The modern digital landscape is characterized by information overload, making it difficult to break through the noise as companies vie for buyer attention. As a result of this noise, most consumers have developed a filter as they recognize what genuine content looks like and can immediately detect it from the clutter.
Today’s top performers are focusing on being found instead of implementing what were once intrusive outbound lead generation tactics like mass advertising and telemarketing, and are investing in inbound marketing tactics instead. A Hubspot survey found that 50% of marketers say inbound marketing strategies are their primary source of leads, double that of outbound, making it apparent that the latter has taken a backseat.
To capture and sustain the interest of prospects, savvy marketers have become more intelligent about generating leads, and are achieving success by implementing more targeted inbound campaigns. Let’s explore the more intelligent ways to go about generating leads to see how you can improve your own practices.
Before and Now: The Paradigm Shift
Not too long ago, companies primarily focused on Sales. The mission of the sales rep was to present the product to the customer and push for the sale. It was a method which attempted to make a connection between brand and customer by focusing on selling the product before ever learning about the buyer’s needs. Finding customers involved tactics like cold-calling and bulk advertising instead of letting customers learn about companies on their own and in their own pace.
What was the result of this traditional form of marketing? There was no real connection between the buyer and the brand because engagement was less targeted and less personalized. In its place was mass advertising and email blast campaigns that would blanket the message over an entirely diverse group of buyers. Fast-forward to today, and the goal is no longer about the ABCs (always be closing) – it is about building long-lasting relationships with customers by placing them in charge of the buying process.
Let’s explore the 3 ways you can improve your business processes and apply more intelligent methods to generate more leads.
# 1 Metrics & Analytics
Using advanced measurements and analytics, sales reps no longer have to suffer from data gaps now that they gain rich insights into customer needs. Metrics and analytics work to apply more advanced measurement practices that are based on testing and benchmarking results against each other to determine what drives prospects to make purchase decisions. When working on an email marketing campaign, by analyzing elements like click-through rates and conversion rates, we can pinpoint which of our processes are working, and which efforts don’t yield positive results.
# 2 Understanding Customer and Prospect Needs
Effective lead generation means a deeper understanding of prospect and customer behavior. From newly acquired customer data as a result of targeted campaigns, we can learn more about who our perfect customers are and the messages that produce a positive effect on their buying decisions. The better we are able to tweak and refine messages, the more will we understand about potential buyers and the better will we be at finding more like them.
# 3 Sales & Marketing Alignment
Companies with strong Sales and marketing alignment achieve 20% annual growth rate, while companies with poor sales and marketing alignment have a 4% revenue decline, according to infor. When there is a disconnect between Sales and marketing, it disrupts the lead generation process because marketing doesn’t know which segment of customers to target. When there is alignment, marketing and Sales work in unison with better definitions of what constitutes marketing-qualified leads and sale-ready leads. Defining these terms enables marketing to look for more of the right kind of buyers.
Top performers succeed with lead generation because they identify their target market and devise messages that reach the right segment of consumers. However, it’s not enough to get the attention of prospects. The ultimate goal is to convert them. If you are looking for ways to reach new prospects, the way to achieve this is to really understand customer needs and then devise the kind of campaigns that work on generating more demand. How effective are you at getting new leads? Perhaps you should revisit your marketing strategy to apply more intelligent methods of lead generation to empower your sales reps.