Generating Qualified Leads Consistently
You feel good about the basics of inbound marketing.
Your website traffic has been increasing each month. You’ve finally got a regular stream of new prospects filling out your forms. Your sales reps are closing a few more deals and starting to notice your hard work. It’s all coming together.
You’ve seen inbound marketing work, and you’re hungry for more.
But you’re not sure what to do next.
You’re crushing your email marketing and social media. You’re creating new content offers each quarter and positioning them behind best practice landing pages. Your editorial calendar is rock solid and you just finished migrating your website to a responsive design that renders well for you on iPads and iPhones. Finally, right?
If you’re still fired up to step on the gas and to generate even more qualified leads on a monthly basis, then below are a few outside-the-box ideas to help get you started.
1. Work your marketing content into sales calls.
As any sales rep can attest, even if the prospect is a good fit, they often don’t close the deal. Perhaps it’s not the right timing, or the company might not currently have a strong need or budget for what you’re selling.
Either way, if you arm your sales reps with an arsenal of ridiculously valuable marketing collateral, they can say things like:
It sounds like I caught you at a bad time. I’ll tell you what. I’m going to go ahead and send over a couple of videos that our CEO recorded last month, responding directly to the most common objections our prospects and customers bring up.
Or something like:
I understand that you’re not ready to buy. Do you mind if we send you some complimentary eBooks and premium webinars that we’ve run for our current customers? Based on our calls and from what you’ve told me about XYZ, I think they’d be really helpful.
Strengthen your sales process with amazing marketing content to help your prospects.
2. Integrate Your Online and Offline Marketing Activities.
Do you attend trade shows or conferences? Do you attend workshops or breakfast briefings or networking events or any other place where you might shake hands, exchange business cards or email addresses?
Good, then you’re like most business owners or marketing teams. It’s smart to take advantage of where your ideal customers are hanging out.
Of the people you meet who are interested in what your company does or sells, many of them will likely not be ready to become a customer right then and there. Instead, ask if you can take their email address and pass on some interesting articles or other premium content.
Get these offline people onto your landing pages. Get them into your email marketing campaigns. Get better at relationship marketing and offering value to everyone you shake hands with.
3. Reward your employees for qualified lead referrals.
Don’t underestimate the collective network of your employees. Make it clear that as an employee of your company, everyone wins when sales go up. Incentivize your employees to pass on qualified referral leads by establishing some kind of referral bonus or employee kickback.
When I worked at HubSpot, I noticed that consultants, developers and marketers would routinely hop on sales calls to help close certain customers. If the deal closed successfully, often the sales rep would pay back the employee who helped out by sending over a nice bottle of alcohol or buying him or her dinner.
As a side note, if your marketers aren’t sitting in on your sales calls, then I’d get on that immediately. An amazing thing happens when your marketing and sales efforts are closely aligned.
4. Ask your customers for referrals.
When was the last time you asked your customers how you were doing? Send current customers a short survey, asking about the value/service you provide, your performance as a company, if they’re happy, etc.
At the bottom of the survey, include a small checkbox that asks, “Would you refer our company to a friend?”
Personally respond to each customer who fills the survey out, but for the ones who offered to refer a friend, you can say something like:
Oh, and thank you so much for offering to refer a friend to our company. Next time you hear about someone who might be a good fit for [insert what problem your company solves here], would you send them our way? I’d be honored!
Are you already using these tactics in your own business to generate qualified leads? What other strategies have worked well for you?
Alan Perlman is CEO/Marketing Director at Extreme Inbound, a HubSpot Partner Agency in New York City.
Check out his 14-day email series on generating higher quality leads.
Image Credit: djwtwo