Ah, leads. They’re your best friend and your worst nightmare. We’ve all wasted time chasing the wrong leads, so it’s understandable that thinking about them would cause some stress. But when they’re the right leads, life is good.
Let’s focus on a few strategies to get better leads into your sales funnel so you spend less time nurturing them to make a purchase.
1. Make Your Offers Irresistible to the Right People
Better leads starts with better targeting through your offer. Whether you’re giving away a whitepaper, a free consultation, or something else of value, make sure first that it’s a killer offer. You want people to jump on it and gladly hand their email address over.
But make sure it’s the right people who are signing up for your emails. If you’re trying to reach an audience who buys enterprise software, offering a 25 pecent off coupon is not going to attract people who will spend $750,000 on a supply chain platform. They’re not price sensitive. So what might they find valuable? Perhaps a whitepaper on how to structure their vendor search and the questions they must ask.
2. Find Leads in the Right Place
You want to be just as picky about where you pick up your leads. If you know your audience spends a lot of time on LinkedIn, don’t spend a lot of time trying to encourage Twitter users to sign up for your special offer.
This will take some research, but trust me: it’s worth it when the people who drop into your sales funnel are actually the ones buying from you.
3. Quantify What Counts as a Lead
There’s a difference between an inquiry or subscriber and a lead. Decide where the line is for you. Maybe a subscriber signs up for your blog, but a lead opts in to your newsletter. Or maybe the lead takes some additional action beyond just opting into that first free offer. Whatever it is, start your sales process wherever the subscriber becomes a lead.
4. Score the Lead to Deliver the Appropriate Marketing
Knowing your lead score and where a lead is in the buying cycle can help you match the appropriate marketing automation campaign. If, for example, a lead scores as “warm” but still needs some nurturing, you can put her in your educational automation campaign where you provide her with additional knowledge she needs to make an informed decision on her purchase.
5. Use Analytics to Tweak Future Marketing and Sales Efforts
The best thing you can do in sales is to learn from the past. If you only saw a 1 percent conversion rate from that free whitepaper offer, look at where in the funnel people opted out. Learn what you can from the data you have, then make decisions about where you will go in the future. You might see a huge conversion from a particular channel, so put more efforts into attracting more leads there, and back away from the less effective channels. Always, always optimize.
Leads are only going to be as good as the effort you put into attracting the right ones, so spend more time getting to know your audience, where they hang out, and what appeals to them.