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How to generate better sales leads that lead to conversion

Many B2B sales organizations get bogged down with too many bad sales leads. Salespeople are often crying out for “more sales leads” but “more” is not always better! Instead of just indiscriminately dumping more and more leads into the top of your sales funnel, you need to think more carefully about what a “good” sales lead really looks like for your company. Too many “bad” sales leads are sometimes worse than having no sales leads at all – because they cause your sales team to waste time chasing after buyers who aren’t truly the right fit or who aren’t anywhere close to being ready to buy. Here are a few common root causes of the "bad leads" problem, and how to address it:

1. Your website is too vague

Most B2B sales companies…

Chart of the Day: Marketing provide lower quality leads compared to those sourced directly by the sales reps

A Sales and Marketing SLA is important, but as we found out last week 21% of respondents characterize their company's Sales and marketings relationship as either misaligned or 'don't know'. But how often do marketing teams provide their sales team with quality leads? Not as often as they find their own. 38% of respondents said that leads sources by sales are the top source of sales, 33% say referrals are the top source of sales and only 25% of respondents believe leads sourced by marketing are their top source of sales. Sales respondents in organizations with an SLA between Marketing and Sales felt differently. Those respondents ranked marketing-sourced leads highest. Thanks to alignment, which sets clear expectations on the types of leads Marketing should provide and a feedback loop between departments, these sales…

Leads are only as good as your ability to know how to calculate their value

Lead generation isn’t as popular as other acquisition channels such as Straight Sale, CPC, CPI or CPA. Why? Because most people struggle to understand two important things: How to do it properly How to calculate its value In this article, you’ll learn how to overcome these two obstacles and discover the information helping companies dominate their markets.

 How to do lead generation properly

 Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has some excellent advice. He says: “We don’t make money when we sell things. We make money when we help customers make purchase decisions.” This is the most important thing to master if you want to do lead generation well. You must be customer centric. Move away from a transactional mindset. Instead, think about repeat, retention-based sales. Doing this dramatically increases the lifetime value of…

Practical content marketing and profiling techniques to identify senior decision makers

Senior decision makers are increasingly reluctant to hand over their contact details when exploring potential solutions. You may have noticed how busy managers often omit their phone numbers from their email sigs! At the same time, the explosion in content marketing with the availability of detailed information online in a range of formats has enabled those seeking to use your products or services to carry out extensive research on you independently without booking a demo. There is now little need to book a demo, take a trial or speak to a salesperson when so much content exists online to inform their decision. Whilst these prospects are carrying out their due diligence research at distance, others who are at a much earlier stage of the buying cycle are seeking content that will inform and educate them. Whitepapers, videos, thought-leadership pieces and research are standard fare in any…

Disscussing the advantages and pitfalls out outsourcing your lead gen

Do we outsource or keep in-house? That is the question. Let me specify in advance that by outsourcing lead generation I mean transferring the whole process to an outside supplier. You set goals and in turn, you get leads. In this chapter, I shall not speak about any intermediate steps such as pay per click campaigns, landing generation, or outgoing calls without clear results. After all, they have no guarantee that you will reap any potential customers.

Actually, the decision of whether to outsource searching and attracting potential customers is not a matter of cost. Total expenses per employee are significantly higher for a company than just salaries, as this includes taxes, office space, a workstation, IT, holidays, sick-leaves, etc. As a result, the price of outsourcing is comparable to the cost of keeping your work in-house.

An example of separating the Wheat from the Chaff and Why BANT isn't dead

Lead qualification criteria are characteristics that help to classify a lead by the degree of its willingness and readiness to buy. As a result of this qualification, one can distinguish, in terms of making a purchase, the leads with the most and least potential: hot, warm, and cold. In lead generation there are usually two stages of qualification: marketing and sales qualification. The first one is done by a team responsible for a marketing activity. The sales qualification is done to confirm the information from a sales perspective. Ideally, a number of marketing and sales qualified leads must coincide. If a sales department rejects lots of leads, you most likely need to correct your marketing qualification criteria or to add a new criterion. Of course, sometimes it happens that the criteria are correct, but a sales department determines, through reasons…

Overcoming Marketing-Sales Tension

Tension between the sales and marketing departments plagues companies of all shapes and sizes. One of the biggest sore spots is the feeling among sales personnel that the “leads” delivered by marketing are worthless. Typically, this is not entirely true, but an impression that develops as sales reps grow tired of chasing inquiries that turn out to be dead ends. Nevertheless, even the impression is bad; when reps sour on marketing leads, they may overlook or go through the motions on terrific leads, thinking they are more “junk.” If marketing adds lead validation to the process, this tension not only can be eliminated, but also can result in tremendous gains in lead follow-up efficiency and new business production.

What Is Lead Validation?

If you are not familiar with lead validation, do not be worried — few marketers implement it. For the…

Strategy, tactics and ideas to consider as part of a winning lead generation strategy

Generating consumer interest and enquiries is a primary objective for B2B businesses, something backed up by a recent study from the Content Marketing Institute which states that lead generation (85%) and sales (84%) will be the most important goals for B2B content marketers over the next 12 months. In my previous post from November last year I explored the rationale for using content marketing for B2B lead generation and provided some case studies to demonstrate some best practices. In this post, I'll look in more detail at how earned media can be used to support B2B companies’ lead generation objectives.

Earned media as part of an integrated strategy

As we’ll see, earned media undoubtedly provides an effective set of tactics for lead generation and is associated primarily with generating interest at the top of the inbound marketing…

Do you nurture your leads and know when they are 'qualified, sales ready' contacts?

Some interesting sales statistics to keep at the forefront of your mind when planning how to convert your leads. They could also help build your business case for investment and resources to manage your lead nurturing program. It can work both ways, in that you can miss out on sales by not responding to your 'sales ready leads' or provide irrelevant information at the wrong time to prospective buyers, which pushes them towards another brand. The key is covering all bases; defining your personas, sharing relevant personalised content, understanding how they search for information, knowing where they are in the sales funnel and efficient internal processes. For example, stats in the infographic from Orchestrate show by ensuring you have customer service SLAS can increase sales - 35% to 50% of customers buy from those who respond first! The…

Businesses must strike the right balance between inbound and outbound techniques to succeed at lead generation

An existing B2B lead generation process may work well with existing products / markets but what happens when a business tries to grow? In this article I present the four most common growth strategies and suggest some associated lead generation techniques.

A Cautionary Tale

To illustrate what can go wrong, an example may help. The company was a dominant force in components for high-reliability markets like oil and gas. Business was good but the company identified the limitations of its existing market and decided there was a need to diversify into commercial markets to grow. Their approach was to take their most successful products and using different materials and manufacturing methods produce cheaper and simpler variants for the commercial market. They identified potential volume markets for the products, assessed price points and designed and manufactured products to fit.…