The eternal struggle of sales and marketing alignment comes down to the volume and quality of the leads being generated. Creating a higher quality lead can only be achieved when sales and marketing teams collaborate to establish clear buyer personas and lead definitions. Once that has been accomplished, you can dive into the tactical side of lead generation. Here we outline how marketers can produce a higher quality lead.
Buyer Persona Development
Knowing your ideal buyer is the first step in producing a higher quality lead to pass along to your sales team. Buyer persona development needs to be performed before launching any type of marketing campaign, and those personas will continue to evolve as more business intelligence is gathered. Without this step, it makes it impossible to tailor content and conversations to the needs of your prospects.
Establish Lead Definitions
The next step is to determine what constitutes a truly qualified lead. You should have preset definitions for marketing qualified leads, and sales qualified leads. This ensures that anything that is passed on to sales has a realistic chance of closing. Thus, freeing up your sales team to go after only those prospects that are actually qualified. What constitutes a lead will vary from company to company, but baseline criteria needs to be established in order to measure the success of your marketing campaigns effectively.
Your initial database should saturate your target market based on your buyer persona and key demographics. Purchasing data always comes with some level of risk, making it essential to use a reputable source. All data, whether it is purchased or obtained organically through inbound marketing efforts, should be vetted prior to launching a marketing campaign. Higher quality data produces much more efficient and effective campaigns, increasing your team’s ability to generate quality leads.
Segmenting your audience by industry, vertical and a variety of other demographics and psychographics will allow you to tailor your messaging to speak directly to the needs of a potential prospect. It also ensures that you don’t waste resources, sending out irrelevant information to those in your different target markets.
Personalization is the only way to cut through the hundreds of marketing messages that prospects come across on a daily basis. Personalization goes far beyond including a person’s name in a marketing email. You should personalize to demographics, psychographics, and especially business needs. Speaking directly about a key pain point that a prospect is having is sure to get their attention. Focus on how your product or service solves their problem.
There is no substitute for a live touch, and it plays a key role in qualifying and closing leads. Appointments that are set through live conversation are far more likely to come to fruition than those set through digital means. Sales and marketing is all about building relationships. Whether it’s over the phone or in person, a live conversation can make all the difference in creating a valuable lead that turns into a customer.
Lead Qualification Campaigns
Leads that are generated through digital marketing tactics can only be qualified to a certain extent. Getting these prospects on the phone to vet them is essential for marketing teams to provide quality leads to their salespeople. Lead qualification campaigns are designed to take marketing qualified leads and filter out those that are truly interested and ready to make a purchase. This is an essential step in providing a higher quality lead.
Lead Nurturing Campaigns
Not every one that raises their hand as being interested will be ready to buy. Most prospects will require some level of lead nurturing before they become a sales-ready lead. Email drip campaigns and teleprospecting follow-ups can go a long way toward keeping your company at the top of the mind of your prospects. Providing valuable content and complimentary offers can help to guide these prospects through the funnel until they are ready to make a purchase.