A few years ago, Hubspot broke the news to inbound marketers everywhere: Your job doesn’t necessarily stop at lead generation. The article stressed on the importance of nurturing a lead to transform them into a qualified sales lead before turning it over to the sales team. Did marketers listen? Apparently not.
According to these statistics:
“Just 56% of B2B organizations verify valid business leads before they are passed to Sales.” – MarketingSherpa
61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to Sales; however, only 27% of those leads will be qualified.” – MarketingSherpa
This then causes more alarming data:
“42 percent of sales reps feel that they don’t have the right information before making a call; 45 percent report needing help figuring out which accounts to prioritize; and across the board, sales reps are spending 20 percent of their time doing their own research on prospects to try to figure it all out.”
How sales people receive leads from marketing.
It is in this effort to figure it all out that precious time, talent and money is wasted sifting through unqualified leads. In the highly-competitive and rapidly growing world of business software, that’s the last thing you need.
As a marketing director or head of your B2B company, it’s up to you to make certain decisions and changes to improve lead generation and grow overall lead quality. Here are a couple of solutions you may want to consider. Your sales people will love you for it. And we all know, when sales and marketing love each other, magic happens. Ok, sales happen.
Will the real buyer please stand up?
1. Involve Sales from the Beginning
The Sales team seem to just be at the receiving end of raw leads without much input into the generation process. But alignment is key. To make sure you are on the same page about your potential customers and the story you tell them, work with your Sales team to create:
A. Buyer Personas – this is a profile of potential customers that will help shape your marketing and sales strategies. A buyer persona will include core information like age, company/industry, and job title. Part of building these personas is thinking about your persona’s concerns and needs and how your solution comes into play. But the most important part is exploring their buying behavior and how to work with the complexities of their buying journey. To learn more about mapping Buyer Personas, click here.
B. A more streamlined communication – According to a research by Lattice Engines: “Sales reps feel that the collateral provided by marketing misses the mark, and in frustration, they simply go ahead and create something on the fly.”
Fortunately creating a buyer persona should help guide both departments in creating content and collateral that really speaks to the prospects and is applicable all throughout the buyer’s journey.
C. Lead Scoring – Simply put, marketing and sales must jointly establish a clear definition of a quality lead. You may feel like a mother telling two squabbling siblings to please agree on something! But there are already many established ways of lead scoring out there. Here’s a lead scoring method you should consider.
2. Create Friction
Charles Settles from Technologyadvice.com assures that Friction, which is his term for gated content on a website, is a “way to verify a prospect’s interest in your product”.
“Someone that provides a name, email, and phone number via a web form in order to access a piece of content usually does so because they have a genuine interest in the product described. Most people understand that providing contact information means they’ll be contacted.”
Add to this,advice from Josh George of Lyons Consulting Group:
“Understanding who your customers are and, in turn, what they like, will undoubtedly enable you to increase conversions and sales. Make it easy for your customers to share their data with you, and use that data to keep them engaged with your business.“
We believe that a great way to create friction is through interactive content. It not only collects data from your prospect (which you can use to fill up a buyer’s persona) but it also ticks the boxes above in terms of being an engaging and easy way for prospects to share their info.
With the right calculator or quiz, you can easily put lead-qualifying questions out there, making it easier to classify your web visitors and automate the process.
To find out more click here.
Just a few of these changes can make a big difference in the quality of leads you get and the sales you make. Give them a try, because you’ll have not just better leads, but a more solid team as well.
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