A Research-Driven Approach to Lead Generation

Posted on Aug 25, 2016 by .

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A lot of today’s sales and marketers reach out and tell their audience how great they are. “We help companies do XYZ via a cloud-based solution that does XYZ and the end result is XYZ. Let me know when we can schedule 20 minutes to chat about how we can do the same for you.” Guess what? Your prospects are getting thousands upon thousands of those emails from sales and marketers all over the world. So how do you create competitive differentiation?

One of the things that has been very successful for us, and our clients, is a letting the market dictate how they want to be sold to. And we get to that point by taking a research-driven approach to lead generation. Too many B2B organizations are too busy telling their prospects how awesome they are, and not taking enough time to understand what’s keeping the market up at night. Selling to a prospect’s challenges is Sales 101, I know, but companies have gotten away from that. Here at Elastic, there are two ways we go about it:

Industry Studies/Surveys – you’d be amazed how much your prospects will divulge to you in a 15 question survey. It’s mind-boggling. They’ll tell you where they’re good, where they’re great and where they’re doing crappy and need help. Your sales and marketing teams can use this info in their follow-ups, in their lead nurturing and drip marketing campaigns, and in your messaging for that specific market. You can then use all of this data to build a piece of content that simply regurgitates what your prospects told you. And when you promote a piece of content and let your prospects know that this is the result of responses from hundreds of their peers, your download rate will be much higher compared to literature that isn’t based on research. Your prospects love to hear what they’re peers in the space are doing and how they measure up. It’s a powerful way to drive leads

Webinars – webinars are a great way to summarize the findings of a market research campaign. As opposed to your audience just reading the results on paper, actually hearing/seeing the people that executed the research brings more credibility to the overall campaign. Webinars offer an interactive environment to take your research to the next level. And guess what? Webinars can also serve as the foundation for your next piece of content. If you’re working with the right webcasting provider, your platform should be able to measure attendee engagement a number of different ways. How long did they attend? What questions were asked and what occurred in group chat? How did they respond to poll questions and surveys? What content did they download and how many times was the webinar shared through social mediums? What parts of the webinar received the most engagement? Like I’ve always said, webinars are so much more than just the presentation itself All of this data will help you:

1.  Determine what your audience is most interested in. So when you follow-up post event, you can trim the fat and get down to what really matters to them.

2.  Dictate what your next piece of content will be. Perhaps the audience feedback gives you an idea for what your next webinar topic should be. Or perhaps you have enough data to build a top-notch piece of content – highlight reels from the webinar, eBooks, whitepapers, etc.

Stop telling your prospects what you THINK they need. Put the tools in place that enable them to tell you what they’re interested in and what they actually DO need. Then use this feedback to tighten your lead generation approach, drive more opportunities and close more sales.

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