When striving to be an efficient B2B industry leader, lead generation is one of, if not the most important factor of your company. Having a successful or lacking process affects everyone from marketing and sales to production and even upper management. Scalable rates, lead costs, and a follow up system are common pain points for companies that don’t prioritize time and resources in this area.
Your first step is to have a thorough process with objectives to meet at every step of the way. In order to lower costs without sacrificing your marketing funnel procedures, introducing new data collection, regular research, and taking advantage of new opportunities are just the baby steps. Here are some areas you could improve to optimize your lead generation process.
1. Lowering Cost Per Lead
While every company has varying funds and resources they can allocate to lead generation tactics, it’s still common for teams to blow any level of budget and see a disappointing return. This is because for many departments, their idea is to increase funding spent so they won’t need to increase time spent; this can be considered the first wrong move. When it comes to lowering overall cost, your best course of action will consist of putting more manpower and hours on research and development.
When first establishing your budget, know the average you should be spending on each marketing channel. Whether you’re consistently higher than this number or you’re still in need of reducing costs, your next step is to revitalize your methods. Not only do you need to optimize the time and day of the week each process is sent out, establish a historical review team to determine processes that have excelled in the past. With this identification, you can break down certain factors that contributed to success – infographics and visual design, brief or extensive explanations, video or photo representation, etc.
2. Increasing Your Lead Conversions
When testing how to increase your conversions, it’s more than a simple A/B test that consists of basic visual changes. Instead, you’re going to need to make big decisions on channel changes, follow up rates, and changing your landing page content. Another major challenge that’s common across all industries is the lack of qualified leads – so connect with the people you’re looking to do business with. Wasting time on unqualified leads can not only lead to higher costs but it can take time away from people genuinely interested in closing a sale or offer.
Your landing pages and follow up channels will curve your conversion rate more than adding videos to your newsletter. This is about more than having relevant and updated information. Having FAQs answered throughout the site, attaching CTA links to relevant areas, and directing the right people through optimized marketing funnels will help you gather and maintain qualified leads. While great graphics and quick pitches will help those that are looking to commit to a sale, for people that are researching various companies you’ll want to have more available and relevant information that combines CTAs without drawing away from your company’s message.
3. A Team-Centric Lead Generation Funnel
In the last year, what kind of research have you done on buyer motivation and current trends within your industry? Did you hold your marketing team, sales department, or another division responsible for this data? When it comes to generating, guiding, and finalizing leads, there isn’t one sole division that has a hand in the process – so there shouldn’t necessarily be only one team that handles the research and lead flow development. Having the backgrounds and expertise of these varying mindsets can not only contribute to the quality of information in your landing pages and outreach programs, but they can help you gain the attraction and generation of relevant leads as well.
Once you’ve redesigned your content to acquire qualified leads, it’s time to update the marketing funnels potential leads will go into. You need to have plans for each level of communication; whether they’re interested in your quality information, browsing options for their company, or looking to make an immediate decision, every experience and offer should be tailored to their separate objectives. This is where crucial data collection on current market needs and interests comes into play, along with the specializations of each department.
4. Having a Focused Follow-Up Plan
As you may know, there isn’t a single grand plan for following up with a lead. You need to have an established communication system for answering questions, providing more industry information, handing off to the next team member in the process, and for touching base with dropped leads or rejected leads. Having enticing emails or newsletters can be a great way to connect with your general community, but there needs to be a focused effort on each destination of the buyer’s roadmap for communication.
At what stage are you losing the most leads? Consider whether you’re sending them through too many channels, providing too much information, or possibly not pushing for a close early enough. By tracking drop-off rates, you’ll have an edge to targeting which strategies need to be edited; they may need to be shortened, expanded, or rephrased to keep people’s attention and interests. By using the opinions of various department teams, you can get quality feedback on how to incentivise different mindsets and company needs.
Making the most out of your lead generation will be partially dependent on fluctuating variables such as your available staff, data resources, and competitive market. However, that isn’t the say you and your team can’t make the most out of even the most minimal support.
Your processes are more largely affected by the methods already in place and the application of updated practices supported by collected data. Instead of focusing primarily on lead cost, follow ups, or referrals, each process should flow into the next with a similar list of prioritized objectives. Whether your team is a part of a major corporation or a growing start up, every industry benefits from systematically refreshing their practices.
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