Lead Optimization: 10 audience questions answered


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A couple of weeks ago, I presented the webinar, “Optimizing the Lead: A data-driven optimization process that goes beyond lead capture.” Lead optimization is the core of revenue optimization – making as much money as possible from your time, energy and resources. We work with our Research Partners to achieve just that.

It’s key to business success, and it’s no wonder this topic produced excellent questions from our webinar audience. I didn’t have time to answer all of them on the webinar, so I’m taking the opportunity here. I find that when one person has the courage to ask a question, many people have the same one but don’t want to ask it because they don’t want to appear uninformed.

Here’s your opportunity to read and learn, without having to put yourself out there.

What does it mean to “enrich data” and “merge/de-dupe”?

When you enrich data, you’re filling in the details about a contact that may be missing.

A customer relationship management system (CRM), or simply an Excel spreadsheet if you can’t afford a CRM, provides a single, central location to store customer information so you can update it easily and ensure accuracy.

It also makes it easy to identify duplicates and merge information – that is literally what is meant by the term “merge/de-dupe.”

Learn more about the importance of data: “B2B Marketing: Building a quality list.”

If someone signs up for a free trial of your product, does that automatically make them a lead?

To answer this question, I need to understand your universal lead definition (ULD) and if this person fits it. If he doesn’t, he’s just an inquiry. You have to qualify where his interest is and measure that against your ULD.

The question I have is: How many people who download your trial actually install it and use it? For example, we worked with a software company to set up a nurturing process to communicate the value proposition on why prospects should install the trial, how to use it and action items to move forward with their evaluation of the software solution.

Find out more about the critical importance of ULDs and how to build one: “Universal Lead Definition: Why 61% of B2B marketers are wasting resources and how they can stop.”

What is a persona?

Picture whom you’re talking to and that is, in essence, your persona. It’s the profile of people who are involved in the buying process — their roles and the questions and issues they’re facing. Defining personas helps you determine what’s relevant to your target markets so you can develop effective nurturing campaigns.

How do I know if I’m nurturing?

Ask yourself, “Is what I’m sharing with my customer valuable to them even if they never buy?”

Learn more about lead nurturing: “Lead Nurturing: Build trust, win more deals by helping prospects – not selling them.”

Is it possible to nurture too much?

Absolutely, if what you’re providing is not relevant to the person to whom you’re sending it. They emotionally unsubscribe, even though they may not bother to do so actively. Pay close attention to whether they’re opening your emails or clicking through to links – those indicate if they really care about what you’re sending them.

Learn more: “5 Lead Nurturing Tips to Create Relevant and Engaging Emails.”

What are the biggest struggles to establishing a lead nurturing program?

Understanding your customer well enough to know what matters most to them, and then identifying the content that addresses it.
Learn how one billion-dollar company went about this process: “How Content Strategy is Transforming an Entire Marketing and Sales Organization.”

How do you make a cold call that’s memorable in the first 30 seconds?

Relevancy is everything. MarketingSherpa has found that 92% of B2B buyers are open to cold calls if the salesperson is relevant. Prospects want to know the following:

  • What’s in it for me or someone in my company?
  • Does this person/solution/organization align with my priorities?
  • Do they get it? Do they understand how I work?
  • Have they looked at my company? Do they understand our priorities and challenges?

So conduct your pre-call due diligence:

  • Learn as much as you can about the prospect and his company.
  • Find out how your organization’s value proposition aligns to their needs. (Learn more about effective value propositions in this article: “Value Proposition: 3 worksheets to help you craft, express and create derivative value props.”)
  • Tie your research and your value proposition together succinctly to create a valid business reason to call.
  • Test messaging to identify the approach that works best.

Can lead nurturing work without sales management buying in?

No, because the ultimate purpose is to help the sales team sell; this requires complete alignment between sales and marketing goals. Find out real-world reasons why sales management buy-in is so critical in this article: “How ECI Telecom Discovered the Surefire Sign that Sales and Marketing Are Aligned.”

Do we have to make a follow-up call after every email send?

You position the follow-up call, or human touch, based on how people are interacting with your content. Did they click on the link? Did they consequently download or review additional information? Did they do this in sequence or throughout the course of several months?
All of this information determines their readiness for a phone call, and you can measure readiness through lead scoring.

However, if you see someone is not engaging with what you’re sending them, you may want to figure out why. We made a phone call to an inquiry who was not opening any of the content we were sending him. It turns out he said he was a network administrator on a Web form. In reality, he was the chief technology officer, and was being sent the wrong content! When we started sending him executive-level content, as opposed to technical, he ended up buying a few months later.

How do you develop a lead scoring process?

  1. Start with your ULD to know exactly when an inquiry becomes a lead and is ready to be turned over to Sales.
  2. Understand the must-haves Sales requires before engaging a lead. They could include:
    • The size of the company – for instance, it must have at least 100 employees and $20 million in revenue.
    • The title or role of the inquiry – he must be a manager or higher who influences the buying decision for example.
    • A trigger event – for instance, they’re expanding into a new region.
  3. Analyze current customers:
    • Track their path to making a purchase.
    • Examine what content they consumed along the way. Do you see any patterns? Did every one of them download certain documents or regularly attend webinars?
  4. Weigh all of these qualities and actions with a number, and analyze them to determine which sequence adds up to a sum that will likely point to a sale.

Learn more about lead scoring: “Lead Scoring: How to pick the right ingredients for high ROI.”

If you want to learn more, watch the webinar replay: “Optimizing the Lead: A data-driven optimization process.” And, if you have any additional questions, please feel free to post them in the comments.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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