When you're developing your lead generation strategy, it's important to look beyond the tactics and approach this critical point in your marketing/sales process as a step towards brand development. In part 1, we discussed the importance of asset deployment and messaging; here we continue with lead allocation, campaign evaluation, and focusing on the outcomes that result from your lead gen practices.
Once a lead is captured, where does it go? Your lead gen strategy should consider the manner in which leads are put in to your nurturing pipeline. Companies that don't properly allocate leads for development often end up with higher drop-off rates. Leads are not homogenous; they are often captured at different buying stages. Each asset should be classified to deliver leads to appropriate lead nurturing phases. For example, a lead in the research phase should be allocated to entry level assets whereas a lead in the consideration phase should be nurtured using more advanced engagements, such as a product demo.
Lead generation requires a commitment to evaluating asset deployment, message effectiveness, and lead allocation. Each marketing period should conclude with an evaluation of the tactics used to generate leads. Both marketing and sales should be involved in the evaluation, as each silo can provide insight into the effectiveness of the program.
Lead Generation Outcomes
Lead generation provides greater outcome opportunities than simply feeding your salespeople. The lead gen process provides a portal to your enterprise. Your messaging is more than the tagline or offer, it provides a window to your enterprise. Do your digital assets exhibit a favorable image of your company? Do they make a potential lead want to know more? Too many times companies lose quality leads because their lead gen practices don't focus on the broader objective of brand development. For example, one potential outcome that is often not considered when developing lead gen practices is the possibility of third-party referrals. Your target may not require your solutions but a colleague, associate, or friend may have a need your offering can address. Indirect lead generation is an outcome few enterprises consider when developing a lead gen strategy.
Lead generation requires patience. Patience requires commitment. Throughout the process of developing lead generation practices, consider a holistic approach that supports brand development as well as providing a useful lead database for the sales department.