“Our current efforts aren’t creating enough qualified ‘sales ready’ leads.” This is the number one challenge facing marketing and demand generation experts right now. It was probably the number one challenge they were faced with 10-15 years ago as well. The only difference is, with so many tools at your disposal, it should be less of a challenge today but for some reason it isn’t. It can be difficult to sort through the clutter, but here is what I believe should be the plan to drive more qualified leads and accelerate revenues for your business in the new year.
- Events: Most organizations at the start of the year have a calendar of events they’re going to attend. Most of that calendar is taken up by events that they’ve attended for years because they think having a presence there is the right thing to do, not necessarily because attending will drive leads for them. It’s difficult to measure the success at these events. Why not schedule an event in your calendar that allows you to touch more of your target audience, measure everything that audience does within your event, and is up to 75-80% more cost-effective than a physical event? Doesn’t matter if it’s a user group conference, partner expo, career fair, or showcasing a new product, over 48% of marketing executives surveyed in our Demand Generation Effectiveness Benchmarking Study said they are looking to leverage virtual environments to drive more qualified leads in 2015.
- Online Meetings: By now, most companies that work in a B2B environment are leveraging webcasts as a tip of the funnel tool to create awareness, educate their audience, and drive demand for their business. It’s consistently the most effective way to reach your audience and establish yourself as a subject matter expert while driving leads in the process. The problem is, a lot of companies aren’t leveraging webcasts the right way and aren’t taking the right promotional approach to ensure they drive optimal traffic and receive ROI for their webcasting investment. You need to find a webcasting partner whose technology not only meets your criteria, but can offer extra layers of value to take your investment to the next level, such as; consulting with you on messaging, how to make your webcast content as value-centric as possible to keep your attendees engaged, promotional strategy to make sure your content is getting in front of the right people with the right message at the right time, and a plan to repurpose your on-demand content so you can continue to effectively leverage it for longer periods of time. Long story short, you need to have a plan in place to turn your webcasts into revenue machines.
- Lead Gen Services: Find a lead-gen services partner that understands your business, your value proposition, and has the ability to articulate it to senior level decision makers. I’m not talking about a telemarketing services firm that has $12/hour reps calling on your behalf without a clue about what you actually do. I’m talking about a strategic lead-gen PARTNER that can act as an extension of your sales and business development efforts and drive qualified, ‘sales ready’ leads for your team to pursue. Sure, this option is going to be more expensive, but in life you get what you pay for. When you measure your ROI at the end of the year, you’ll be happy that you added an extra 0 (or two) to your lead generation investment.
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Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @ firstname.lastname@example.org