Everybody wants something from marketing. New leads more content, social media followers. But the thing sales leaders want… Drumroll, please. More qualified leads.
Now, if you are a marketing leader in a high-technology company, this is no surprise. But you would be amazed to learn how many marketing teams are not delivering leads or their agencies are not generating people in the sales cycle.
I work with companies to get more out of their inbound marketing programs. I enjoy learning about different marketing challenges and coming up with strategic ways to increase marketing ROI and value. Since revenue growth is the primary measure of a business’ success, marketing teams should focus on how much their programs contribute to revenue growth. As more marketing leaders focus on generating demand, leads, and contribution to the sales pipeline, are you asking yourself how are my marketing programs aligning with sales goals?
Review Your Sales Plan
If you are struggling to generate qualified leads, call your VP of Sales and schedule a zoom meeting. You need to live and breathe your company’s sales plan to know who your ideal buyers and companies are. I’ve seen different types of marketing organizations over my twenty plus years of B2B marketing. There are the internal creative groups, the social/website groups, and the lead gen groups. To be successful in today’s ultra-competitive environment, marketing teams need to be masters of all three functions. But understanding the lead generation process should be your top priority. The only way you will find those great leads is to listen to your sales team and ask them which leads hit the mark and which ones missed. Participating in win/loss discussions are an excellent way to do this. Nobody likes to talk about the losses, but they provide the best feedback. Where did you miss the mark? Often, the factors are out of your control. Learning which aspects you can influence will help you tighten up your messaging and finding the best-fit prospects.
Identify Your Ideal Customers
I ask every client this question and always get different answers. Who is your ideal customer? In other words, if you could clone your most profitable, longest-lasting, and best paying (this is an important fact), who would it be? Can you pick that name off the tip of your tongue? You probably can. The real challenge is how to find as many leads to convert into this ‘perfect client.’ This concept is the key to account-based marketing (ABM) and strategic-account selling. But your inbound marketing efforts should also focus on your ideal customer before you identify your crucial buying personas.
Identifying Key Challenges
If you want to learn what pains your prospects have, then spend a day on the phone with your sales team or sit in on a dozen discovery calls. If your company is a B2B marketer, then identifying their pain is a central focus of any discovery call. Once you’ve created your ideal company profile, targeted personas, and critical challenges, then you can begin the process of generating content ideas and building lead generation campaigns. Use your challenges to do your SEO research and identify keyword search terms.
Use a CRM Platform
You may ask where I find this information and how I can track marketing and sales results. If your company has a customer relationship management (CRM) system like Salesforce, Oracle, Dynamics, or HubSpot, you should generate reports from the CRM. If you don’t use a CRM, you might have to compile data in a spreadsheet to review comments or read sales reports or presentations. In either case, using an integrated CRM platform is the best solution for tracking marketing and sales results together. If you want advice on what solutions are available for your business, Contact Allyance Marketing, and I’ll be glad to sit down with you to review your marketing and sales process.
Marketing leaders who struggle to generate enough quality leads for their sales team should find ways to align their marketing campaign needs with sales goals. By understanding what factors drive sales and identifying their ideal customers and buyers, marketers can improve ROI and increase their value to the organization.