Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a content marketing & social media firm. She's written three business books, and blogs about small business on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and The Marketing Eggspert Blog.
In sales, there's always a focus on the number of leads you attract. More is better, right? Actually, not usually. While leads are fairly easy to come by, qualified leads are more of a challenge to attract. It takes more energy to create offers to which people - the right people - will respond.
The good news is: You should have the energy to spare! If you take the time and effort you've been spending chasing dead-end leads and put that toward attracting fewer but better leads, you'll see fast results.
Here's how you can improve the quality of your leads and make those prospects sail through your lead funnel - right into your arms.
1. Customize the offer for the buying stage
When you offer a coupon for 50% off in exchange for a lead's email address, you'll likely get a lot of signups, but what happens if some of them aren't actually ready to buy? Your coupon will wither away in their inboxes, and they may unsubscribe after just a few additional emails.
Where a lead is in the sales funnel is extremely important. The buyer who's only beginning to gather information doesn't need the same offer that someone comparing your company with another does.
Treat each stage in the buying process as a different buyer persona, then create offers that appeal specifically to that audience. Blanket campaigns are like shooting in the dark; with audience-specific campaigns, you'll get better, targeted results because you know exactly what that person is looking for right now.
2. Educate rather than push
As a whole, sales teams are starting to get the memo that cramming a marketing message down people's throats isn't the way to go. Instead, inbound marketing strategies focus on informing and educating an audience.
Consider yourself a Good Samaritan. You want to help people understand your industry, the options out there, and what solutions best fit their needs. That might not even be your product, but that's okay. People will appreciate your endeavor to help, not sell, and many will end up buying from you as a result.
3. Use every marketing channel
Often, sales and marketing teams work independently rather than in harmony, and that's a shame. By combining forces, the two can work for the greater good of the company.
If you have a sales campaign, make sure your marketing team knows about it and promotes it across your blog, social media channels, emails, ads, and anywhere else they're connecting with leads.
4. Score and segment leads
Rather than dumping everyone into the same database, segment your leads so you can send the appropriate offers and messaging to each group. Go a bit further and score them. Does this lead need hands-on contact or will an automated email series suffice at this stage?
Sales isn't about a race to see who can attract the most leads. It's better to have only a handful of leads, but to have a high sales conversion rate with the leads that you do draw in. With better, more targeted offers, extra marketing power, and segmentation, the right leads will practically fall into your lap.
Want to see how you're doing attracting the right leads? Get a free inbound marketing assessment today!
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