For many businesses, lead generation is simply a numbers game; contact enough prospects and you’ll eventually uncover someone willing to buy. I spoke with someone in recent months who actually wanted to generate 100 leads per day for their sales force to call – quite a large volume of unqualified people for a small team of salespeople to contact. How many sales did they expect to make that way?
The problem is that this approach can require a significant allocation of resources. Hiring and training enough outbound sales people and purchasing call/contact information can be expensive and time consuming. Not to mention the time is takes to contact a sufficient volume of prospects, conduct a needs assessment, deliver the sales pitch, etc. Unfortunately the result is often a) they don’t need your product, b) can’t afford your product or c) aren’t interested in buying in the foreseeable future. The result: time wasted by you and your prospect.
Recent studies have shown that upwards of 92% of B2B buyers are conducting online research prior to making a product or service purchase. That means that your prospective customers are out there looking for you right now. Why not make it easy for them to find you? Developing an inbound lead generation strategy can result in a steady stream of qualified prospects that are already moving down the sales funnel.
The process for moving towards an inbound lead generation strategy can be summarized in the following 3 steps:
If you are able to add marketing automation to the mix, then you can nurture relationships as prospects interact with you. Tracking which assets (whitepapers, webinars, infographics, etc.) they view can give a very clear indication as to their level of interest and where they are in the buying process. At the appropriate time these prospects can be passed along to a sales person to set an appointment, present a sales presentation or provide additional information. Tasking your sales force with contacting these “qualified leads” results in more efficient interactions, higher conversion rates and increased revenues and profits.
By using an inbound marketing strategy, you greatly increase the likelihood that your sales force will spend their time interacting with prospects that a) want and need your product/service, b) have a budget available to purchase, and c) are ready to buy now.