The sales department has established its plan for the year ahead and how they will deliver sales revenue goals. Now they turn to marketing with their requirements for lead generation. The generation of leads for sales departments is a constant battle in business-to-business (B2B) environments now. With the continuing changes in buyer-seller trends and a constant of emerging tactics to combat in the market salespeople are challenged to connect with new customers. |
Marketing managers need to do the heavy lifting and are faced with deciding how they can go-to-market in a way that will deliver sales leads, and how much money to spend on lead generation. Marketing managers activities goes beyond just lead generation, and they need to optimise their budgets across all channels and tactics.
Here are five considerations if your marketing department is required to deliver sales leads.
1. Are Marketing and Sales On the Same Page? The qualification of leads is the basis of many discussions between sales and marketing. Marketing qualified leads(MQLs) are, in the view of sales, less qualified, if not qualified at all. A name and telephone are a contact to sales, but it is often considered a lead to marketing.
For sales qualified leads (SQLs) have an understanding of buyer demand, volume and urgency. When marketing aligns themselves with generating SQLs, lead generation costs can increase per lead, but certainly less spend is required as fewer leads are needed. You have removed the conversion ratio of MQL to SQL.
2. How well is marketing aligned to sales?
The alignment of marketing to sales is an important paradigm shift. These are some useful tips to improve marketing efforts:
• Align your marketing and sales teams to a common goal by understanding the sales plan in detail. • Ensure the marketing team understands your target audience's pain points that sales experience in the field. • Understand how your company's offering solves those pain points and articulate it clearly across all messaging. • Align the geographic focus enabling you to implement targeted tactics. • Integrate account-based marketing (ABM) into your marketing strategy.
With the marketing costs increasing, the traditional marketing method of ABM is making its way back as a viable marketing method. The focus is on highly qualified companies or decision-makers and developing a strategy that will drive communications to those targets supporting sales efforts to connect with those companies. Tools like direct mail and LinkedIn mail are rising in popularity.
3. Where Does Your Company Sit in the Competitive Landscape?
Understanding your industry's landscape and how your competition goes to market can assist marketing managers in developing an effective plan that ensures a level playing field for your brand and lead generation.
As a company, you need to establish clear competitive advantages that both marketing and sales can repeatedly use to achieve buyer engagement and win deals.
Outside of SQL tactics, marketing must maintain a presence on the channels your competitors are focusing on, and protect your existing customers.
The competitive strategy is important as the tactics to drive new business.
4. Defining the marketing budget for sales lead generation.
The age-old question: How much budget should be spent on sales lead generation?
The answer is more simple than most expect. When you understand how many leads are required, what level of decision-makers to be targeted, you know the potential spend. If your company has retained statistics on their marketing tactics, you can calculate the numbers based on historical information. If you are in a new position with little data to draw on, as a guide for B2B marketing, a senior executive SQL can cost $2,000 and a mid-level decision-maker $1,000.
The key is not to generate volumes of MQLs and focus on very targeted SQLs.
Allocating a percentage without a form of calculation will see large sums of money wasted unnecessarily. Leads need their own individual budget that rolls-up to the overall sales lead budget.
5. Digital Marketing Strategies Are Central to Sales Lead Generation
No matter what industry you are in today, digital marketing ranks as the most important go-to-market strategy for SQL.
Not that many years ago, companies placed low emphasis on websites, whereas today a high-quality website can make or break your business. It is the first window people look at when considering products or services you or your competitors offer. Without a good website, you are out of the competition race, no matter how good your products and services are.
The other tactics to consider are:
• email marketing, • search engine optimisation of your website, • content marketing, • marketing automation, • B2B Adwords, • Remarketing • LinkedIn • Direct marketing
A well designed digital marketing strategy with clear tactics and goals aligned to the sales plan will support your delivery of SQLs.
The alignment of marketing and sales becomes vital when your focus is on SQLs.
The combination of digital tactics and ABM will provide the most effective method of achieving those SQL goals.
The consistent measurement of marketing tactic results and costs per lead will allow for the right adjustments. If a marketing tactic is working, allocate more resources. If a tactic is not working decide to either change it or turn it off.
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