All of us think that lead generation as a pretty simple concept and yet if you ask 10 different people what it is and how they do it – you will get 10 different answers. Many believe – we will market to someone and they will come. The truth of the matter is they will come if you have put the right lead generation strategy in place for your business. If you develop a strategy that is right for your target market, that can be implemented within your budgetary constraints, and follow-up occurs, then success is imminent.
Read through the steps below and then look at a lead generation campaign that you felt was not successful and determine where you think it could have been improved to get the results you wanted:
Step 1 – Determine the right lead generation campaign type for your target audience.
You have to understand your target market in order to pick the right lead generation campaign.
A good example of this that I was told recently by a partner who does advertising that IT (which is a predominately male dominated group) will not open a direct mail as a rule of thumb. In order to get them to open it they added a QR barcode to it which drew their interest. It is important to understand what works and what does not for a particular industry, geographic area, gender, or age. Creating the wrong type of campaign can be costly.
Step 2 – Make sure that the campaign type chosen is cost effective.
It is important that you understand the size of the target market, understand the return on campaign and know that acquiring the customer in that manner is going to warrant the expense you paid in acquisition. You need to understand the cost of the campaign, the average return for that type of campaign, the price of your product you are trying to create the leads for, and know that if you only receive a few leads from the campaign, it will cover the overall costs. If you cannot recoup the price of your campaign with 1-2 actual sales, then you might be spending too much.
Step 3 – Define the success criteria for your lead generation campaign.
You need to determine your success criteria for your lead generation campaign. It might as basic as covering the costs of the campaign or could be more involved determining how many leads you receive, or could be that the campaign was just for awareness in the market.
Step 4 – Make sure that list or venue is targeted.
If you are purchasing a list or attending a venue, make sure that the prospects are the right ones for you. You need to make sure that the list is as targeted as it can be, the right industries, geographic regions, and any other demographics that are pertinent to your business. If your business is only focused on 5 vertical industries where the company size needs to be over 100 employees to buy your product, you need to ensure that the list you are the event you are attending has a prospects that fit this criteria.
Step 5 – Have a call to action – it is critical.
You need to grab the attention of the audience. Make sure that you offer something of value in order to get a response from the audience. This could be something you provide such as a white paper, a discount on your product or service, a draw for a prize, or even a free one hour consultation. The offer is really dependent on the value it provides and on the audience in how they will react. If you are coming out with a new product, a good offer or call to action might be “ Respond within the next 15 days and receive 20% off your first purchase”. You need to have them perform an action and is best to provide a time limit as well.
Step 6– Have a plan in place for handling leads received from the campaign.
Prior to starting your campaign, develop the processes for handling your leads you receive. There will be multiple types of leads and there should be a process for how each is handled. There will be a very low percentage of A leads who are the ones who are ready to purchase immediately. There will be more B leads of those who are interested, but are not going to purchase within the next 3-6 months and there will also be C leads who are “shopping” around but you do not want to lose track of them.. Each type of lead should have a process of who is going to contact them, how they will be contacted, and the frequency of the contact.
Step 7 – Ensure that your sales reps have accountability.
As a sales manager, one of the greatest issues I had was making sure there was proper follow-up by sales reps after a lead generation campaign. I would hear excuses about the quality of the leads to find out that 4 weeks had gone by since they received the lead and when they called, they had already purchased another product. Whether this is a direct sales group or a channel, you invested in helping them receive leads, so they should provide reports to you when the leads were contacted and the outcome of each conversation. If they do not have the proper follow-up, provide the lead to another rep or channel.
Step 8– Calculate the metrics to determine the success of your lead generation campaign.
How do you really know if you had a successful lead generation campaign if you do not track the metrics associated with the campaign. The true success criteria of the campaign should be set when you start the campaign and the tracking and validation should be done at the end. Do you know how many leads you received in total? Do you know how many closed? Do you know how many were lost because one sales rep didn’t follow-up in a timely manner? Did you cover your costs with the campaign and is that type of campaign worth doing again, or should you try a different type of campaign?
Step – 9 Continue follow-up contact with non A leads.
Just because a prospect is not ready to buy today, it does not mean they are not a good lead. You need to stay first in their thoughts when they are ready to buy. For this reason, it is important that after the campaign is through that you have continual follow-up with those leads until you determine they are not ever going to turn to an A lead. If there is not some type of touch on a regular basis to stay foremost in their mind, the prospect can be lost. The contact or touch needs to provide value to the prospect as well, whether this be new web information, new product update, or something of further interest to the prospect. This can be done through email, phone call, broadcast message campaign, or various other methods.
In : Marketing Practice
Tags: "lead generation" "marketing" "leads" "prospects" "drip marketing" "direct mail"
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