Lead generation best practices are universally desirable, but, too often, elusive.
With this post, I’m introducing a series of blogs that identify common lead generation challenges and describe seven best practices to address them.
First—to promote common ground—I offer this definition of best practices from the Government Accounting Office:
“Best practices are the processes, practices, and systems identified in public and private organizations that performed exceptionally well and are widely recognized as improving an organization’s performance and efficiency in specific areas.”
Here is a look ahead at the challenges and recommended best practices I’ll be covering:
Part 1: Agree on Lead Definition
That sales and marketing can agree on the definition of a lead seems like a given. But the lack of agreement results in a variety of problems. Two sets of actions are recommended to resolve the issues and get sales and marketing on the same lead definition page.
Part 2: Segment & Test Your Market
A symptom of marketing’s success is a marketing database with hundreds and thousands of names, but sales cannot act efficiently until the best prospects have been identified and qualified. Market segmentation and testing determine those prospects with the highest value and most likely to buy.
Part 3: When to Use Outbound & Inbound
While inbound and marketing automation initiatives generate demand and high volumes of contact names, they cannot meet all lead qualification and lead nurturing requirements in certain situations.
Part 4: Dedicate Qualifying Resources
Neither marketing teams nor sales reps are the right resources when it comes to qualifying and developing high-value opportunities. Dedicated resources are required.
Part 5: Multiply Touches/Media/Cycles
Many opportunities are lost when a follow-up regimen is characterized by too few contacts, use of one media and activity in only one sales cycle. The answer: multi-touch, multi-media and multi-cycle programs.
Part 6: Fewer Leads Are Better
There is a counter-intuitive relationship between lead volume and sales performance. One would think more leads mean more qualified sales opportunities. Actually, fewer, more highly-qualified leads are better.
Part 7: Measure Beyond Cost-Per-Lead
Conventional wisdom has it that the success of lead generation programs should be driven by the lowest cost-per-lead. In reality, there are several better gauges of performance, especially when complex sales are involved.
Conscientiously applied, these best practices improve performance by helping sales and marketing resources operate more efficiently, by improving lead and close rates, by reducing costs, and, ultimately, by driving revenue higher.
Click the title above to view the best practices that have been published to date.