Bridge the gap between marketing and sales.

Lead generation strategy for growth-oriented businesses.

Lead Generation should be the highest priority of any digital marketing strategy.

Lead Generation is the method used to generate positive growth for your business by attracting, converting, closing, and delighting committed, loyal customers who are truly interested in hearing what you can do to help them out.

You expect your sales team to sell, and you expect your marketing team to help them by delivering “warm” leads. However, many of the issues that can contribute to poor growth within your business are caused by a breakdown in the sales and marketing relationship. In order to get the most out of your teams, you need to ensure that everyone is focused on a singular lead generation goal, so that your sales goals are informing your lead generation strategy.

You’re looking to turn an online presence into serious growth for your business, and this is how you get there. Lead Generation takes interested prospects who are just now considering a purchase and puts them square on the path to becoming your delighted customers.

One of the biggest factors in growing your business is your ability to take complete strangers and turn them into buyers. How you find those strangers, educate them on your product, and condition them for a purchasing decision is called Lead Generation.

Now historically, lead generation has involved casting a wide net around mostly random crowds of people using TV ads and cold calling and hoping for a result. We refer to this as “outbound marketing.”

Recently, marketing has evolved to enable you to be much more intentional about speaking to people who are already asking the questions you want to answer – delivering your message to the exact right person at the exact right time. This is called “inbound marketing.”

By taking a targeted approach, you can ensure that the leads being delivered to your sales team are marketing qualified and truly ready to talk business. And, you can condition these potential customers to be receptive your specific sales process – answering their questions, offering value, and making them feel good about their decision to choose you.

If you’re serious about growth, and you recognize that you need more or better leads in order to meet your goals, it’s critical that you determine whether your current lead generation process is helping or hurting your progress — and how much of a change is necessary in order to get back on track. The info below should help you get off to a good start, but if you decide you want real help, we’re a phone call away.

Effective Lead Generation Aligns Your Sales and Marketing Teams

Focusing two teams on a single goal requires the presence of mind to fully understand your business’s overall growth goals. Your sales team needs to define a qualified lead in light of those growth goals, and they need to communicate that definition clearly to your marketing team.

Without sales and marketing alignment for Lead Generation, you’re looking at:

  • Poor quality leads from a marketing team that isn’t sure what they should be delivering.
  • A sales team forced to rely on their own lead generation efforts.
  • Wasted money generating leads that sales can’t use.

It doesn’t have to be this way. If senior leadership at your company is committed to marketing and sales alignment, and everyone is willing to work together to establish and achieve a common set of goals, develop a plan for content marketing and lead generation, and utilize the right technology to help themselves succeed, then everyone wins.

HubSpot lead management software
The HubSpot CRM seamlessly connects your marketing and sales communications as you track leads from prospects to SQLs.
5 best practices for marketing and sales alignment

Goal setting should happen regularly with Senior Management, Sales, and Marketing all at the same table.

Our first objective with any new client is to put sales and marketing team leaders in the same room with senior leadership and discuss your business’s goals from the top down. This process of discovery allows us to understand the unique challenges that are affecting each team. As we develop an appropriate lead generation strategy, that discovery process informs every decision and enables us to get everyone working from the same playbook.

Our primary focus is always to ensure that our Inbound Marketing strategies align with your goals for growth over time. We want to continue to understand what success means for you as we meet initial goals and set new ones. The same is true for every team in your sales process. It isn’t enough to coordinate once. Growth is defined by constant change and unexpected challenges. Even when it seems like you’ve established a pattern of success, it’s important to understand that your strategies will need to continue adapting to an ever-changing landscape.

Do Lead Generation Tactics Really Increase Conversion Rates?

Implementing lead generation tactics in your digital marketing efforts is a must for any business focused on sustained growth and positive metrics.

As an example, consider those “What Disney Princess Are You” or “What’s Your Ideal Meal at Taco Bell” quizzes on social media. You may be ashamed to admit that you’ve fallen for these time-wasters in the past, but did you know that this kind of interactive content is considered one of the top lead generation tactics for B2B companies, as well?

While a quiz focused on cartoon royalty probably wouldn’t impress the potential leads looking into a home construction company, a targeted email with a quiz asking them to rate the biggest home building and interior design trends might.

Lead Generation tactics, including interactive content, educational webinars or events, and lead nurturing (more on that in just a second), increase conversion rates because they invite your prospect to be a part of the process. They offer engagement at a personal level and create an authentic connection that leads them right to the Zero Moment of Truth (or ZMOT).

Consulting firm DDI found that prospects were six times more likely to open follow-up emails after they received one email that included interactive content.

campaignmonitor.com

Nature vs. Nurture: Don’t leave your leads out in the cold.

Lead nurturing, according to Marketo, is the process of developing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel and through every single step of the Buyer’s Journey.

To nurture a lead means to listen to them — find out what their problem is and what they need from you in order to solve it. Since about half of the leads in your system are likely prospects that just aren’t ready to buy, neglecting them could easily lead to the prospect dropping you out of consideration by the time they decide to purchase.

In order to have the greatest success at lead nurturing, you first need to implement a system of lead scoring. Lead scoring helps sales and marketing pinpoint how far along your prospect is in the Buyer’s Journey, and how likely they are to be a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) vs. a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) that isn’t quite ready for your sales team.

How you define your lead scoring system is going to be specific to your business. However, we can tell you that your internal system will almost certainly use four basic metrics with numerical values assigned to them:

Companies with great lead nurturing practices generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost.

Fitness

How well does the prospect match your ideal buyer persona? Prospects who are closer to the ideal would receive a higher basic score while prospects who don’t seem to match up with your product or service may require much more nurturing and education before becoming a Marketing Qualified Lead.

Interest

Has the prospect spent a lot of time on your site? Do they engage with your social networks? Have they signed up to receive email newsletter or other communications? Each of these actions should be scored according to how likely they are to suggest the prospect is closer to making a purchasing decision.

Behavior

A prospect’s behavior is the best window into whether or not they need immediate follow-up or continued nurturing. Actions like clicking to read a blog post may not mean much, but downloading unique content, or signing up for events like webinars, indicate a much greater chance that they’ll commit to purchase, so they should receive a higher value.

Stage

Different actions may indicate a prospect in different stages of the Inbound Marketing methodology. A prospect at a more advanced stage may be receptive to contact from your sales team, but a prospect who has just started reading blogs or following your business on social media is likely to be in the initial Attract stage and may react poorly if they feel pressure from your sales team too early.

Lead nurturing is more about relationships than numbers.

Don’t lose sight of one important fact when your teams are scoring a lead: the prospect isn’t just some text on a screen, but a human being. The secret to effective lead nurturing is not to lose yourself in numbers, but to focus your marketing efforts on building a conversation and connection that keeps you top-of-mind when it matters most.

Your website has a job. Understanding that job is key to lead generation success.

Have you ever really thought about why you have a company website? It’s true that every business needs a website, but what is the specific purpose YOUR website serves?

When you sit down with a web design company or marketing agency to talk about a new website, there are three ideas you need to have in your head before you get started.

Every website has a job.

Your website needs to have a job, and your web design partner should understand that job from the beginning.

A lot of business owners believe that a website should only be there to show credibility – the nicer the website, the more credible the company. This idea is flawed for two reasons. The first problem is that beautiful websites are way more accessible now than they were even a few years ago, so a nice website doesn’t equal a big, successful company anymore. The second problem is that websites are capable of doing so much more than you’re giving them credit for.

Your website should be generating MORE leads than the rest of your sales team put together. So you can let that team worry about closing sales, while your website keeps the qualified leads coming.

Whether it’s lead generation, sales support, customer support, or something else entirely, give your website a job and watch it go to work for you.

User experience is priority one.

A beautiful website might very well be useless at doing its job, and an ugly website can totally crush it. Why?

Because usability matters, and user-driven design is all about prioritizing function over form. A good user experience is gonna boost your conversion rates at every level, so building a website that’s fun to look at should be a lower priority than building a website that people can actually use.

Now, don’t just throw good design out the door — my point is that great design is about staying connected to your audience and putting their needs above your own.

Your website is your hardest working employee.

If you were trying to recruit a great salesperson, you’d never find a better option than your own website. Your website never takes a day off. It’s hard at work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, weekends and holidays.

If its well-designed and organized, your website can serve thousands of users at once – each with a different problem or question – every day. It can have every answer to every question, funnel leads through your buying process, and even close the deal FOR you if you let it.

Plus, your website can do all of this while building credibility, awareness, engagement, delight.

So, what do YOU want YOUR website to do?

However you answer that question, everything about your website needs to exist to do that job. So when you sit down and talk about your needs with that new web design company, go ahead and share that priority with them and make sure they have a plan for delivering.

Design your web content to be more than just visually attractive.

We love beautiful web design. Most people do. But a beautiful site also needs to be usable and conversion oriented. Many web design companies boast large portfolios of beautiful web designs, and even we have to admit how impressive that looks; but before you jump to any conclusions, here’s the question that needs to be asked: “How did these designs perform?”

A digital lead generation strategy obviously starts with your website, and that’s where you should be investing the most time and money. Don’t think of your website as an object — something akin to a “functional” work of art — but as a constant work in progress. We’ve written several case studies that document some of the most impressive numbers we’ve delivered for clients, and every single one of them shares a common thread: regular conversion optimization and growth-driven design sprints.

Nobody gets conversion rates perfect the first time. That’s why a good web design is one that never stops changing and continues to be informed by past performance. Your lead generation strategy needs to include a web presence that prioritizes conversion and uses good design as a means to that end — with regular checkups to ensure the best possible performance. Such an approach will also ensure that your website is staying relevant well beyond what we would consider to be a typical expiration date.

Measure the success of a design by how well it delivers quality leads — not by how many awards it wins.

Your Guide to Growth-Based Lead Generation

People change as technology changes, and so do the sales and marketing tactics that are most effective. It’s essential to keep up with the times, especially in B2B digital marketing. It may take time to see the effects, but a failure to address outdated sales and marketing processes now can lead to major problems down the road. Many of these new tactics are not overnight processes, and the roadmap for some companies can be months or years.

The solution we’re offering is not a product or service that you need right now or it’s too late. The solution we’re offering is a conversation with someone who can bridge the gap between your business and the future of lead generation. Every company is different — with unique challenges and opportunities. Let us take our expertise and apply it to your growth goals and find out what can work for you.

Waypost Marketing is an Inbound Marketing agency in Greenville, SC, focused on implementing proven, results-driven marketing and lead generation strategies to help our clients grow their relationships and bring in highly-qualified leads. We are a highly-educated team with wide-ranging expertise in all areas of digital marketing – from growth-driven web design to client relationship management.

We’ll work with you to understand how you can capture leads earlier, qualify those leads faster, and measure your success with quantifiable results.

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