Are there ever enough leads coming into your company? Probably not, since most companies have an insatiable appetite for revenue growth. Yet the most important aspect of lead generation is not the quantity of leads coming in, but the quality of those leads.
In the GlobalSpec 2010 Marketing Trends Survey of the industrial sector, marketers ranked the importance of factors when determining where to allocate their marketing dollars. Quality of leads was the most important factor, while quantity of leads came in sixth.
If it is quality leads you're looking for -- and it should be -- here are four ways to increase the number of qualified leads you generate for your sales team.
1. Produce (or reuse) relevant content. Just as your sales team is hungry for good leads, your potential customers are hungry for relevant information that will help them do their jobs more effectively. Your job, then, is to produce and reuse content that engages your target audience in channels like online marketing campaigns, timely white papers, technical articles, blog posts, e-newsletters and online events.
The reason you need this type of content is that prospects are much more willing to provide their contact information in exchange for something valuable in return. If your offering looks useful to them, they'll be more willing to "pay" for it by answering a few questions on a registration form, helping to increase the number of qualified leads.
2. Support campaigns with targeted landing pages. Instead of driving Web traffic to your homepage, send viewers to a specific landing page related to each campaign offer. You have a greater chance of capturing a qualified lead by creating a landing page around the value of the offer and focusing on converting the prospect, whether your offer is a white paper, Webinar, ROI calculator, or other valuable content. A landing page centered on your offer will prevent prospects from getting distracted by other information or clicking away to other pages or Web sites.
Ensure that the registration form is easy to complete. Require only the minimum amount of information that will allow you to respond to the prospect with a relevant follow-up. Name, company, e-mail address, and area of interest may be all you need to capture at this point. You can fill in additional information as you engage with the prospect.
3. Try a new marketing tactic. It might be time to retire some of your traditional media marketing channels, such as print ads and direct mail, and start reaching out to your prospects where they are today: online. If you're trying to connect with hard-to-reach prospects in an industry sector that may not know about your company or products, try advertising in a third-party e-newsletter that targets only that specific audience. Don't forget about the focused landing page that prospects will go to after clicking on your ad.
Consider adding an e-event to your marketing portfolio this year as well. E-events, or online tradeshows, offer excellent interactivity with a specific target audience and allow you to track visitor behavior so you know exactly what is of interest. Just like an on-location trade show, you can share marketing collateral, engage in conversations and host presentations. Plus you'll get detailed reporting and lead information from registered attendees.
4. Work with media partners who deliver leads. A marketing program that doesn't deliver useful leads with contact information and areas of interest isn't much of a marketing program. When planning your strategies, work with media partners who demonstrate they have the attention of your target audience, offer a variety of programs and channels to connect with your audience, and can provide qualified leads in near real-time, with all the information you need for follow-up.
If you follow this advice, you'll have the right focus on lead generation: quality, not quantity. After all, if you're trying to soothe those hunger pangs, why settle for a hamburger when you can have prime rib?