Great to see you in class!
Time for the second lesson, where you will find out what it means to get new leads and also how to get from just a lead to a real customer.
You need this lesson to help you understand exactly how to Deal with Leads. It’s easy to generate leads. It’s amazingly hard to get the right kind of leads for your own business.
If you get 400 people as leads in your marketing funnel, but none of them convert into customers, something isn’t working.
Before we dive into ways of using your website and social media accounts to generate leads, it’s important to see how you can get leads that you will be able to convert into real customers.
A Tale of Two Marketing Companies
In order to understand everything better, I feel I need to tell you a short story of two great companies from the Inbound Marketing industry: Hubspot and Act-On.Where marketing ends, sales start. Click To Tweet
Hubspot is staffed with an army of marketing people. That’s how they create so many landing pages, so many webinars, so many articles, tutorials, etc.
They’re using a lot of marketers to get traffic to their site and then to turn the new visitors into leads. Using marketing automation, they make sure that those leads become customers.
Now, for that marketing automation thing that I’ve mentioned, there is a very well-defined process that they have, which I will explain later on in this lesson.
Their main strategy is to produce A LOT of targeted content and attract as many leads as possible. They don’t need a lot of sales people, because the ones they have NEVER ever go door-to-door, they don’t send out cold emails, they don’t cold call, etc.
They get all the leads they could ever want from a very well-defined lead generation mechanism.
In most companies, the sales person has to waste a lot of time just to get leads. In Hubspot’s case, that doesn’t really happen, because they get so many leads into their marketing funnel.
They also send a lot of content through marketing automation sequences to the leads they get, and make them more and more “ready” to be contacted by a sales person.
The sales person just has to be there to close the sale. It’s not a tough job, because most of the “complicated stuff” is handled by the marketing department and the content they create.
If we had to give numbers to this, just to make a point and help you paint a more colorful picture of what all of this means, I think it’s safe for us to play with imaginary numbers.
Remember: these are not the real ratios. These are not the real numbers. These are just to help you understand the difference between two very influential companies from the Inbound Marketing industry.
Let’s assume that:
Hubspot has 200 People in the Marketing Department and 20 people in Sales.
Their competitors are doing quite the opposite:
Act-On on the other hand has 20 People in the Marketing Department, and over 200 people in Sales.
Wow! That’s quite unexpected. And again: both companies are growing, both are doing very well, but their approach to handling marketing, lead generation and sales is completely different!
It’s important for you to say that there is more than just one way of doing business. This allows you to be more flexible, and choose the path you personally feel it would FIT you.
Most companies do things the Act-On way, where they hire lots of sales people, to contact lots of people via LinkedIN, email, conferences, etc.
But I’m thinking that a company like yours, doesn’t really have that man-power.
So you can easily think of placing your bet on a Hubspot kind of strategy, where you produce more content / vs/ producing more cold calls.
Alright, a lot of people produce a lot of content. The problem is that most of them don’t generate leads. And then: there’s no process in place for turning those leads into actual customers.
Understanding the Purpose of the Marketing Department And How This Will Change the Way You See Your Business For Years to Come.
I’ve wondered, some years ago, while reading through a lot of great marketing lessons where marketing stopped. I mean: at one point it has to be considered that the Marketing Department reached an end goal.
Otherwise, it would seem a bit chaotic, and they [the Marketing Department] wouldn’t have a clear goal, nor a clear metric that they had to improve on.
How do you measure the success or the performance of your Marketing Department?
Most people would say: “well, I’d measure that in terms of new customers”. And this would already be a Huge mistake.
Marketing is all about positioning, pricing, packaging, etc. I agree. Marketing does not mean “promoting”, nor “promotion”. It’s much more than that.
But if you have a Marketing Department, or some people on the marketing team, and you’re working on inbound marketing and content marketing, what could you measure their performance on?
The answer is: “Leads”. An even better answer would be: “Qualified Leads”.
Let us continue over the next few lessons to discuss about the marketing department (even if you have just 2 or 3 people in it, maybe also an agency producing content for you, etc.) as the team in charge of getting targeted traffic to content on your site and then generating leads that are easily converted into customers.
All of my studies and all of my discussions with experts (people from Facebook, Hubspot, Act-On, etc.) have lead me to see that the Marketing Department is in charge of generating Leads and then getting them ready for the Sales Department.
This is what I am going to teach you in these lessons.
I really wish I had someone explain me all of these a while back.
Since learning this, all of our marketing and sales activities over at Squirrly have been 10 times more efficient.
We finally managed to invest our time and effort only in the things that mattered. Because we perfectly understood the relation between marketing and sales.
Generating great opportunities for your sales team.
There is a process for all of this:
Lead Generation -> Nurturing Leads -> Extra Lead Nurturing -> Qualified Lead -> Sale.
This is all about the way in which you generate new leads for your business. We will cover various methods over the next lessons.
In order to generate leads, you will most probably promise access to something valuable for that person:
1) A free consultation
2) An ebook
3) A white paper, or an industry report
4) A course
5) many other types, which we will cover in the next lessons.
It’s a process in which you get the leads you’ve acquired earlier on to start trusting you and trusting your brand. Alternatively, it can also be used for more market education.
So: what do you do?
First of all -> Deliver on your initial promise. If you promised to someone, deliver that promise first: the ebook, the free software, etc.
Now, you have their permission to send in more valuable things.
More valuable things could be: courses, PRO Tips, webinars, etc.
You need to stay in touch with your fresh leads.
Educate them. Send them great content that will teach them something valuable.
In the emails you send out to them you should never talk about Problems. You need to talk about solutions to their problems.
You can send case studies, success stories, etc.
If you manage to have a very personal touch with them, you will increase your chances of success.
Extra Lead Nurturing
This can be done through real conversations (NOT automated stuff), over email, phone, Skype, one-on-one coaching meetings, etc.
If you do all of these AND if your process is crafted right and is performant, then your leads will get to the stage where they are Qualified.
Your goal. Your number one goal.
Get your Leads through all of the steps above and turn them into Qualified Leads.
The natural thing that comes to the mind of a qualified lead is: “Shut up and take my money!”
They are so familiar with you, they trust you, they fell in love with your offering. All they need right now is for a Sales person to get in touch and close the sale.
Now that we went through all this, we’ll be ready to start the next lessons, that are really actionable.
Latest posts by Florin Muresan
- Lesson 9: Want to Play in The Major League of Content Marketing? How to Fine-Tune Your Skills to Do That - July 12, 2017
- Lesson 8 (Advanced): How to Run a Content Audit of Your Site – FREE Template - July 7, 2017
- Lesson 6: How to Assess the REAL Impact of Your Email Marketing Campaign - July 1, 2017