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The Essential Marketing-for-Leads Formula

Build a clean database

Not every business can or will buy from your company. Gather all the miscellaneous lists of suspects, prospects and customers at your company and have a third-party list service to help you merge them, purge duplicates, update email and postal addresses and append information such as industry and company size.

The list service can add companies and contacts similar to your best customers and those in the specific vertical or niche markets you’ve identified as targets. Your goal is to determine which companies appear to have a need for what you’re selling, are receptive to working with your kind and size of company, and have the ability to buy when the time’s right. Then aim your marketing at them.

Keep in touch on a regular basis

You should use the database to drive regular direct marketing campaigns via direct mail, e-mail and telemarketing. Aim to use direct marketing to touch prospects at least once a quarter, but monthly is better. Even if you don’t make it every month you’re still ahead.

This approach also works well for nurturing longer-term prospects. And they are worth it! My research shows that the short-term buyers — those who buy within six months — represent only a quarter of the sales that will happen. The other three out of four sales occur between six months and two years later.

Multiple offers or calls-to-action

I recommend you always make more than one offer; each designed to appeal to people at different stages of the sales cycle. For example, offer info kits, whitepapers and case studies for those early in their consideration/buying process. Offer worksheets, checklists, webinars or live seminars for those a bit further along. Offer demos, assessments, quotations and “if you buy now…” offers for those who are ready to move forward with their buying decision.

Optimize your website to lead prospects through the sales cycle

Instead of scaring prospective customers away with confusing or out-of-date information on your website, consider re-focusing its content to help your prospects determine that your company is their best choice. Provide clear choices of navigation to help visitors self-identify where on the path they are and what step is next.

Involve the sales team when creating sales tools

If your salespeople turn more of your marketing-generated leads into sales, you won’t have to generate as many leads and you will get a higher return on both your marketing and sales investments. So what tools do they need? Start by asking them, or ride along on sales call and see for yourself.

Yes, this is a pretty basic formula. But I’m always surprised how many marketers go off the deep end on fancy or expensive marketing tactics that don’t get results. Instead, I recommend you start with this basic, but proven, formula. Add fancier and more expensive marketing ingredients to the mix later, when you can afford to experiment.

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For more information, please call Mac McIntosh at +1-401-294-7730, send him email at or visit www.sales-lead-experts.com