Lead generation-it's the lifeblood of any growing business.
So how do you build a lead generation strategy that delivers qualified prospects with a high probability of conversion?
There's certainly not a one-size-fits-all answer to this critical question, but there are traits common among strong lead generation strategies regardless of industry or audience. We've done some research and offer these 5 traits of a strong lead generation program:
1. Effective Segmentation
Organizations with strong, sustained lead generation strategies have done their persona homework. They not only know their target audience intimately, but also understand how to segment their marketing efforts to target specific personas within their overall market.
- Audience segmentation means documenting and marketing to the traits and tendencies of groups of prospects within your wider market
- Segmentation means dividing your database into distinct customer profiles
- Effective segmentation means pristine database management to preserve data integrity
- Strong audience segmentation enables customized and personalized messages to be delivered when a prospect wants it, how they want to hear it and with offers tailored to their spot in the buyer's journey
2. Rigorous Tracking Systems and Processes
Every. Detail. Captured. And then reviewed, analyzed and utilized. Robust tracking processes are absolutely critical to strong lead generation strategies
- Data analysis enables agility, allowing organizations to take advantage of opportunities and reroute budget dollars from underperforming tactics to those that are working
- If you can't track, or if you track and can't adjust, your lead generation program will generate inconsistent results and unpredictable ROI
3. Sales & Marketing Team Alignment
Strong lead generation programs have the support of aligned marketing and sales teams. Clear protocols for lead qualification, nurturing and hand off from one team to another builds efficiencies and ensures no lead gets left behind.
- By creating a service level agreement, or SLA, your organization creates rules of engagement for marketing and sales
- SLAs help these teams speak the same language and work together; it aids them in understanding roles and responsibilities and in identifying the appropriate approach to cultivating leads
If marketing and sales are at odds, your lead generation strategy- even if it is bringing the right leads in the door- will be undermined at some point along the sales funnel.
4. Lead Flow Management
You implement an integrated marketing campaign to kick of the fiscal year using the right vehicles and outstanding offers and get a tremendous response- great open and click through rates, multiple contacts and a slew of engaged prospects.
Your lead generation strategy killed it. Your understaffed and undertrained sales staff, on the other hand, did not.
- Response times lagged, unqualified leads ate up valuable time and qualified leads were ignored
- Companies with excellent lead generation systems understand how to match capacity to manage leads with budget spend and frequency of lead generation tactics
One of the worst things you can do for your brand is get someone interested and ignore them, regardless of your best intentions.
5. An Integrated, Formal Plan
Great lead generation programs that produce sustained results are not accidents. In each case a formal system and detailed plan for content, tactics, frequency and goals has been put in place.
Even more importantly, great lead generation programs contain mechanisms to hold people accountable for performance.
Well, there you have it, 5 traits of a strong lead generation strategy. How do your efforts stack up?