Generating Sales Ready Leads Article
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This article describes the concepts of sales ready leads and marketing qualified leads using marketing automation to improve your sales effectiveness.

This article describes the concepts of sales ready leads and marketing qualified leads using marketing automation to improve your sales effectiveness.

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Generating Sales Ready Leads Article Document Transcript

  • 1. How to consistently generate sales ready leads This short article A major cause of firms missing their sales targets is a lack of sales ready leads. That is, leads that are ready to buy at the point at which they leads you through a engage with your sales team. systematic process This article takes you through a systematic approach to creating sales to generate sales ready leads. This paper is a joint collaboration between Jonathan Calver, the managing director of StrategyMix, a g2m solutions partner and myself. ready leads, sigificantly boosting Define your targets your firms sales and It is crucial to start with a common understanding within your firm of your marketing target audience. Sales and marketing need to be aligned around this definition. efectiveness. But aligned around what? The answer is the buyer, and the problems and challenges they are facing that you are excellent at solving. Avoid By Chris Fell Managing Director, g2m solutions becoming internally focused at this key early stage of proceedings. and Jonathan Calver, Managing To whom do you plan to sell your solution, what sector and what size of Director, StrategyMix, www.strategymix.com company? It is also vital to include the different job roles that will have influence over the purchasing decision. This is called your ideal customer profile (ICP) and is an important concept in generating sales ready leads. Do not underestimate the challenge of identifying the real decision makers in your prospects. Many of our clients are shocked when they perform a gap analysis on their current clients let alone prospects and leads! Consider using telemarketing to fill the gaps in your contacts database of key roles. To how many? How large does your sales funnel need to be to achieve your sales targets. What are your current lead progression rates? How much time does it take for a lead to progress through your funnel? Know your sales funnel “maths”. What does a sales ready lead look like? Marketing and sales need to agree on when a lead is ready to be handed over to sales. What information do sales need to be effective in following up that lead? Sales people’s time is precious and limited, it is important they are devoting energy to the leads with the best prospect of closing. Build a list of ICP targets Now you have your definitions and your maths clear, you need to find a sufficient quantity of names that match your target profile. In many cases firms spread the net too wide, the more names the better right? Wrong! This is about how small you can make your target market and how 0402 340 250 chris.fell@g2msolutions.com.au www.g2msolutions.com.au
  • 2. focused can you become and still hit your numbers. If you have been How do you keep smart about your targeting, you will increase your close rate and subsequent margins by focusing on your ICP. track of all your leads simultaneously and Understand the buyer’s journey ensure you send them Buyers commence their purchasing journey blissfully unaware they even the appropriate have a problem, however something occurs in their organisation and that state changes; they become aware they do indeed have a problem. They information at exactly show interest in fixing this problem, they define a specific need and they the right time? For start looking for suppliers who can solve this problem. Eventually they select your firm's product or service and become your customer and start most marketers this a receiving the value they paid for and, if they have chosen well, remove challenge beyond their pain. them because they So the buyer’s journey is a deliberate cognitive process. lack the capablity to implement one on one campaigns sending targeted material to specific individuals at a specific point in their buying journey. Buyers can start their buying journey at different times and progress at different rates, but above all buyers don't skip steps in this journey. Of course some times these steps may occur rapidly, perhaps even within one meeting, but buyers consciously move from stage to stage and state to state. This raises some very significant challenges for marketers. How do you keep track of all your leads simultaneously and ensure you send them the appropriate information at exactly the right time? For most marketers this is a challenge beyond them because they lack the capablity to implement one on one campaigns sending targeted material to specific individuals at a specific point in their buying journey. They rely on mass marketing techniques. Later in this article we will discuss how smart use of technology can conquer this challenge. Develop marketing collateral for each stage of the buyer’s journey. Think about how different collateral will be needed at different stages to influence buyers. In the early stages of the buyer’s journey collateral will Page 2 of 4
  • 3. The shift away from typically be generic pieces, say white papers or a blog, that position your firm as someone who is capable of solving the buyer’s problem, however one to many mass once a contact has expressed interest your next step might be to use a marketing, to one to telesales team, invite them to an event or webinar that you are running, where a product demo is taking place. Much later in the process, perhaps one marketing using at proposal stage, specific case studies of solutions your firm have technology is a implemented for other clients might be most suitable. So marketing’s fundamental shift in challenge is to develop collateral using a different range of media, suitable for the differing stages of the buyer’s journey. the way we think about marketing. Developing automated marketing campaigns Away from the idea of Now it is time to rhythmically send out your marketing campaign material sending out 1000 to your individual buyers. Without the use of some smart technology this task is overwhelmingly complex and time consuming. emails to a 1000 The shift away from one to many mass marketing to one to one marketing prospects, to the idea using technology is a fundamental shift in the way we think about of sending out 1000 marketing. Away from the idea of sending out 1000 emails to a 1000 prospects, to the idea of sending out 1000 campaigns, where each campaigns, where campaign contains multiple campaign elements which adjusts to the each campaign response of each recipient, using logical campaign rules. contains multiple Logical Campaigns campaign elements Logical campaigns form the backbone of the marketing campaign. The which adjusts to the logical campaign dictates which recipient is engaged with which piece of collateral and in which media. (e.g. email, event, phone or meeting) response of each Logical campaigns allow you to control the campaign interval and the recipient, using logical number of repeats. A very simple example would be where the rules of campaign rules. the campaign state that you send email 1 in week 1 and then in 7 days time you send email 2 if the prospect responded to email 1. If, however, they did not respond to email 1 the system would automatically resend them email 1. More likely a logical campaign will consist of a number of marketing elements and there may be a series of linked logical campaigns taking the buyer through their buying journey. Profile surveys At the beginning of this article we outlined how important it was to gather market intelligence on your Ideal Customer Profile contacts. Active profile surveys are very effective ways to do this. Before a prospect consumes a piece of your marketing content you ask them a series of short questions. You assign certain values to each response according to what your “ideal” customer looks like. For example, a CIO from a medium sized firm in NSW and Victoria in Australia. The system scores the lead’s responses and assigns an action depending on Page 3 of 4
  • 4. the response. This action may range from qualifying them out of all future campaigns to getting a sales person to call them immediately if they achieve a perfect score compared to your ICP criteria. As an example you might rate those prospects who come in the top 20% as “hot” prospects, and the next 30% as warm prospects and the bottom 50% as cold. Smart responses Once you understand the relative value of a lead you can assign a series of different actions from sending an automated email to your BDM, adding the lead to a specific list code, sending a specific piece of collateral such as a brochure, insert that contact into a separate logical campaign, say for inviting to a high value lunch with one of your senior executives, or inserting them into a follow up telemarketing campaign. Reviewing campaigns An important and valuable part of automated marketing systems is to review progress. Reports can be generated that tell you the relative success of different forms of campaign, the number of sales qualified leads you have created each day, week or month, if you have enough target companies in your database and any number of other helpful reports. This allows you to assign your precious sales and marketing resources to those tactics that yield the best results and those leads that are most likely to buy from you. Your next steps If this article has stimulated your interest in improving your firms ability to generate a consistent stream of sales ready leads from your targeted audience then it has done its job. The question is, what should you do next? Contact Chris Fell using the information on the footer of the first page or clicking on chris.fell@g2msolutions.com.au . He can discuss your requirements with you. Perhaps you would like to request a demo of the StrategyMix automated marketing system and see some of the powerful features we have discussed for yourself. Page 4 of 4