If you are doing regular, compelling content marketing campaigns, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t be generating leads. So for the purposes of this article, let’s assume you’re sitting on a pile of leads. Why aren’t they closing?

Some of us are better at content marketing and leave the closing to our sales teams — but we have to be able to work closely with sales to ensure that our leads are closed.

Always Be Closing:

I know that most people reading this are marketers, and they may wonder why worrying about sales closing is a part of their job. Well, it’s because we get our budget, as marketers, based on ROI — in other words, you can generate and nurture thousands of leads, but if they don’t close your campaign was unsuccessful.

Closing matters to us all. ABC, folks.

1. You Give Up Too Early on Leads

A lead is a lead until they say no.

Lead nurturing demands we do the work prior to the sales team jumping in. But great marketing/sales teams continue to work together after the lead has been passed along.

Takeaway: Talk to your sales team. Follow up on a regular basis with them on how the leads you’re passing along are closing. Once a lead has ceased to respond, can you put them back in your lead buckets for additional nurturing? Are many of these dead leads coming from a specific campaign? If so, it might be time to tweak that campaign. Finally, are they putting in the work? Ask how many times leads are followed up on.

2. You Aren’t Mining Data for Your ‘In’

You learn alot from a contact record. In Hubspot, we can see how many other offers they’ve viewed or downloaded, the blog posts they’ve read, if others at their company are interested in our items and all kinds of social media information. Depending on the software you’re using, you probably know at least a few things that could give you a good ‘In’. My favorites are these:

  • Company Name
  • Job Title
  • LinkedIn URL
  • Lead Gen downloaded

Don’t underestimate the ‘In’ you can create from this data. I’m a former Yahoo, so when I see a Silicon Valley based lead come in, I always check their LinkedIn profile to see if we’ve both worked for Yahoo at some time in the past. We’ve done work for Intel, Cisco, Mozilla, Facebook, CurrentTV and other large companies, so if there’s a connection there, you can be sure I’ll mention it. You’d be surprised how many people fit into that bucket. You can also check out their alma matter, their previous location (former neighbors?) and if you have any LinkedIn Groups in common — you probably do if you are generating leads in a targeted industry.

Finally, one piece of data you know for sure is what they downloaded. A person downloading our content targeted towards generating leads is likely interested in that topic — guess what, I know alot about that I am happy to send them more useful content along those lines. ;)

Takeaway: Spend the time researching the lead before you reach out. If a lead goes cold, look for a way back ‘in’.

3. You Aren’t Revisiting ‘Dead’ Leads

Dead leads can be warmed back up if you go about it in the right way. Mine your older leads for opportunities to engage them again. Some ideas to try to get them back in the pipeline:

  • Invite them into your newsletter list
  • Invite them to a top-of-the-funnel webinar
  • Offer a free trial
  • Pretend you’re a real human and just ask them why they aren’t interested ;)

One of my favorite ways to do this is this email:

A while back, you reached out to us about Content Marketing and for whatever reason, we weren’t able to connect. I’m going through my old emails and thought I’d give it one more try. I’d hate for you to think we weren’t interested in talking to you!

Are you still interested in chatting about using content to engage your readers or drive leads to <Company>? I’ve got some time on Thursday after our Sales Meeting, so anything after 2pm EST works.

Takeaway: Pull out your dead leads now! Talk to your team to come up with a few ideas to warm them back up. There’s money in those leads!

ROI Depends on Marketing and Sales

Getting budget for content marketing isn’t always easy, so once you have that budget, don’t waste it. Make sure you help your sales team deliver a content marketing ROI that ensures you get to keep on doing a great job, quarter after quarter.

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