Many moons ago, marketing and sales were in complete control of their lead generation system. They decided who their leads were, the information they had access to and when the sales cycle was ready to wrap. Nope. Not a thing anymore. Wave goodbye to those lead generation tactics.
Today, buyers are in control of everything. They consume their own content, plan their own buying cycle, and can stop and start the process as they see fit. We have to adjust our lead generation activities to fit this increasingly fluid schedule.
Here are some lead generation best practices to pull you out of the darkness of systems’ past and into the light:
- Change your lead generation business plan: It’s no longer the marketing department’s place to push sales processes, we now have to assist buyers with the help of marketing automation. Use your marketing automation system to score website visitors and nurture leads.
- Start education early: Consider all of your online content as a lead generation program. Tweets on your corporate profile, webinars, and even customer-focused content are being consumed by prospects and leads. Compose all content with the buyer in mind and, if you don’t want them to have access to it, don’t post it online.
- Implement email marketing: Direct mail lead generation helps leads establish a connection with your company. After they’ve made a few visits to your website, capture their email addresses (and additional information such as name, company, industry, etc.) in order to send them new content, include them in product updates, or send event registrations.
- Remember that the role of the phone call has changed, not vanished: Sales lead generation companies no longer uses the phone to qualify leads – that’s online now. Instead, sales reps will call leads who have reached a minimum threshold of interest. They can discuss anything from a recent webinar the lead attended, to diving deeper into pricing details.
These lead generation tips should come as a relief – our goal to shorten sales cycles and turn qualified leads into satisfied customers still remains. We just have to constantly be aware of the fact that everything we share is being consumed by leads. Even the content we didn’t design with them in mind.