Like many marketeers, we worked extremely hard on our campaigns: webinars, events, trade fairs, workshops, and so forth. This resulted in sufficient new names which we neatly passed on to our sales colleagues. As they are quite result-oriented, they asked for more and more leads.

We did not want to employ another staff member in a marketing position to provide even more push campaigns, so we decided to concentrate in particular on the quality of the leads going in the sales funnel. Lead scoring had to increase the turnover per lead by having the sales department focus especially on promising leads. Within this scope, we were one of the first in Belgium to start working with marketing automation software.

As part of the preparation, we conducted an analysis of the entire process with our sales colleagues to ensure that everybody agreed on the method and the definitions. A rather bothersome and complex exercise, but indispensable to get rid of weaknesses in your funnel. We noticed that some leads were neglected. What is the use of more and more leads if they are not monitored properly?

In the meantime, all leads have been registered and qualified in the marketing automation software. Each contact is monitored and gets a score with every new action, even in case of existing contacts. After all, we often focus too strongly on new names and lose track of upselling and cross-selling opportunities.

Still overly dependent on push marketing

After lead scoring the time was right for a next step. An analysis of our lead funnel showed us 1) that push marketing accounted for the majority of our leads; and 2) that our inbound leads completed the sales process twice as fast. We therefore decided to focus more strongly on inbound activities so as to increase the influx as well as the quality of the leads.

Potential buyers consult their network and other references to make or prepare purchasing decisions. So you also need to lead them to the purchase online. Customers increasingly inform themselves without contacting a supplier. If you only count on push marketing, you often arrive too late in the decision-making process.

Within the scope of our inbound approach, we mainly invest in four kinds of actions: several media channels, SEO, content creation and general branding. We thus want to increase the share of inbound leads to 50% in the long term.

This blogpost is a contribution by Tom Dubois, Worldwide Marketing Manager at VASCO Data Security

 


We are living in a time where buyers can find information about your solution with a single click, and where peer recommendations are more valuable than any supplier’s advice. So it’s time for organisations to rethink their lead generation. You can start by sharing the responsibility of finding new customers across various departments. A sound, integrated approach will help your company keep costs under control, and the sales department stay focused on what it does best: closing deals.

Revenue performance development requires an update in tactics, especially as the profile of B2B sellers has changed dramatically over recent years. Sales people often used to be a sole source of information, but buyers have clearly taken huge leaps forward now because of the internet. They have taken control of the buying cycle for themselves.

Lead generation to fill the gap

This causes sales departments to panic and think they have to fill the gap with more leads, so lead generation often focuses solely on the numbers being found, and marketing departments often don’t have the resources required to take all the qualifying criteria into account. The consequence: sales people’s diaries are too full of unqualified leads, resulting in poor quality appointments. Sellers become demotivated and miss out on leads. Having more leads doesn’t necessarily mean generating more income.

Less is more

Research shows that less is more. Sales can achieve better results with fewer leads, as long as the quality of these leads is high and insights into the client’s readiness to buy are developed sufficiently. So what a sales team needs is qualified leads that have been developed in a consistent and intelligent way.

It’s the marketing department’s job to systematically influence its market sectors with relevant (i.e. non-commercial!) content tailored to their specific business challenges. Sales will only take over and do more business in shorter cycles when an individual’s readiness to buy has reached the required level. In short, marketing campaigns have to be moulded into a continuous process to promote dialogue with clients rather than push messages into the market one-way. Also important: many companies don’t give their marketing people short-term quotas.

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