By Diane Saeger
The most important job for marketing is to capture leads. However, capturing leads that want to buy your product is really what you want. From my experience, there are activities that must happen to make it so. I like to think of it as getting all the “plates” spinning at once. Those spinning plates generate the irresistible magic that attracts prospects to your company and keeps a steady stream of leads coming in.
In working with Microsoft Partners and third-party software Providers to build a brand and attract more leads, I have encountered many misconceptions about what works for marketing. You will hear from Sales that they just read an article and we need to drop everything and try this new super-duper method to capture leads. Hold steady on the wheel, and don’t be distracted. Those who don’t study marketing miss that we are taking the long view, so we are thoughtfully building a brand, and executing programs that will pay off - some right away and others will pay off down the road.
Here are my recommendations for the shortest route to lead generation:
1. Messaging - If your website is all about your company and how great you think you are, your messaging is missing the mark. Prospects want to know that you understand the pain they are experiencing. Lead with that pain, illuminate that pain. Think of it as bait. You better give your prospects what they want to eat, or they will swim away. After you have communicated the pain that is driving them to look for a solution, you can demonstrate how your product or service solves their pain. Be sure to let your good customers do the bragging for you. Build as many case studies as you can to help convince prospects to do business with you.
2. Call-to-Action - Build marketing content that visitors would be willing to give you their contact information to get. For example, if you are selling Cloud ERP software, and you know that a big concern for your audience is data security, write or buy a white paper or eBook that goes into depth on security concerns and how your solution solves them. Even better if you can find a recognized name that they trust to author the paper. Place the call-to-action on your homepage, and start collecting contact information.
3. Social Media - I have heard from several clients that they don’t think social media works. My experience is it works; it just doesn’t always work quickly. For B2B, getting brand recognition, being seen as an expert, and providing helpful articles for your target audience is a way to build a relationship. Featuring your top claims of value in an engaging way is another way to draw in prospects.
4. Email Marketing - NO! Email is not dead. If you are leading with your prospect’s pain, they will read it. According to HubSpot, you may be missing 20% or more of the B2b market by ignoring the power of emails to promote your business. Use emotional headlines that draw them in. Make sure your emails are short and valuable. There are onsite tools to help you create headlines they will be unable to resist. The Advanced Marketing Institute has a wonderful tool to help you. Here is a link: www.aminstitute.com/headline.
5. Events - The best way to build relationships that turn into sales is to get in front of your prospect, talk with them, and shake their hand. Sponsoring a booth at an event gives you the opportunity to find out more about your target customers. Ask them questions. What are their biggest challenges? Get them talking about their issues. Don’t give them a monologue about your company, your product (unless asked or as a natural part of the conversation). Your booth messaging should make them stop in their tracks if they are buying what you are selling. You might lead with questions such as, “Are you tired of spending 5 days a month reconciling your inventory? Is it time to give up error-prone spreadsheets that connect to nowhere?” These kind of questions are much more relatable than just talking about the features of your product.
For businesses with limited marketing resources, the quickest way to get where you want to go is to outsource services to produce what is needed. Off-load your social media programs to be sure you don’t get distracted and drop it all together. Off-load your email marketing and content creation so your marketing can be as relentless as it needs to be. Getting all the plates spinning allows you to create a lead generating machine.
Please comment below if you would like to join the conversation. What are your biggest challenges with lead generation?
Diane Saeger, CEO of Saeger Marketing LLC, has spent the last 20+ years helping companies grow their revenue and remove the obstacles that get in the way of attracting prospects. www.saegermarketing.com