Originally published on www.elearningindustry.com
Is your marketing database full of hot prospects or lukewarm leads that simply won’t pan out? In this article, I’ll discuss the overwhelming importance of quality over quantity when it comes to marketing leads.
Why Focusing Only on Quality Leads is a Make or Break LMS Marketing Strategy
Does this sound familiar?
“Why don’t you
follow up on the leads we send you?” says the Director of
“Why don’t you send me better leads?” says the Sales Manager.
It’s a perpetual argument and it’s unwinnable. Usually, neither person is 100% right. Even though I’m a marketer, I tend to side with the salesperson on this one. As marketers, we sometimes fall into the “must get more leads” trap. We sometimes feel powerless over many things in the company, but we have much more control over the number of leads we generate. So, whether we like it or not, our compulsion is to get more and more leads. And this almost always generates mediocre leads.
Here are some tips to help you resist the powerful urge to focus your efforts on more leads and concentrate on quality.
Develop ‘Qualified Lead’ Criteria
What is your definition of a sales qualified lead (SQL)? Is it someone who visits your website repeatedly or signs up for your email newsletter? Are you trying to attract small to midsize companies who want a scalable LMS or do you need larger organizations that require a robust platform right off the bat? You must be able to clearly identify your niche market and target consumer before generating leads. Otherwise, you may end up with leads that are mildly interested in your product and too early in the sales process, instead of fewer qualified leads that are actually looking for what you have.
Understand Your Sales Cycle
Most marketers understand generic sales cycles. However, you need to personalize the buyer’s journey as it relates to your product or service, as well as the consumer’s needs and pain points. For example, many buyers start by learning about your learning technology and what it can offer them. Then they transition into the evaluation phase, where they size up the competitors and determine if your product is worth the investment. But you must consider how this cycle applies to your company and then personalize your approach. For instance, there may be a step in between that encourages prospects to make the move from building awareness to evaluating specific products, such as a ‘consultancy’ phase wherein you follow-up with interested buyers to appease any concerns or provide personalized recommendations.
Use Opt-Ins to Identify Hot Leads
Generally, only leads who are truly interested in what you’re offering will provide contact information. For instance, fill in their email address, name, and other basic details in order to download your white paper or an eBook. Opt-ins can help you sort those who are only mildly intrigued by your software from those who are good prospects. Plus, opt-in forms help you build a marketing list that contains qualified leads, making the follow-up process more productive. You can also create other hurdles that narrow down the list of potential buyers. For example, lead-scoring with marketing automation software, or you make it so your site visitors must apply for a free trial or demo or schedule a consultation with your sales team.
Attract Qualified Leads with the Right Content
Content marketing often takes time to generate leads. But these leads tend to be more qualified, as they’re taking the time to seek out specific information. For example, someone who reads your latest ‘Cost-saving Benefits of Investing in an Extended Enterprise LMS’ is probably already interested in what you have to offer. They’re at the point where they just need a little nudge to include you in an RFP. Content marketing also provides a valuable resource for customers who are already using your product. They can learn how to maximize its functionality, and then pass the article along to their colleagues; thereby, generating more qualified leads thanks to virtual word-of-mouth advertising.
Too many mediocre leads can become a significant drain on your company. It can stretch salespeople too thin, so they can’t put 100% effort into the most important opportunities. It can also waste your marketing budget and can cause salespeople to lose faith in the marketing team, which means they may not be there when you really need them. I estimate that one great lead is worth about one hundred mediocre leads. So, put together a marketing plan that focuses all of its energy on getting a few great leads and not thousands of leads that waste everyone’s time.
If you want to know more about how to build a solid marketing foundation for your learning tech company, download the free eBook 10 Marketing Strategies That No Learning Tech Vendor Can Live Without.
About the Author
Gordon Johnson has been a marketing leader in the corporate L&D industry for over twenty years. His specialty is developing transformative marketing strategies that generate qualified sales opportunities, employing the latest digital marketing channels, coupled with traditional techniques to achieve industry-leading brand awareness, widespread web presence and high-impact value propositions. Other marketing concentrations include content marketing, messaging, social marketing, positioning strategy, analyst relations, events, account-based marketing (ABM), email marketing, customer success and lead-generation. Contact Gordon.