A guest blog by Elizabeth Rivelli, Content Marketing Specialist at SnapApp
The job description for a B2B marketer has evolved over time, as new software, methodologies, and changing buyer preferences drive the industry forward. On top of that, marketers today are faced with increasing expectations, growing KPIs, and usually, only a small budget to make it all happen. Despite these changes, one thing has remained the same - sales people still rely on their marketing team to deliver qualified leads that are ready to talk business.
Today, marketers spend much of their time running various marketing activities - like events, webinars, and paid ads - and measuring their effectiveness as a lead generation channel. In fact, 61 percent of B2B marketers say that generating high quality leads is their biggest challenge. But in reality, finding qualified leads isn’t as easy as attending a few events every quarter, or running multiple paid campaigns each month. If it was that simple, every company would be bringing in new business left and right.
That’s why at SnapApp, we operate by this motto: “More Leads Isn’t Better - Better Leads is Better.”
Here’s what we mean. Say you attend five of your industry’s biggest events, and you talk to 100 prospects at each event. You’ve just generated 500 potential leads - that’s great! But what do you know about those 500 prospects? Do you know their role, business goals, challenges, and if they’re looking to purchase a new product or solution like yours? Probably not.
The bottom line here, is that your marketing activities might be bringing in a high volume of prospects, but it’s hard to determine how many of them are actually qualified based on sales’ definition of a good lead. Not to mention, meeting prospects at an event, or getting a list of leads from your paid campaigns, doesn’t generate any valuable prospect intelligence for sales to use during their follow up conversations.
So, how can modern day marketers qualify leads, and gather the data that your sales team is looking for? By using lead-qualifying questions in your existing content and marketing activities. Adding elements of interaction allows marketers to have a conversation with their audience, learn more about their goals, business challenges, budget, and their intent to purchase. With that information, sales can tailor their conversations with leads, and position your product or service as the missing piece in their business strategy. Before you start using lead-qualifying questions in your content and campaigns, there are a few key areas you should be focusing on.
2019 is the year of smarketing, and strong alignment between sales and marketing is essential in order to find quality leads that are likely to convert and become customers. But here’s the truth: data from Forrester Research shows that only 8 percent of sales and marketing teams report having proper alignment. When it comes to lead generation, it’s crucial that marketers establish regular communication with their sales team to make sure they’re on the right track, and to get feedback about the leads they are sending.
A weekly or monthly meeting can improve collaboration and transparency between departments, so both teams are in the loop.
Do you know your sales team’s definition of a SQL? Do you know what qualifying questions they use to score prospects by intent? If not, that’s a good place to start. In order to find great leads (and disqualify the bad ones), you need to know what you’re looking for. So during your next meeting with sales, work together to create a list of qualifying questions that your sales reps want answers to before they get on the phone with a prospect. Not only will those questions and answers provide key insights for sales, but it also helps marketers determine if that prospect is ready for sales, or if they should be sent to nurture.
Building the right buyer personas for your business is essential for marketers, because they help define who you’re creating content for, what your audience cares about, and what they need to move through the sales funnel. So make sure you’re using your lead forms to collect information about who your buyers are - their roles, industries, company size, and more. Instead of creating marketing collateral that appeals to everyone, your buyer personas should act as a framework for crafting more personalized, relevant content that addresses specific needs, concerns, and pain points felt by your prospects. That will help your sales team create urgency, and show prospects why they need to buy your product right now, not next year.
Another major component of sales and marketing alignment is creating shared goals that hold both teams accountable for their performance. So instead of relying on MQLs to measure the effectiveness of your marketing programs, try creating a shared dashboard with your sales team in your CRM.
Through a shared dashboard, marketers can create customized graphs that illustrate how many leads in the sales pipeline came through as an MQL, how many MQLs turned into opportunities, or how many new customers came through from various marketing activities.
For sales, a shared dashboard gives them full visibility into marketing’s lead generation efforts, which helps establish trust between teams.
As marketers, we’re constantly working towards big goals and big numbers. But it’s important to take a step back and evaluate the quality of our marketing activities, and the leads they are bringing in.
In today’s fast-paced and competitive business environment, marketers don’t have time to recreate the wheel, and churn out new content and campaigns every week. That’s the beauty of lead-qualifying experiences - they can be easily layered into your existing content and campaigns to make them work harder for you.
So get aligned with sales, get to know your audience, ask the right qualifying questions, and start generating the leads that become deals.
Looking to generate more leads?