The data shows your marketing team is probably not delivering enough
Leads are potential customers – that’s the simplest way to describe them. They’re people who’ve shown an interest in what you’re selling, whether it’s via Facebook, email, attending an event etc. And there are any number of ways that leads can be generated, especially in this digital age.
Lead ‘poverty’ for tech firms
When it comes to sales and marketing, it’s the job of the marketing team to generate leads, nurture them, and deliver them as qualified leads to the sales team. According to our 2018 Market Measures survey, this is where some Kiwi tech firms are falling down, especially in relation to their U.S. counterparts.
The survey revealed that indirect marketing (e.g. email campaigns, advertising, social media, etc.) was the primary source of sales leads for 36% of companies, compared to 80% in the US. Kiwi tech firms are still heavily reliant on the ‘lone wolf’ technique – a talented sales person who does everything from finding prospects through to securing a sale.
Primary source of marketing leads (% of New Zealand companies vs. the US)
Market Measures 2018 study
So what’s the solution? What's needed is a more efficient, ‘pack’ approach – where a suite of indirect (often online) tactics are used to find, nurture and qualify sales leads for the sales team to convert to customers.
Market Measures revealed that sales efficiency needs to be boosted for Kiwi tech firms, in line with their U.S. counterparts. Businesses that are using the ‘lone wolf’ technique face challenges such as a high cost of sales relative to the value of the product they’re selling. In simple terms, sales efficiency means lowering that cost of sale – and that’s where a business’s marketing team needs to be more focused on the entire lead generation and nurturing process.
Some common lead generation techniques
Lead generation’s the first step in the sales process. Your business can attract potential customers with:
- Inbound marketing – this is the most common tactic in today’s digital age, where potential customers are driving their buying process online. Content created on your digital platforms – website, social media etc. – helps attracting prospects ‘in’ to your company, hence ‘inbound’. As opposed to reaching ‘out’ tactics like direct marketing.
- Email marketing – email has stood the test of time and while it may seem a bit old-fashioned, it’s still one of the most effective forms of lead generation. Marketing automation is helping to boost email, because what it does is connect to your customer database, allowing you to send highly targeted emails.
- Content marketing – this used to be all about blogging and articles, but in recent times visual content such as videos, infographics and image-heavy high-value content have taken over. Content is essential for making sure your business website remains up to date and dynamic, with fresh, informative and entertaining content.
- Paid search and paid social – leveraging the immense power of channels like Google and Facebook.
- Traditional marketing – industry events; direct marketing; television, radio and print ads all still have their place; in fact, it’s detrimental to discount them.
These are just some of the many ways of generating leads, but they’re among the most common, especially for B2B tech companies. The trick is finding the combination that works best for your business.
How to get started
The first step is to look at the various ways leads are generated, and identify the most effective for your business. This means focusing on a specific market, because that makes it easier to boost brand awareness. The more targeted your approach is, the better chance you have of learning more about your potential customers, their buying behaviour and how to get your brand in front of them.
The process of qualifying that lead also falls to the marketing team. The ‘wolf pack’ approach is about creating a programme that supports your sales people by implementing a set of tactics that ‘warms up’ your target market.
Concentrate’s eBook, Hunting like a pack, provides a detailed outline of how marketing should support your sales team to hunt as a ruthlessly efficient pack.
What it all comes down to is improving the alignment between marketing and sales. The Market Measures survey shows that U.S. tech companies are way ahead of Kiwis in this instance, and it’s because their approach to lead generation and qualification is predicated on marketing’s role, not their sales teams. They have better sales efficiency (lowering the cost of the sale) because their marketing teams are delivering qualified leads to their sales teams.