Posts

Manufacturers: Don’t Start a Lead Generation Campaign without Sales

Every manufacturing or industrial company that I talk to wants more leads. However, there is a serious disconnect between sales and marketing when it comes to defining a qualified lead.

This is not a new problem. Google sales and marketing disconnect and you will find thousands of articles written on this topic. I am here to tell you that it is very real and thriving within manufacturing companies.

Recently, a manufacturing client retained me to help them improve their industrial lead generation campaign. This company had spent thousands of dollars in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and banner ads in niche industry eNewsletters. They had received a fair amount of traffic from those efforts but had little to no conversions. In short, very poor ROI from their lead generation efforts.

Read more

Inbound Marketing Must Set the Table for Industrial Sales

In my conversations with industrial companies about inbound marketing, I find my audience agreeing with me up to a certain point and then there is a big disconnect.

I see heads nodding in face-to-face meetings or hear plenty of “Uh-huhs” on the phone when I talk about the benefits of inbound marketing. They agree it helps them get found in search engines early and often, drives hordes of traffic to their site and fills the top of their funnel with qualified leads at a lower cost per lead.

Then comes the silence because they are having trouble connecting the dots between inbound marketing and sales.

I can’t help but think that the person at the other end is silently telling me, “Show Me the Money!” just like in the movie Jerry Maguire.

This is when I have to take a step back and start talking about how the job of inbound marketing does not end with lead generation but extends into setting the table for sales so they can be more productive.

Read more

10 Helpful B2B Lead Scoring Resources

I wrote this post because Chris, a regular reader of this blog, emailed me recently with a question on B2B lead scoring. First of all, thanks Chris for taking the time to read my posts and emailing me.

His question – “Could you briefly describe the tools/process you use to ‘score’ sales leads?”

Great question! Lead scoring is a key component of marketing automation and a very effective tool for aligning sales and marketing. However, it is not an easy one to answer in a quick blog post.

Instead, I’ll give you my “Go-To” list of online resources from marketing automation software companies.

I hope you find these resources helpful. (Note: Some of them do require you to register before downloading).

Read more

Rules of B2B Lead Scoring – Who’s Hot, Who’s Not

Lead scoring has become very important in today’s B2B marketing. Especially now since industrial and technical buyers are relying more and more on online resources for their decision making process. Marketing’s role in interacting with prospects has expanded and goes further into the buy cycle than before. This has resulted in fewer direct interactions with sales reps from vendors.

Lead scoring, a key component of lead nurturing and management, is an effective tool for aligning sales and marketing. In developing a lead scoring system, marketing has to make certain assumptions to classify prospects as hot or not. Are they sales qualified leads (SQLs) ready to be passed on to sales or do they require further nurturing because their score qualifies them as marketing qualified leads (MQLs)?

Sales uses its front-line experience and expertise to validate marketing’s lead scoring assumptions. This builds a foundation for an effective closed-loop lead management program and keeps both sales and marketing playing together on the same team. Read more

Don’t Count on Marketing Automation to Solve All Your Lead Generation Problems

Some B2B marketers tend to think of Marketing Automation as the silver bullet that will solve their lead generation crisis. Of course, Marketing Automation alone cannot live up to those hyped up expectations and has to take the brunt of the blame.

That is unfortunate because Marketing Automation software is a very useful tool and in my opinion, a necessity these days. However, B2B and/or industrial marketers must learn to use it correctly in order to harness its true power.

Let’s get one thing straight from the get go, if you are in a declining market with low demand for your products and services, no amount of automation will help you generate new leads. You need to rethink your business model first and fast.

Marketing Automation software is widely used to execute key marketing functions like lead scoring and routing, nurturing via drip marketing, creating email campaigns and landing pages, tracking, measuring and reporting using a unified dashboard. There’s is no question that marketing departments do become a lot more efficient by automating many of these marketing tasks.

However, is improving efficiency enough to justify investing in Marketing Automation? Or do we need to show a verifiable ROI? To most C-level execs that really means answering the question, “How much revenue did it generate?” It is the second question that seems to cause the most problems. Read more

Automating Lead Generation and Management

Why is it important to automate lead or demand generation efforts in B2B marketing? Because proving ROI is critical.

Marketers everywhere are under tremendous pressure to prove marketing ROI. You have to do more with less and have little to no room for errors. An automated lead generation and management system that is sophisticated, yet easy to use, is fast becoming a must-have tool for B2B marketers. It can dramatically improve demand generation and objectively measure every aspect of your marketing to prove ROI and justify budgets.

I have looked at marketing automation solutions from several companies. Most of these are available as “Software as a Service” (SaaS) offerings. Some are end-to-end solutions that track, measure and automate every step of the lead or demand generation and management process and some specialize only in certain aspects.

To quote Brian Carroll, noted lead generation expert, author of the popular book Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and CEO of InTouch, Inc., “It starts with a lead.”Most B2B marketers use their websites as the hub for all lead generation efforts. Therefore, marketing automation solutions focus on tracking and measuring activities on your website. Doesn’t Google Analytics do that? That’s a fair question.

Read more