Customer retention and recurring revenue keep businesses afloat, but in order for a business to really prosper new customers must be acquired on a regular basis. According to Chief Marketer's 2013 Prospecting Survey, 41.5% of marketers cited finding new customers as the primary goal of their lead prospecting efforts in 2013 (Tweet this stat!) and nearly half of all marketing budgets are focused on new customer acquisition. Prospecting, one of the most important steps in the sales process, is a focus for many, but sometimes strategies fall short of success. If your business is on the prowl for new prospects, consider taking these three steps to be more powerful.
Optimize Each Lead Generation Platform
Lead generation may be becoming more mainstream, but it's still a shifting landscape. From email registrations to display ads, businesses are trying out different platforms to generate new leads. Many boosts in usage were in online media. One of the marketing platforms experiencing the largest growth is content marketing. 60.2% plan to use content marketing this year, up from 46.1% last year (Tweet this stat!). Other platforms for lead generation seeing significant growth in adoption are:
- Social networks (67.5%)
- PPC or display ads (45.1%)
- Live events/street teams (32%)
- Content marketing (B2B: 68.1%)
Each of these platforms is becoming more prominent for lead generation and if your business wants each to be successful, you need optimize the content on each so that it's tailored to the medium, the audience found on that platform, and delivered at the right time for each prospect.
Embrace Multi-Channel Marketing
As your business looks to generate new leads, consider all your options and your network. According to the study from Chief Marketer, email is still the most common prospecting channel with 88.8% of B2B respondents using it this year. The cost, the ability to track and measure response, and the ability to personalize messages all impact where businesses focus their marketing budgets and attention. Here are just a few of the channels you should consider for prospecting.
- Email: Chief Marketer found that nearly 75% of the prospecting survey respondents get their addresses from web registrations and opt-ins (Tweet this stat!). Pop-ups on your blog or guides or hosted webinars that require email registration are just two of the ways you can collect prospect emails.
- Lead generation programs: Lead generation programs can pre-screen and verify leads to save you time, money and a whole lot of hassle. Top-notch lead generation programs will also deliver competitive insights into how your business is doing compared others and how it can do better.
- Sales Calls: Telemarketing efforts also rose and over one-third of respondents reported it as part of their plans. Sales calls can often seem too pitch-heavy, so make sure your calls incorporate research done beforehand, personalization, and the human element from your business.
It isn't just about marketing on multiple channels. Your efforts will fall flat if they aren't integrated from one channel to the next. Include social icons in your emails. Use content marketing in your emails and as part of your lead generation programs. During sales calls, ask people if they know where to reach your business, whether it's via email, an upcoming event, Facebook and Twitter, or your physical location.
Measure Your Efforts More Accurately
Measuring your prospecting and lead generation efforts requires a strategy from your business. What are the key metrics you want to track? Is it response time to a lead or cost-per-lead? 41% of respondents believe their company handles acquired leads somewhat (28%) or more (13%) effectively than most firms. However, we know that many businesses overestimate their lead management and response efforts. As you develop a way to measure your prospecting, here are a few stats to consider.
- Roughly 2 in 3 respondents measure their lead generation ROI by cost-per-acquisition (68.4%), while another 20.6% measure it by cost-per-lead.
- 67.3% reported that their company's lead generation process attributes leads by channel source, but 25.3% of respondents said their company uses automated lead management software
Measure your prospecting efforts more accurately by establishing goals, key metrics, and a plan of action that will help you meet those objectives. Lead management software can help you score, monitor and route leads to your sales staff more efficiently. Integrate your lead management with your CRM solution for a more substantial database for analysis and better insights. The more efficient your process becomes, the more successful you're likely to be.
How do you make your prospecting more powerful?