Are you too reliant on one form of lead generation at the expense of every other method?
Sounds obvious doesn’t it? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Choose a blend of activities to get the most from your lead generation efforts. Amplify your chances by using a variety of channels. All good advice but, sometimes, it’s not that simple. Budgets, resourcing, priorities and other factors get in the way.
Right first time
We’d all like our efforts at lead generation to work first time every time. Regardless of the method deployed, it would be wonderful to think that, no matter the approach, leads will come flooding in. Unfortunately, unless you’ve found the perfect answer for your business, it’s unlikely that one size fits all and that one marketing method will deliver consistently now and for ever more. Clearly, if you test and measure and you understand and monitor your ratios, you will stand a better chance of reaching your goals.
Consider your timeframe
For many businesses, new business isn’t an overnight thing. Success can take a while and, sometimes, it can be difficult to judge success on a limited timeframe. That’s especially true where the value of the sale is high, and gestation periods and sales cycles are long. Of course, whilst you should measure the true value of a customer over years as opposed to the first sale, it’s natural to want quick payback.
Horses for courses
Some methods of marketing do, indeed, work quickly and. Perhaps pay per click delivers a string of qualified leads into your sales funnel at an acceptable cost. Maybe there are targeted exhibitions that generate enough sector-specific new leads to keep your sales people busy for most of the year. Perhaps targeted telemarketing allows you to reach defined buyers of a certain type and size on whose radar you wouldn’t otherwise have been. And, possibly Google loves your business due to excellent content ensuring that your search rank provides ample sales opportunities through target customers visiting your website and making an enquiry.
The above methods are only a tiny proportion of options available. And, a solution that works for one business may not work for another even if they offer similar products and services. There are so many variables that help and hinder success.
A range of tactics
What is likely, however, is that most businesses will need to deploy a range of tactics to keep the sales funnel topped up with fresh sales leads. And, integration is key. The more you can blend your approaches the better. One method reinforces the other. If a customer sees an advertisement, receives an email, spots your post on LinkedIn and, ultimately, receives a call, it’s more likely that they will at least recognise your business. If the methods you use are effective and credible, awareness and perception improve, and the prospect will be more inclined to come to you when the need arises. And, they’ll be more receptive if you call.
One of the best examples of integration is pretty basic. That’s where you identify your target audience on LinkedIn, you gather valid email addresses for that same audience and you plan a calling campaign to those same decision makers. Of course, integration in this instance depends on the ability to tightly define your targets and on the availability of accurate data for multi-channel marketing.
Successful integration also needs clear and compelling messaging. It’s all well and good having the right gun and the right target but if you’re firing blanks, you won’t succeed. That means being clear on why customers buy your services and what’s compelling about your proposition. Then you need to turn that into a strong message or series of messages for each channel. It’s this combination of factors that will give you the best chance of delivering the right outcome. People are busy and it’s often the third or fourth communication that prompts the response. And, that’s amplified if the touch points are across different channels.
For LinkedIn, you can, of course, utilise multiple solutions. You can target individuals using LinkedIn advertising, via connection requests, using inmails and so on. If you’re posting regular and interesting content, even better.
Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong. It’s what works for your business. If one method has worked well, and continues to do so, stick with it. But, regardless of the methods you use, the more integration the better and the more you can increase your visibility to your target market, the more likely you’ll be to catch them in buying mode.