7 must answer questions for an effective lead generation strategy
Lead generation is a pivotal step in sales management. This is as obvious as the fact that Sun rises from the west. Yet, we see many brands jumping straight into lead generation activities without a solid strategy in place and focus on creative aspects alone.
Perhaps, for this reason, a research by BrightTalk indicates that around 80% of marketers consider their lead generation strategy only ‘somewhat’ effective! Yes, let that sink in.
A well-formulated lead generation is quintessential for the overall success of any lead generation exercise. So, what is that you need to get your lead generation strategy in place? Try to answer the below questions for a start:
1. Who is your target audience?
Define your target audience precisely. Build buyer personas. No matter how witty your content or ‘mind-blowing’ your designs, if they do no reach and resonate with the intended audience, it’s all the effort down the drain. Besides, a clear understanding of your target audience helps you eliminate unqualified leads right at the beginning of the sales funnel.
Dive into your social media insights to start the sketch of your buyer persona, you could add more precision to this by undertaking surveys and conducting focus group interviews.
The more data sources and information about the audience, the stronger would be the persona created. It would result in driving much more targeted campaigns in the future.
2. What does your audience want from you?
The buyer persona would provide insights into your audience’ behavior, interest, and engagement levels. Tailoring content accordingly will lead to a higher customer satisfaction.
Start answering what customers are asking about your area of services or industry you belong to. Leverage the power of website blogs, reviews, discussion portals like Quora and Reddit, social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter etc. to reach out to your audience.
Provide information on industry trends, best practices and not always about company’s services only. It helps in building a subject matter expertise in your domain. Strike the balance between thought leadership and promotional content.
Earn a place in customers mind through providing case studies, whitepapers, information snippets that help them take a better decision and triggers them to perceive you as a thought leader in your industry.
3. What are your communication channels?
Depending on where your audiences are, reach out to them. Social media platforms, online forums and discussion portals, emails, landing pages etc. are all ways to reach out to your prospective customer.
Capturing key information of your prospects through a gated landing page along with offering a giveaway is a great way of building quality leads.
An omnichannel marketing communication must be in place to reach out to today’s tech-savvy customers. Often customers engage with the same brand via multiple devices, thus the communication must be tailor-made to suit the changing customer demographics and preferences.
For example, Souq.com, a middle-east online marketplace runs re-targeted ads on Facebook which shows up related products browsed by the website or App user while he is skimming through the Facebook feed. Souq also sends periodic emails about discount sales to its subscribed members. Thereby, Souq manages to always provide relevant information to the user across multiple channels effectively.
The actual conversion could happen through either of these channels, hence, a multi-channel communication model remains a much essential part of the lead generation strategy.
4. How do you handle leads?
Leads, though generated at every stage in the purchase cycle, treat them uniquely across the stages. A lead at the beginning of the sales cycle might be interested to know more about the products through the website, review, videos, etc. whereas a lead in the decision phase would be ready to get contacted by a salesperson for the actual purchase process.
Hence categorically handle all the leads and introduce them to diverse marketing messages. Again, audience persona and a clear customer journey mapping across the complete purchase cycle will help in streamlining the lead generation across multiple touchpoints.
5. How do you assess the quality of leads?
The leads belong to two broader categories, the Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) and the Sales Qualified Leads (SQL). While the former requires more product related information to decide on the actual purchase, the SQL are already in the final steps of purchase and mostly would require a sales staff to reach out to them to help complete the purchase.
Your sales and marketing team must get together to determine what a marketing qualified lead (MQL) and what sales qualified lead (SQL) look like. Based on the categorization, streamline the communication.
6. What is your USP?
Identify your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and communicate it to the customers right from the beginning. It helps to establish a clear distinction between you and your competitors in the minds of your customers and prospects.
It also helps the customer take much-informed decisions by understanding the exact capabilities of the solutions the brand is promising to offer them.
7. How do you track your progress?
For a successful lead generation, tracking lead count alone does not help in any way. Set clear traceable goals for metrics such as website visits, form inquiries, sale closings. Using a CRM tool makes it a lot easier to accurately track and streamline the lead generation process.
Here at Jacobsons Direct, we offer customized CRM support, as well as strategic consulting for all your lead generation, needs to build a qualified lead base for your company.
Now, when you have answered all the seven questions, you will be much more equipped to make informed decisions about your lead generation strategy, and effectively drive your sales operation to yield a much higher result.