Conversational marketing is all the rage these days. This new branch of marketing is a feedback-oriented approach that markets through conversation in order to personalize the buyer experience, shorten sales cycles, and...
The lead pond, or the lead generation pool, is the treasure trove of the marketing world. Marketers are consistently trying to generate high volumes of high quality leads to their sales team. These marketers have the job of finding the right lead pond for their product or service, casting their net, and giving their earnings to sales who take care of preparing the leads for closings. (Lead Filet, anyone?)
There’s a problem, though. It’s not that marketers aren’t trying to support their sales team. Part of the struggle in the sales funnel revolves around a conversion gap in the middle of the sales funnel. It’s as if marketing has to take their lead earnings and “toss” them over this chasm, leaving sales to grab what they can, when they can. No one is winning.
Marketers need to adjust their “fishing” strategies in order to generate more high quality leads and support sales teams. These are some of the most result-driven strategies:
Use a CRM tool
If marketers are generating lots of leads but still hear complaints from sales about the quality, then a customer relationship management tool (or CRM) is a given. Marketers need to know what leads are qualifying and which aren’t so they can toss their net in the right direction.
Marketers love data and the accuracy of it only increases with a CRM tool and its lead data. A CRM tool will centralize all the customer and prospect’s information for you and even track your interactions with the leads. It should give more insight into the behavior of leads and help gauge their activity and where the lead was generated from. It can also help both teams examine marketing generating tactics and the ROI on campaigns.
With marketing aiming for more “big fish” from the lead pond, a CRM tool offers a level of visibility to both sales and marketing. The tool begins to bridge the gap between the teams and can help maintain accurate information on each individual lead’s profile while ensuring no fishing lines get tangled in the process. Businesses have seen around a 29% increase in closings and a 300% increase in conversions since using a CRM tool.
Increase in conversions using a CRM
Create a Lead Scoring Model
Not every sales and marketing team needs a lead scoring model. But if sales is being given more leads than they can handle, it’s time to reprioritize and capitalize on time and money that may be going toward unqualified leads.
The aforementioned CRMs typically offer a lead scoring model, along with marketing automation and email marketing platforms (it’s like Christmas for marketers). At times, a CRM can even exist as a stand alone software.
Whatever you use, lead scoring allows sales and marketing to align their goals and ultimately size their net accurately before they cast it into the lead pond. This level of targeting is only possible with an agreed rubric.
If both departments do not have a complete understanding of the demographic, it’s vital to note that first. Be specific. Start by eliminating “ponds” or groups who would not buy your product or services by giving those a negative scoring. B2B companies should focus on giving points for things like the job position of the prospect (i.e. an executive or CEO should earn high points).
It’s also important to ask demographic-specific questions on your inquiry forms. Asking the role at their company or asking if they sell to business versus consumers can help you better understand the leads coming in and how they fit in your demographic.
The lead’s activity is another important component of lead scoring. The activity of a lead tells us more about their “shopping experience” and gives insight as to whether the lead is cold or warm. A lead’s score should increase when they do things like navigate to the pricing page, fill out an inquiry form, or click on a link in an email.
Demographic and lead activity are both vital to scoring. A lead may be active on your website and score as a hot lead, but having their demographic will accurately tell you the probability of purchase. Likewise, a person may fit the demographic but have little to no interaction with your company. Just treating them as a hot lead because they fit the demographic is another reason sales teams end up exhausted and burned out.
The Lead Conversion Gap isn’t one person’s fault. It takes two to tango and it isn’t simply sales inability to follow up with leads. If the leads themselves are unresponsive, marketing may be fishing in the wrong pond altogether and targeting the wrong demographic. Out of the most effective marketers, 68% say lead scoring is their top revenue contributor, so using this add-on is a clear payoff for both saved time and earned money. Not to mention, it’s all one step closer to bridging the gap for sales and marketing.
Talk to a Verse Lead Conversion Specialist to see how we can help
Utilize a Lead Conversion Solution
Even with a CRM tool and a lead scoring model, leads– and the money put in to create them– can fall through the cracks. Marketing typically generates cold leads, meaning they require nurturing over time before they will convert. In fact, a survey done by Data Box,
A lead conversion solution, like Verse, can fill in a lot of holes in the middle of the funnel. Instead of marketers spending time and efforts to qualify and nurture a lead over time, a lead conversion solution can do it for you. Using the effectiveness of technology and KPIs from your CRM tool, leads can be engaged quickly, nurtured over six months, and converted to an appointment with your sales team.
The lead engagement can now be fully handled from top to bottom of the sales funnel without anyone slipping through. They can even generate a script to qualify leads and give marketers more data to utilize in their marketing strategies.
Marketers can spend time working on generating higher volumes of qualified leads at a lower cost per opportunity for their sales. Now that marketing knows their lead pond and net size, sales can now spend more time closing deals (frying fish?).