While conducting a lead generation and nurturing campaign, the instinct of many companies is to immediately bombard new leads with sales materials, with the goal of making a sale as soon as possible. While this thought process is understandable, it tends to turn many prospects away due to its intrusive and pushy nature.
A better approach is gradually introducing leads to your company while positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Here are four key ways to do so:
1. Be Relevant
Focus on offering content with best practices that are applicable to your industry. For example, if your company offers cloud storage solutions, and one of your audience segments is hospitals, blogs such as “The Benefits of Utilizing Cloud-Based Storage for Hospitals” or “Top Trends in Healthcare Cloud Storage” would help to show your knowledge of the industry, as well as tie in key messaging points that you can utilize later in the sales process.
2. Be Collaborative
Developing thought leadership content should be a collaboration between your sales and marketing departments. By keeping the sales team informed of what is being sent to prospects, they are better able to follow up with them. Additionally, your sales team is frequently interacting with prospective customers and are knowledgeable about common pain points or concerns. Content that addresses these pain points is a great way to open the door for sales conversations.
3. Be Original
Simply regurgitating information from well-known industry resources does not make one a thought leader. Instead, it is important to produce original content with a unique perspective. Think of why you refer to those industry resources. It’s not because they are saying the same thing that everyone else is, it’s because they offer innovative ideas.
4. Be Nurturing
Thought leadership content opens the door to leads, attracting them with your perspective on the industry, and should be used to begin the lead nurturing process. This method progresses leads through the sales funnel smoothly and decreases the number of leads that leave the funnel due to annoyance with overwhelming sales tactics. Once leads have been nurtured with thought leadership pieces, traditional sales materials can then be used to open the door and transition them to the latter parts of the sales cycle.
In today’s crowded marketplace, thought leadership as part of lead generation and nurturing campaigns is essential now more than ever. By standing out from the crowd with extensive industry knowledge, you will be able to attract prospects in a less intrusive way than traditional sales tactics.