Are you missing opportunities with your lead generation efforts? Do you go after prospects? What about your past and current customers? Many companies forget about doing lead generation with their customers. After all, keeping customers happy is the fastest and cheapest way to grow business. Most people know this.
Yet many businesses neglect their clients to spend more time hunting for new customers. Why overlook the clients they already have when the acquisition cost is $0? You may be able to harvest more business from them. Perhaps, you think you can’t upsell or cross-sell them. Regardless, they are your company’s best advertisement for referrals.
Now these three ways aren’t quick and easy. When they pay off, they pay off big time. The three ways? Lead nurturing, lead scoring, and data analysis.
Together, these three activities improve your chances of making the sale because they help approach the right people first. They also prevent you from wasting time with those who wouldn’t be ideal customers or aren’t ready for your services. Besides that, there are applications that can do the heavy lifting for you.
Lead nurturing: Educate customers and prospects
Lead nurturing engages customers and prospects through educational content such as white papers, email newsletters, webinars, and other content. These supply your prospects and clients with useful information to help them remember your company. When they need your product or services, they’ll think of you first because you stay in touch and share relevant information without talking about your company.
Email newsletters are a good example of how marketing automation comes in handy by doing the lead scoring work for you. Using an email newsletter service provider, you send a monthly newsletter. The service automatically produces reports, which you use to analyze active and inactive customers. The reports show how many people are subscribed, how many unsubscribed, how many opened the newsletter, and what they read.
Every prospect and client gets a score based on their actions.
Lead scoring: Rank prospects and customers
Who’s your ideal buyer? What are his or her characteristics? Lead scoring assigns points to prospects based on the criteria of your ideal buyer. This is where marketing automation can be a lifesaver. Using your criteria, it scores leads. When you obtain scores, you forward customers and prospects with the highest scores to your sales team. Here they enter your sales cycle.
Here’s a basic example of how lead scoring works. You manufacture wellheads, valves, and other oilfield services products used in drilling. You sell those parts to companies that turn around and sell them to the end customer. Attending a conference, you exchange contact information with three people:
- Owner of an oilfield drilling company.
- Manager from seismic brokerage company.
- Executive of company that sells drilling supplies.
How would you score these three based on your business? It’s clear that No. 3 would get the highest score. No. 1 won’t score as high as No. 3, but may have potential. The person may need more nurturing before becoming sales-ready.
While you don’t sell directly to drilling companies, the executive could be a potential resource for your customers who do. No. 2 gets the lowest score, thus your team avoids wasting time with someone who may never be an ideal customer.
Data analysis: Analyze customers and prospects
Analyzing customer and prospect engagement uncovers how engaged your prospects are with your company. Email newsletter reports can highlight the level of engagement.
Webinar sign ups and white paper downloads also determine whether your campaigns are working. An analysis of the data tells you what works and doesn’t work so you can adjust future communications, campaigns, and programs. If webinar attendees is high and white paper downloads are low, then you know to produce more webinars and ease up on the white papers.
If one webinar is more successful than another webinar, then you know to produce more content related to the successful webinar’s topic and less on the unsuccessful one.
Bringing it all together
Sure, you can do lead nurturing without analysis. But then how do you know what your prospects like and don’t like? Lead scoring culls the warmer prospects you want to go after.
Analysis reveals who is engaged, but a highly engaged prospect could receive a lukewarm score during the lead scoring process. Thus, integrating the three approaches maximizes your lead generation program and grows your business more effectively.
Image credit: B Mlry