Sometimes all it takes to activate a sales pipeline is to help your sales organization make the case for your company and for your product. Simple right? Not always. To drive measurable sales, you need the right set of tools to engage your prospects and get them to interact with you. When you do that, you’ll see some of the same results I’ve experienced: Pipeline increases of more than 36% in two months and tens of millions of dollars of sales impacted.
Define your audience. A successful lead generation campaign gets the right message to the right person at the right time. To do that, you need to know your audience and what’s important to them. Title, gender and area of responsibility are a good start. But to really develop a compelling message, you have to know their pain points and the cost of that pain.
Identify proof points. Every customer wants to know what he or she will get from your solution. Unless you’re talking to your very first customer about a beta test, you should be able to gather real proof points about your solution. Great proof points consider both the tangible dollar benefits and the intangible emotional benefits. Use those proof points to create a message that “hooks” the reader into wanting to know more.
Create a compelling call-to-action. With a hook in place, you now have the ability to get a prospect to interact with you. Create a call-to-action (C2A) that supports the next interaction you want to drive. If you want them to register for a webinar, offer a white paper. If you want the next step to be a conversation with a sales person, invite the reader to answer a few questions in exchange for a report about those answers.
Push your message. The plan you develop to push your message to your prospects depends on your audience. Do they know you? Use email. If they’ve never heard of you, use a newsletter or banner ad pushed to them by a trusted source (e.g., a publication they read).
Drive your audience to respond. If you have a really compelling call-to-action, use telemarketing or inside sales to follow up. While it may take several calls to get your audience on the phone, once you’ve hooked them with an opening statement, they will answer questions.
Train your sales organization. New sales material requires a review with your sales organization. They need to understand how you created the proof points, to practice using the proof points in conversation and presentations, and to learn how to use any follow up material promised in the C2A in their sales cycle. You need them to look like the expert; help them get there!
Measure and report. Know what you want to measure and report BEFORE you launch the program. Realize that just because you track every detail of the program—like the number of downloads on every piece of content you have—you don’t need to report every number you have. Use the data to create a “results” story. And communicate those results often.
Take the time to do your program right. There is always pressure to just “do something” to generate leads. And if you only want leads, then just doing “something” may be the right answer. If you want to drive measurable sales results, and give your sales people the data they need to drive the sale to closure, then take the time to build a program that will get the prospect to engage and interact with you.