Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Lead Generation Tactics That Drive Marketing ROI

What is your goal?

To expand reach?

Educate prospective customers about your solutions?

Increase conversion rates and open up sales opportunities that drive revenue?

All the above?

It’s every marketer’s dream to secure lead generation strategies that actively contribute to their organization’s revenue. Any difference, and there will be tough conversations with the boss.

On this premise, let’s explore five appealing options that may help drive marketing ROI.

  1. Showcase Your Differentiators

We can’t talk about marketing without looking at branding. Creating valuable solutions or a memorable logo is great but if your brand is weak, your marketing efforts won’t see as much traction as you expect.

This means you need to start by establishing a strong brand. 

Now, over and above your mission and values, what differentiates you from the 10, 50, or 100 other companies offering similar solutions? Why should a prospect set the others aside and come to you?

  • Focus on your customers’ needs. Create a survey with simple questions like, “what are you able to do now that you previously couldn’t? What more can we do to make things easier?” The answers may reveal the impact you have on customers presently and the gaps.
  • Have a solid understanding of how your brand solves problems. Because many businesses simply duplicate their competitor’s actions, they end with similar (if not worse) problems and gaps. Listen and understand your audience so you can curate specific solutions to their problems.
  • Create a unique voice, quirks, and all. For years, the B2B space has been plagued with the same monotonous tone. Learn to be the company that zags when others zig. Identify areas where you can be quirky and allow your customer-facing teams’ personalities to shine—they are the ones interacting with customers.
  • Read customer reviews. Your own and the competition. Read your brand’s positive reviews to know what things that stand out in your customer’s eyes. Peruse the competition’s negative reviews to identify gaps and shortcomings you can fill—do the same for your negative reviews.

2. Embrace Brand Collaborations

Here’s the thing—your potential customers are already spending time elsewhere buying other things.

Partnering with complementary brands broadens your target audience. These partners act as additional sales arms who recommend your solutions to their audiences. And vice versa.

Best practices include:

  • Identifying best-fit partners. Identify and reach out to partners whom you desire to form partnerships with. Let your first discussions revolve around mutual goals, what each of you brings to the table, and the things you would both like to accomplish.
  • Offering valuable incentives. Your partners may feel more appreciated when you offer worthy incentives. We recommend coming up with performance-based and scalable incentives aka incentives that increase in value as KPIs are met. Other incentives may include free access to events and webinars, free dinners, or tickets to external events.
  • Onboarding your partners. Equip your partner with the resources they need to represent your brand effectively. These resources may include essential information about your products/services, educational in-person events or webinars, and brand assets.
  • Tracking progress. Set appropriate goals for business growth and measure these quarterly (or as preferred) to ensure the partnership is yielding results.

3. Make Cold Calls

The potential benefits of cold calling are worth picking up the phone and dialing.

There are brands out there that need your solutions but may never discover your company. It’s your job to find them. 

You can hire a sales rep or two to handle the cold calling aspect of your strategy or have your existing team embark on the task. The critical key to maximizing this strategy involves creating a comfortable environment where conversations flow freely and with ease. 

How?

  • Start your conversation by warming it up. Be friendly, start with a smile and a greeting. It helps set a positive and relaxed environment for the upcoming conversation.
  • Listen keenly. We don’t recommend interrupting the prospect as they express their thoughts. Chip in with an occasional “ahh” or “hmm” to let them know you’re actively listening. Summarize your comprehension of their issue to ensure you caught everything.
  • Have an adaptable approach. Quickly grasp your prospect’s mood and adopt it. If they are light and funny, be as much, if they are serious and professional, adjust accordingly. Should you get angry too because they are angry? Offer an apology to help diffuse and calm down your prospect so you have some space to build rapport.
  • Share their priorities. Quickly recognize your prospect’s priorities and put them in words. It doesn’t just help them resonate but also shows them that you know their needs and are interested in resolving them.  

4. Market Segmentation

Can I let you in on a secret?

The difference between consistently converting new customers and spending resources on leads that won’t buy lies in segmentation.

Rather than putting out blanket campaigns and keeping your fingers crossed for positive outcomes, you start by categorizing your prospects based off unique characteristics. You then craft suitable messages to attract and appeal to them. Then you can cross your fingers!

There are several ways to achieve this including:

  • By firmographics. Here you classify prospects based off their location, size or even the tech they use. This information is typically publicly available and inexpensive to collect
  • By tier. The ranking is done on the basis of the value or revenue the prospect can bring. For example, you can categorize prospects that can afford premium-level solutions from those who are only interested in basic solutions.
  • By needs. Categorization revolves around buyer motivations including the decision-maker’s personality traits, beliefs, and personal values, or decision-making criteria, pain points, budgets, etc.
  • By behavior. Content consumption, engagement, and purchase patterns are some ways to segment prospects in this method. Paying special attention to their behavior may help you come up with timely and relevant messages.

5. Direct Mail

Unlike ads or emails that prospects may choose not to open, direct mail involves sending thoughtful physical marketing materials to potential customers.

It’s a fun and effective way to grab your audience’s attention as they open up the physical mail (or big box) to see what’s inside.

Direct mail examples include catalogs, oversized postcards, gift cards, useful swag items like branded coffee, tumblers, or free samples of premium products.

Top practices include:

  • Developing a list of target prospects. These may be people who’ve attended your webinars or in-person events, have interacted with your content, or are decision-makers in organizations that you’re targeting.
  • Crafting messages with emotional appeal. Your messages should revolve around benefits, build trust, and evoke emotional drivers like exclusivity or flattery.
  • Running tests. Send test batches and track the recipients’ responses to know if the materials and messages work. You’ll know what needs tweaking before contacting the rest of your target list.
  • Making follow-ups. Getting your mail out the door is only the beginning. Your team now needs to make follow-ups that align with the mailer’s CTA, right from email drip campaigns to telephone calls.
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