Opportunity Creation – pro-active Lead Generation and Lead Conversion

Recent research results published by MarketingSherpa* highlights the top marketing priorities and challenges for business to business companies. Marketing Sherpa Lead Generation Chart

It may come as no surprise that these are:

Lead generation – which is subdivided elsewhere in the research into Lead Volume and Lead Quality

Converting qualified leads into paying customers Рwhich is a greater challenge  than lead generation in the survey.

Another chart in the report identifies that marketing campaigns of various types are less effective this year vs the previous survey, in some cases by up to 50% less.

There is clearly a lot of uncertainty around. Business owners and managers are being very cautious about expenditure. You might recognise this in your own budgeting and in your approach to current and new projects.

And in this environment it can be really difficult to decide whether to cut costs to weather the storm, to invest in more marketing, or to identify new opportunities that might be emerging that could offer greater potential.

* MarketingSherpa B2B Marketing Benchmark Survey 2012

Three Strategies for Lead Generation in tough times

Here are some brief suggestions in each area that may trigger some ideas:

Cutting costs:

  • Stop doing any marketing that doesn’t clearly produce a result
  • Cancel any new initiatives on products, channels, alliances
  • Focus on protecting and growing current customers
  • Reduce travel costs and time by moving towards online meetings and events

Invest in more marketing:

  • Undertake tactical initiatives with specific goals and objectives
  • Use low cost marketing techniques such as Social Media to maintain and grow your presence
  • Refine your proposition and message to engage your target buyers
  • Create content that adds value to your buyers and has a long shelf life
  • Increase lead follow-up activities to stay front-of-mind for the long-term

Identify new opportunities:

  • Actively seek ways to understand your buyers buyers, to increase your knowledge, value and competitive advantage
  • Review and analyse the data already within your company to identify potential opportunities or clusters
  • Take a day out to attend an exhibition or conference on a related topic to your business, or your customers business.
  • Check-out a dozen of your competitors to see what they’re up to, and look for ideas, opportunities and strengths in what you offer.

Approaches to convert more leads to customers

Closing deals and sales can be tough at the best of times, so here are some approaches you could try.

The first stage is to find out the reason(s) why they are unable to make a decision to go ahead.

  • Check that you are talking to all the right people; the decision-maker, the sponsor who stands to benefit from the proposed deal, whoever is in charge of implementation, and if there are any other people influencing the decision within or outside of the business.
  • Check if they are clear about the benefits of your solution
  • Find out if they are concerned about any risks or uncertainties
  • Check if they understand what they need to do to realise the benefits, and how you will help them implement the solution and realise the value
  • Check that the proposed solution supports the goals of the individual, the department and the company.

Then, having understood and agreed all the reasons why they haven’t gone ahead yet, start to address each point.

Lead Generation check-up

Taking stock of where you are now is a great place to start to review lead generation and conversion.

Take a minute to complete the lead generation check-up for a quick snap-shot and summary report to get you started.

If you have any suggestions for lead generation and lead conversion you’d like to share please add your comments below.


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