From everything you've probably been hearing, digital anything is almost always better than analog. Marketing is no different. But sometimes it takes a very old school approach to prime the funnel. Inbound Marketing has been credited with injecting leads into the sales process and deputizing websites as lead nurturing machines. Its not a rumor...it all works. The challenge is that it often takes time to develop the content and optimize your content strategy to attract the right leads. Most marketers are looking for immediate return on investment and don't have the liberty of patience.
What a lot marketers will do is hedge an organic strategy by investing in a paid search or social campaign to draw in leads at the onset. For marketers without a content library this can be an effective approach but it is risky. It requires that you really understand your target and know what you're doing. Its analogous to day trading on a website when you should be using a brokerage firm.
What you need is a lead primer or a way to dump leads in at the top of the funnel so you can let your marketing and sales team get to work nurturing and provide some early wins. On-premise lead Generation is an effective shortcut.
What is On-Premise Lead Generation?
There has never been, nor will there ever be, a more effective form of marketing than word-of-mouth. If you poll the top Fortune 500 executives about how they built their empires, overwhelmingly they'll say by getting in front of customers. The internet has enabled us to virtually engage more consumers around the world, but we've used it as a crutch and consequently become lazy. The web will never replace a good ol' fashion conversation. Sales appointments, trade shows, street teams, events, meet-ups, etc. all serve that purpose.
Where the disconnect historically has been in the follow-up. The networking standard is the business card exchange, but it demands we take the additional step to enter the contact and complete an email. Depending on our level of distractions or workload, that can take a while and the contact may lose interest or forget the interaction. By entering your new contact right into your CRM, you can inject them into an automated workflow and continue nurturing before you even get back to your desk, leave the tradeshow or event. Its the magical point where analog hands off to digital and lets it do its thing.
Helpful Hint: Consider creating a landing page with a form to collect information from new contacts. Bookmark it on your tablet or mobile device and when you meet someone at an event or trade show, you can enter their information right into your CRM...maybe even let them enter it themselves. When they receive your automated welcome email, they'll be very impressed.
What Are The Benefits?
The real benefit is that it gives your CRM a boost. Consider it an energy drink for your sales process. By utilizing your CRM as a tool for cultivating leads, your volume and productivity will increase. You no longer will have pre-funnel leakage as all of your contacts will not only be directly entered but nurtured immediately cutting your sales cycle down. On-Premise Lead Cultivation also allows you to track and measure you activity, volume, yield and overall lead generating effectiveness. At a glance you will be able to measure which events are most productive and plan your future calendar accordingly. Along with the organic traffic your content marketing strategy will be building, you will see an exponential increase in leads.
When executing your on-premise lead cultivation with a marketing team, you're able to enjoy the benefits of engaging customers on a one-to-one level that a website or bot just isn't able to deliver. Those communications, while augmented with the forthcoming automated workflow, close the margin for error and eliminate any human error by mapping the sales process from first interaction to close. It becomes an essential tool in your sales cycle.
What To Watch For
While there aren't many drawbacks of an on-premise lead gen strategy, there are a few things you need to be cautious of.
Its not an end all be all strategy. As with all things marketing, diversification is key. On-Premise relies heavily on the quality of your events and interactions. A low attended trade show, cancelled event due to weather and other factors out of your control can be unexpected variables that can lower effectiveness.
If your content stinks, it won't matter. You can generate all the leads you want using an on-premise lead cultivation strategy but they won't convert down your buyer's journey without good content. To encourage your leads to convert and qualify themselves, you must develop engaging content. Blogs, webinars, white papers and case studies are excellent tools. By "hiding" them behind a form that your leads must complete to access, you'll be able to learn more about them and simultaneously gauge their interest.
- Its still hyperlocal. It should go without saying, on-premise lead cultivation requires you or someone from your team to be present. While the internet allows you to be global, this hyperlocal approach requires you to be in the geographic area of the consumers you're targeting. However, as a general business practice, being near your customers is a good idea.
- Don't assume your workflow works. While the on-premise portion of the strategy is an art, the workflow construction is a science. Every step of the workflow is important to nurturing your leads, if its broken, you've wasted all your hard work in cultivation. Make sure you test, retest and revisit your workflow periodically and test for leaks.
- Can be slightly impersonal if not done right. They key to any on-premise lead cultivation strategy is continuity of engagement. You began the relationship with the lead in a personal manner. Its important you continue to do so. Your marketing automation, specifically emails should be personalized. Use smart content and personalization tokens so that each email addresses the lead by name, company, challenge, pain points and other relevant information that gives your touch points a personal touch.
Already using and On-premise lead cultivation strategy? We would like to hear from you. How is it working for you? Leave a comment or question below.
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