I NEED MORE LEADS
Lead generation is a challenge that every business is faced with, at many points, in its lifecycle. These leads are the life-blood of the business and many businesses fail because they can’t generate leads at a cost that is beneficial to profit margins. We know these challenges intimately and this is typically the #1 problem we solve for our clients at Strategient.
There is a plethora of factors that impact lead generation for businesses. These issues range from a poorly performing website, to ineffective internal personnel, to leadership buy in, to agency partnerships that do not perform consistently due to cookie-cutter approaches. Our team has compiled a few challenges that we see on a regular basis.
The first challenge a business faces is how and what marketing channels to generate inbound leads. They are faced with a plethora of options ranging from traditional television and radio all the way to complex marketing channels like pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO). Understanding what channels contribute leads, how fast they generate these leads and how to prioritize the efforts to fit within a limited budget are the keys to a successful lead generation campaign. Oftentimes, how a business markets is a direct reflection of leadership and what they believe the right mix is. What is often missed is that the person making these decisions is not the target audience which leads to a lot of subjectivity no matter what it costs to the business.
Many businesses get lost in the mires of marketing tactics without knowing how each channel impacts their business goals. A few examples of this include websites that do not have goals set up in analytics platforms, call tracking is not active for radio ads, vanity URLs not being used for television ads, and things like public/media relations are nebulous. Without a solid understanding of which channels are performing for the business and how much leads cost to the business by channel, businesses have a hard time shifting budget dollar when things are not working.
Another major area that affects lead generation is a poorly performing website. Your website is your virtual front door and serves your customers at multiple touchpoints throughout their buying cycle. By generating sales landing pages and content, any business can cover every part of the funnel that their potential customers look for which makes it the most valuable asset to most companies. A few things that may be negatively impacting your website’s lead generation efforts include: the lack of an ongoing content and social media strategy, few or no calls-to-action on key pages, too few landing pages focused around the bottom of the buying cycle, and no strategy to evolve or improve the website over time.
61% of marketers say generating traffic and leads is their top challenge. (HubSpot, 2018)
How Do We Increase Lead Generation?
Each business is as unique as an individual. What works for one business may not work for another and how you market depends on the type of business that you operate. For example, a heavily B2B company like a software platform may find that their ideal mix is events, speaking engagements, interactive content, and PPC marketing through LinkedIn. A local professional services company may find the best way to engage customers is through paid search, local SEO, public relations, and social media marketing. Listed below are the top areas we look at when we assess when we work with a new client.
Marketing Strategy – This may sound simple enough but many companies that we work with do not have a written strategy that includes who, how, and where they expect to generate leads for their business. Many times, this is theoretical and needs to be regularly measured and reevaluated as the business grows.
Data Strategy – Customer data is one of the most valuable resources your business owns. Armed with this data, you can create hyper-focused advertising strategies built around the highest lifetime value segment of your customers. Creating personas and tapping into your customer base becomes a part of how you do business and it allows you to uncover ways to scale your business.
Prioritize Initiatives – There are literally hundreds of things you can do to move the needle. At the same time, most businesses do not have an open checkbook with unlimited budgets which makes it imperative to prioritize where you spend your dollars. For example, small businesses or startups may only be able to afford PPC marketing to drive initial leads due to short-term needs. A mid-sized business has to consider other tactics like tradeshows and thought leadership but they also need to ensure that they have a solid foundation to drive leads in the short-term and traffic in the long-term. Each tactic affects your business differently in the short and long terms, and leads generated from each source cost the business varying amounts so it is imperative to prioritize.
Audit Your Website & Strategy – Your website is a living, breathing organism that is fluid enough to evolve with your business and it should be treated as such. More times than not, a business designs their site and content once with no strategy for ongoing work to grow their traffic and leads after the fact. Installing and assessing user behavior on your website with tools like Hotjar and Google Analytics can uncover opportunities that may be hindering your lead generation tactics. Looking for low hanging fruit like pages that have a high bounce rate and a lot of traffic or blog posts that aren’t generating any traffic are good places to start. In addition, gathering feedback from users that already visit your site can provide valuable insight into what needs to change. As mentioned before, review your marketing strategy each year to see what worked, what didn’t, and what you learned in between. Leads should be recorded by marketing channel in a spreadsheet that is shared throughout the company.
Invest in Personnel – An investment in key personnel can give your business a fresh perspective on lead generation, depending on the skillset of who you hire. Make sure that you have a solid understanding of what gaps you have in your business, how you plan to hold this person accountable, and how you envision this person’s growth in the company. Be careful hiring for both sales and marketing in the same person as these either of these tasks require focused effort to be successful. Need help hiring? We offer consulting services that include job descriptions and interview assistance.
Partner with an Agency – This is no small feat and there are many companies selling packaged snake oil due to the limited skill set they represent. In our experience, the needs for an agency partner scales over time. What may have worked in the beginning of the business by utilizing freelancers may not work for a mid-sized business with aggressive goals. Choosing the right partner that delivers results, insights, and prioritization is critical.
Nearly 80% of companies not meeting their revenue goals attract 10,000 monthly website visitors or less. For those exceeding their revenue goals, 70% report attracting more than 10,000 visitors per month. (HubSpot)
Frequently Asked Questions
Lead generation activities include initiatives like: events and tradeshows, pay-per-click marketing (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), conversion rate optimization (CRO), content and social media marketing, broadcast including television and radio, and outreach. Depending on the type of business you have and what phase that your business is in dictates the mix of the abovementioned tactics.
This is extremely dependent on the type of business you have and whether you are a startup or a mid-sized business. A standard marketing budget is between 7% and 10% of gross revenue for established businesses. This ranges goes up to 25% for companies with low overhead and aggressive growth strategies. The best way to approach the creation of a budget is to know your numbers: cost per lead by channel, cost per new customer, average lifetime value of a customer, and other KPIs your business has identified as indicators. With these numbers you can create estimates of how many leads you can generate within a given budget to meet growth goals or ask for more money.
Pay-per-click marketing is the fastest, most scalable solution for businesses wanting to generate leads or sales. This channel is highly measurable, can work in the absence of a great website, can be turned on and off any time, and budgets scale based on needs of the business. Explore how our PPC service can help your business.
Utilize a tool like HotJar that records each session using video that shows you clicks and general paths to purchase. In addition, the platform includes useful tools like heatmaps that show where your visitors click and scroll maps to identify how much of each page they are consuming. An alternative to that platform is simply to review your Google Analytics account. Google Analytics has a plethora of data around user behavior and can help you uncover underperforming pages that need adjustments, or pages that are performing well and can be scaled to increase exposure.
Outside of cold calling, lead generation is a function of marketing. In our experience, mixing the two into a job role is extremely challenging but sales and marketing need to work together to achieve the best results.