you want a bit more information on something and you’re passed directly to someone trying to close the deal. At the same time, there are expectations from sales that leads will not be stale when they get to them. And from the buyer standpoint, well, this is an era of instant gratification and immediate response from someone at your company is expected. Establish protocols for consistent turn times to follow up on leads; faster lead response times have proven to equal better conversion rates – automate where possible.
4. Look for ways to drive awareness and interest in your product outside of your own sales outreach.
PR has been a leading strategy in the marketing mix for a reason—it not only gets more eyeballs on what you have to offer, it comes with an implied endorsement from a third party. Look for opportunity to grow your network of influencers outside of PR to introduce people to what you have to offer. Often information from someone not associated with your sales team can be better received, as there are no questions of the intentions to close a sale behind the “pitch”.
5. Evaluate tactics that are a win-win for marketing and sales.
While sales and marketing are dependent on each other, the relationship continues to maintain friction at various times. Both sides desire more leads, and the quality becomes a sticking point that surfaces over and again. While PR, as mentioned above, can drive high quality leads, they come in waves as press is released and drive awareness for your offer. Identify those influencer programs that can be set up once and execute on an on-going basis. Referral programs that are not a one-time hit can be affective. Marry automation with the tactics that bring that implied endorsement together to bring in the higher quality lead for sales, and increase the ROI for marketing with a tactic that has a success based cost model.
Budgeting for the year and adjusting real time is like a chess game of determining how much to put into efforts that increase your overall awareness and credibility. Refer to these 5 tips when setting and adjusting your plan to get the most out of your efforts.
For more information on an available automated referral program to help boost sales check out our platform, Auctio.