Expanding The Marketing and Sales Funnel: Why More Is Merrier | KnowledgeVisionIt’s the age-old question: Do you want Quality or Quantity?

When marketing delivers a dozen leads from a highly engaging event, it’s usually expected that these people will buy, or at least get into a proposal discussion.

But when marketing hauls in hundreds of leads in a day, we all know what the sales conversion rates will be: Low and lower.

But with content marketing, the funnel is getting a lot wider than it used to be, as more people find your articles and videos and respond to your calls to action. Here’s how to raise the quality of lead even as you raise the number.

When you expand the funnel, a greater majority of marketing leads come in from organic searches and inbound campaigns rather than face-to-face events, but it doesn’t have to mean that lead quality will drop overall. With inbound content marketing, you can more easily reach the right people by appealing to their specific pain. They find your content through keyword searches, and you are able to segment people by activity, demographics, and the keyword sets that brought them to you.

That means you know whether their pain is about cost, functionality, ease-of-use, service level, or brand values, and this makes them better leads, but only if you take the right actions. To make sure you are maximizing your lead flow, you should take the following actions:

  • Segment by Keyword Set – Use the terms people searched to create segments based on pricing, competition, service level, capabilities, quality of product, and any other dimensions that are relevant to your business.
  • Segment Nurturing Campaigns – These same segments should be used to send regular appeals to people using language that matches their concerns.
  • Score by Campaign Response – The probability of making a sale goes up when you are more able to address the customer’s pain, but you can also track the likelihood of a sale by assigning values to each lead that are based on the specific activity they took on your campaigns.
  • Deliver To Sales – Your sales team needs this data as well, to reach each person by starting with the issues that first interested them. Their follow-up activities should address the exact concerns made apparent by the keywords.
  • Periodically Re-Set Concerns – Now that you have names, you should allow your leads to self-select their own categories through new content campaigns and surveys.

A Marketing Virtual Event

On November 14, I’m taking part in an online event that will include these ideas and more. It’s called Good to Great, and it’s produced by an organization called the Marketing Nation. The event is going on pretty much all day, and it’s basically a virtual trade show, with an exhibitor’s floor and several sessions featuring more than 40 marketing experts.

They’ll be talking about how you can improve performance on stuff like:

  • Optimize Your Top of Funnel Activities
  • Improve and Expand Your Online Advertising Efforts
  • Align Sales and Marketing Teams
  • Integrate and Measure Social Media

The Marketing Nation is really cool. It’s basically a network of experts who can bring you new ideas and solutions for your marketing efforts. Why not learn how to both expand the funnel and improve lead quality at the same time?

Check it out:

Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Time: Open from 8am – 2pm PST; Sessions from 9am – 12:30pm PST

Register today

Originally published on the KnowledgeVision Fresh Ideas Blog.