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Posts Tagged ‘lead nurturing’

marketing automation maintenanceMarketing automation is like any other complex technology — it requires maintenance.

We don’t buy cars without the intention of changing the oil every so often, because we know from experience (or the experiences of others), that not maintaining a car costs us a lot of time and money down the road. As more and more companies adopt marketing automation and approach the 3,001st mile, they are learning the same principal applies to their automation solutions.

Complex things require regular check-ins to continue delivering the value we originally purchased them to deliver, and it is the same with your marketing automation solution.

Trickily, just like pesky oil changes or a small mishap in alignment, issues in your automation solution are not a big problem at the moment they begin, but the things we let slide in our databases can cause a lot of pain down the line. So much so that businesses frequently chuck out all the work they’ve done and choose to start over completely, losing monumental value and wasting hours of work over a perfectly preventable issue.

How can you avoid this pain? Or, if you have the nagging feeling that you’ve been neglecting your automation solution– how can you fix it going forward?

1. What’s an oil change look like for Marketing Automation?

The most common thing we find in clients is that at some point in the past one to three years, their processes have changed. What failed to happen at the point of change, was a full consideration of the domino effect that seemingly small change would have. The question, “If we move this block, what else is impacted and what do we need to re-calibrate?” was never fully asked or answered.

The small adjustment is often a change in their lead statuses, lead scoring model, or a change in the CRM currently synced to their automation solution. Whatever the change, the intricacy of marketing automation translates into everything is affected by everything. Just like a non-car-expert would have difficulty projecting the total impact of not changing the oil in a car, it takes an expert in marketing automation to account for all of the little (but important) details impacted by process changes.

2. How do I know I’m not getting full value out of my automation solution?

There are a few tell-tale pain-points:

  • There isn’t a clear connection between your reporting and your ROI
  • There is some degree of dissonance between your marketing team’s definition of a qualified lead and your sales team’s definition of a qualified lead
  • There is a disconnect around where a lead came in and where it is now
  • There seems to be an increase in bounce rates and a decrease in overall engagement
  • Something just seems off

3. How do I fix it?

I could point you to a quarter dozen videos on how to fix any number of issues on your car, but unless you’re familiar with such work, you would still need to know what the core issues were before settling on one to follow. And even then… you’re welcome to work on your own car, but I’m probably not taking you my squeaky Jetta.

I could also point you to just as many (if not more) customer support blogs on any solution to fix any number of issues. Like your car, it still requires familiarity and expertise to know what the core issues are so that you can cure the actual problem and not just the symptoms.

I’d encourage you to consult someone you trust, who has serious expertise in marketing automation. Perhaps you don’t need them to do the actual fix, but getting someone who knows what they’re doing to make recommendations could save you a lot of time chasing symptoms and a lot of money missing leads.

 

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How Can Lead Scoring Improve the Sales Process?

June 12th, 2014 by Christa Tuttle

Lead Scoring Cartoon
One way to ensure that marketing delivers quality leads to sales is to implement a lead scoring methodology: a collaborative process where prospects are ranked based on interest and buying intentions. According to Aberdeen Research, “Companies that get lead scoring right have a 192% higher average lead qualification rate than those that do not.”David Lewis, Founder and CEO of DemandGen International says, “Lead scoring is not a crystal ball to tell you whether or not a prospect will turn into a customer- it’s a tactic to makethe sales team more efficient using qualification and prioritization.”

Creating a Lead Scoring Model

A lead scoring model is comprised of multiple levels of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) where prospects are ranked according to where they are in the buying process. After calculating a prospect’s score, marketing can further engage to move qualified leads through the sales funnel and closer to conversion to a sales qualified lead (SQL).

Below find sample MQL levels and a lead scoring model that assigns points based on specific activities. As marketers calculate the points assigned to a prospect, they can determine necessary steps or activities to further engage and move the qualified leads down the funnel.

Sample Marketing Qualified Lead Levels

MQL 3 1-9 points
MQL 2 10-49 points
MQL 1 50+ points

Sample Lead Scoring Point Allocation

Activity Points
Open Email 1
Click Link in Email 10
Link Back to Website 5
Download Curated Content 5
Social Media Engagement 1
Download Content 20
Download Premium Content 50
Contact/Demo Request 50
Register for Webinar* 40
Attend Webinar* 30

Lead Scoring Helps Align Sales and Marketing

The process of creating a lead scoring system encourages alignment of sales and marketing teams because of the collaboration required to implement such a process. When both teams jointly establish an objective definition of a qualified lead, there tends to be better communication and productivity throughout the sales cycle. Working together, the marketing and sales teams can keep the sales cycle moving efficiently by taking appropriate actions to keep the lead moving through the funnel.

Determining an Effective Model

When a lead scoring model is operating effectively within an organization, the key benefits include:

  • Tighter marketing and sales alignment. Sales and marketing teams have collaboratively defined a process for determining lead quality.
  • Improved marketing value and effectiveness. Marketers clearly understand targeted lead characteristics and are better able to create inbound and outbound programs to drive quality leads to sales.
  • Increased sales efficiency and productivity. Sales is focused on the most valuable leads versus those that are unqualified or have low perceived value.

Need help with lead scoring or with your marketing strategy? Contact Launch Marketing today! Be sure to follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends.

Image source: DemandGen Report: The Secrets of Successful Lead Scoring

I recently had the opportunity to present at the RISE Conference here in Austin. Given the audience was filled with entrepreneurs in various stages of starting or running a business, I focused my presentation, “The Top 3 Ways To Uncover More Qualified Leads for Sales”, on often overlooked and easy-to-implement ideas that lead to generating more leads. After a short presentation, we spent time discussing the companies of various audience members and the specific needs and challenges they were experiencing related to lead generation. It was a lively discussion, and as an outcome they were able to walk away with several tangible next steps that could be implemented back at the office.

Enjoy the slideshow and hopefully you will walk away with tangible ideas as well. Learn more about our lead generation services, and be sure to follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook for more B2B marketing content.

Lead Nurturing Campaign

Do you have stagnant leads in your pipeline? It is a frequent problem among marketers, but with the right message, the right mix of marketing activities and the right timing, stalled leads can be nudged through the pipeline, moving them closer to a sale. These three things should be incorporated in order to create an effective lead nurturing campaign.

The Right Message:

To implement successful lead nurturing campaigns marketers should segment their leads and target their messaging to appeal to those leads’ interests, and always avoid sales messages. For nurturing campaigns, you have already determined the leads are not sales-ready, so high pressure communications will be unwelcome. The key in nurturing campaigns is to hone in on a specific segment’s pain points and send marketing communications that provide valuable tips, materials and activities that address these pain points. The more value the recipient receives from the communications, the more likely they will continue to welcome them.

The Right Activities:

When it comes to lead nurturing campaigns, a mix of marketing activities is key. It is important to position your company as a thought leader and a resource, not a company with a product and/or service to sell. To do this, create communications focused around best practices and leverage customers and third-party industry experts to support your case. Successful nurturing campaigns could include invitations to webcasts and regional best practices seminars or email marketing communications offering whitepapers and articles or driving recipients to blog postings, etc. In addition, for key prospects, attention grabbing dimensional mailers with one-to-one follow up calls can help to reengage.

The Right Timing:

It can be difficult for marketers to know when, and if, static leads in the pipeline will convert to sales-ready leads. This is why the timing of lead nurturing campaigns is incredibly important. When a lead is ready to buy, it is crucial that your product/service is top of mind. To accomplish this, nurture campaigns need to have consistent timing and be implemented on a regular basis. However, it is equally important to avoid overloading your target with communications, so they are not perceived as a nuisance. Monthly campaigns are a nice balance between over communicating and under communicating.

More Lead Nurturing Tips

Read more about implementing strategic lead nurturing campaigns in this article.

Need help with your lead nurturing strategy? Contact Launch today. Be sure to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest B2B marketing tips and tricks.