Marketing is finally coming of age in the B2B world, especially as new buyer trends and increasing technology developments have helped to ease this change and helped businesses realise that they need to start using marketing to increase sales. It’s finally showing business that marketing IS a sales tool that should be helping sales teams generate, nurture and ultimately increase sales, leads as well as the overall quality of prospects and customer engagement.
What this means for sales teams is that marketing and sales have an opportunity to finally bring down some of the barriers and co-operate to reach the goals of their business.
The details of a sales lead generation, nurture and conversion system that marketing can be held accountable for.
The phrase inbound marketing has only recently been popularised, however its development originates from the world of direct marketing which was fundamentally marketing that sells, and in a more updated way, marketing that helps buyers to buy.
Technology now makes the process of connecting customers and suppliers easier with systems that allow people to search and share openly.
Inbound marketing is makes us of integrated marketing technology that connects together many disparate marketing processes and closes the loop with your sales operations, as well as content marketing that helps people to understand how you can help them an what you and your business specifically does.
Primarily its a strategic led approach that generates qualified sales leads from people that are actively looking for, or seeking your products or services.
People show themselves by getting involved with engaging content after they’ve found you online using search (SEO) or social media.
By doing the right things you’ll start to generate qualified traffic and get found by the right people.
Its all starts when you convert qualified traffic and visitors into sales leads.
Next steps convert those people into qualified leads and what you’re asking for is a small commitment from each visitor, which is usually signing up to receive something that’s actually worthwhile receiving.
Contrary to belief, product data sheets are not truly worthy of such a commitment so instead you should be offering something of real value.
Only through a clear understanding of what your customer really wants from you and that its relatively easy for them to get, will you have the makings of a truly compelling offer.
Things such as free products and services, discounted items, special events or activities are among the sorts of things that you will find in an engaging campaign.
Combine this with landing pages that help visitors move easily from visitor to interested party and becoming an identifiable lead, you now have the makings of a powerful lead generation system.
Once you’ve started to generate leads you’ve then got to build a quality filtering mechanism and manage them correctly.
Criteria can be used to define the initial score or quality of a lead and whether it is sales ready or requires further nurturing through a campaign which can be automated.
During the campaign additional triggers will move each lead further towards sales readiness, just like a sales funnel, and by blending together various steps like follow up calls, webinars and more content you’ll start to see your funnel develop and grow.
Marketing and sales can work together to determine what will engage prospects and how to identify a sales ready opportunity so that the focus remains on quality and not quantity of leads.
Strategy, experimentation and analysis are key to building a working lead generation and lead nurturing system that supplies your sales team with useful sales leads that convert.
Leads can be automatically passed to a CRM system and forwarded to the relevant sales person for personal engagement or handled from within an integrated marketing platform.
Once an opportunity is won it can be closed off and fed back into the marketing system automatically so that all leads and sales can be tracked back to their respective marketing activities.
A simple Inbound Marketing strategy for sales lead generation.
- Build valuable offers that will pull visitors and prospects to your website and convert them into interested parties.
- Create enticing call-to-action buttons or graphics that communicate your offer quickly and get traffic passing through to landing pages.
- Design numerous landing pages with offers for different things that will resonate with each type of prospects that is on their own individual journey with you.
- Connect nurturing campaigns to each of your offers so that you can continue stay engaged with prospects and assist them on their journey.
- Define what makes up a good sales ready lead and how you will identify it within your lead generation system and what activities will be engaged to handled it.
- Organise and manage leads using CRM or customer relationship management software so that you can take them from engaged to closed.
- Measure and analyse your results to find out what is working and what isn’t.
- Adapt and test new strategies that may deliver better results more inline with your plans and goals from a qualified sales lead and closed sales perspective.
Now go tell marketing.