I’m sure most of you would say yes, but the facts tell a different story.
As a marketer I often take for granted that lead generation is part of most companies’ business development strategies. Apparently that’s not true according to Marketing Sherpa and my own experience. By the time someone calls The Marketing Collaborative they are experiencing the negative effects of not having a marketing program — symptoms include customer / prospect lists that are woefully outdated and lead generation programs that are haphazardly implemented, if in place at all. They only do marketing/lead generation programs when sales have slowed down and business is off. Then they’re in a hurry.
So is it worth the effort? My quick online research revealed yes! Companies with mature lead generation and management practices have a 9.3% higher sales quota achievement rate. (Source: CSO Insights). Now that’s a great reason to invest. And if you’re still not convinced — companies using mature lead generation techniques, have sales reps that spend 73% of their time selling (versus administration, training, etc), compared to average companies, where reps spend only 57% of their time selling.
And your company, in all likelihood, will be ahead of the competition because 65% of B2B marketers have not established lead nurturing programs. (Source: MarketingSherpa).
So why am I writing this blog? The point is that marketing is about getting results. Whether you’re marketing to consumers or businesses, a planned marketing effort is the key to your success. So if you are entering a new market (geographic or demographic) it’s critical. Don’t assume because you had success in Rochester or in Upstate NY, that the same success will follow you to Buffalo or South Carolina. Consider any and all marketing strategies and develop a plan for generating leads. When delving into a new market, find out what is different there and what is going to impact your success. Would first getting a few success stories under your belt and then communicating that to others in your target market be effective?
Industrial manufacturing sales typically have a long selling cycle, particularly true with higher priced investments. However, the manufacturing industry in the southeast is quite robust while in the northeast not so much so. Therefore, we have implemented different sales techniques in each area and customized our key messages. It is definitely not one size fits all. Some marketing strategies to consider:
Online lead generation. 93% of business purchases begin on the web. Is your website optimized for this purpose? Do you have offers that would make someone want to respond? In the B2B arena, do you have case histories that make customers want to contact you? Do you have an ongoing email marketing effort with offers that are relevant to your audience?
Event marketing. If you have a reasonable customer base in a geographic location, having a relevant customer event is a good strategy. For instance, do your customers like NASCAR or basketball? Would they be interested in gathering for a networking event at a trendy restaurant or listen to speaker about an important topic like healthcare? All of these strategies can work, depending on what appeals to your audience. However, if you’re in a new market, you may have to establish your brand first before moving to an event strategy that attracts qualified leads.
So why invest in lead generation? According to Marketo, mature companies achieve 133% greater revenue versus their plan than average companies, and 174% more than the least mature companies. We’re at the mid year point. Are you achieving your goals? Now’s the time to take stock in your marketing efforts to determine if you need to jumpstart it to get to where you want to be.