Lead generation best practices — and what not to do

lead generation (Click here to expand)

Last week, Movéo digital media supervisor Erik Gebhardt and engagement manager Bari Scheinbach gave the rest of the team some critical insights on lead generation best practices — or rather, what to avoid in order to run a great campaign. Let’s take a look at those insights.

How lead generation is like dating

Good marketers liken lead nurturing to dating. With every encounter you learn something new about the other person, and share something new with them. It may take time to grow closer, but things go step by step. The experience is mutually positive — that’s why you continue the relationship.

Now, imagine going on a coffee date. You enjoy it, and you indicate your interest in seeing your date again. But when you meet again for dinner, your date shows up and asks if you’re ready to book a wedding venue. Let’s be honest: you’ll probably leave that date immediately and never answer a text or call from the other person again.

When sales calls are made too early in the marketing process, they scare off leads much in the same way that overeager suitor would. When one of your leads downloads a single white paper, they are asking to begin a relationship with your organization, but they can reasonably expect a similar level of engagement at this point, such as the offer of similar resources through email marketing. A call from the sales team at this point in the process is too rapid an escalation of the marketing relationship. It can drive away even a strong lead who would have been a good match if the relationship were to develop gradually and naturally over time.

The takeaway here is that it’s critical your marketing team establish a lead nurture program, in alignment with the sales team, and that your sales team adhere strictly to the established lead nurture program. There are three key ways that you can establish the proper flow of leads from marketing to sales, and they are what separate a successful lead generation campaign from one that falls flat.

Red flags vs. best practices

  • The use of a CRM. Does your organization have a customer relationship management (CRM) program in place? Is it used consistently by both marketing and sales? Never start a major marketing campaign without a CRM in place — that’s a case in which poor marketing-sales alignment is almost guaranteed. Instead, put a CRM in place and train your marketing and sales teams on it now, so that you can improve all your future marketing campaigns. 
  • Lead scoring. Lead nurturing campaigns should always include a robust lead scoring structure. Salespeople should only make contact with leads who have scored above a certain threshold based on their interactions with the organization’s marketing materials. A lead nurturing campaign that doesn’t include lead scoring is set to undermine itself.
  • Timeframe for converting leads. The B2B sales cycle is long, and your campaign planning should reflect that. If your organization’s leadership is pushing campaign goals that would expect leads to be converted to sales in less than three months, push back. Lead nurturing is all about building relationships, and those take time. A strong campaign respects the time needed to convert customers, and bakes that time into the plan from the beginning.

With the right systems in place, well-planned marketing campaigns can have great results. To see a few we’ve worked on, visit our library of case studies.

View case studies

Comments are closed.