In "I am worried about the economy. Should I cut back my marketing?" we recommend B2B marketers face economic uncertainty by focusing on lead generation and revenue creation. Here are 5 ideas about how you can do it.
1. Embrace lead management
In order to take a revenue creation role marketing needs to embrace the idea that it owns prospects from awareness and interest on through the buying cycle until they are ready to engage with sales. This means lead scoring to identify which leads are most engaged, and lead nurturing to develop relationships with qualified prospects who are not yet ready to buy.
Prospective buyers are too valuable to let some get away simply because they needed a little time to get through their buying process. Without scoring you don't know which prospects to focus on and without nurturing you have no way to stay on their radar.
The bottom line is that by embracing lead management B2B marketers can make sure no lead gets left behind. Even a simple lead program can generate up to 3 times as many leads converting to sales. That math that makes sense in all times and especially in tough economic ones.
2. Go back to the well.
When times get tough and customer acquistion becomes harder it becomes more important than ever to focus on those who already know you. This means combing through your database and re-engaging older prospects with new offers, content and campaigns. Getting these older leads into your scoring and nurturing programs will help you to determine which are valuable.
3. Give to get.
As buying activity slows down, you need as many reasons as possible for prospects to put you on their short list. This means sharing relevant and valuable information in the form of whitepapers, podcast, video, webinar or something other content format. Content should be created for early stage buyers who are looking for educational content and thought leadership as well as for later stage buyers who need checklists, pricing, evaluations and other solution oriented content.
4. Get marketing and sales on the same page.
Like most of these tips, they aren't just for tough times. Getting marketing and sales to work together however can provide instant benefits. Buyer's interact with marketing to prepare to buy long before they engage sales. This means marketing and sales need to work together to create an integrated funnel. Leads created and nurtured by marketing need to be efficiently and effectively handed-off to sales to be closed.
5. Get help if you need it.
Turning marketing into a lean, mean revenue generating machine isn't easy. Developing and implementing lead management or getting sales and marketing to work together won't happen overnight. If you need help getting things started or to supplement your team it is a worth at least a conversation to see what it will take to get you on the road to good times.
Photo by Ell Brown. Available under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.