Lead quality can test the relationship between marketing and sales departments. The marketing team grows frustrated with the sales team for not closing enough of its hard-won leads. Equally, the sales team feels as if the leads it receives from the marketing team aren’t good enough for it to pursue successfully. The problem here is that neither department is at fault, it’s the quality of the leads moving between them. The solution, of course, is digital.
Sales enablement is about ensuring that salespeople have everything they need to follow up on leads and seal the deal. By leveraging digital solutions, sales enablement becomes more accurate and efficient because it is data-driven and results-oriented. Here’s how you can increase sales by encouraging high-quality leads through digital:
Strike while the lead is hot
Businesses lose most of their leads due to inaction. Consumers have no time to waste waiting for you to follow up with them after making the initial contact. So it’s essential to have a rapid response time. If a prospect fills out a form inquiring about a product, you want to get in touch with them before they start researching your competitors.
Realistically, it’s impossible to have a salesperson ready to email or call every lead who fills out a contact form. And this is where marketing automation comes in. Once the lead has volunteered their details, they can instantly trigger an email workflow that can give them more information about your product and nurture them towards an intent to buy. The chances that they were ready to buy when they filled out the form are slim, but they increase with an immediate response and every interaction with your business thereafter.
Expand your lead-nurturing toolkit
Lead nurturing is all about establishing a relationship with prospects and maintaining it through meaningful engagement. A newsletter here and there is an ineffective lead-nurturing strategy for modern consumers who expect more personalised and impactful experiences with brands.
There are digital marketing tactics you can add to your lead-nurturing toolkit to improve lead quality. Lead scoring – which rates the sales-readiness of leads based on the content they have consumed and the interactions they’ve had with your brand – is an excellent way of ensuring you’re refining your lead pool and nurturing only the prospects that are valuable to you.
Personalisation is also a proven way of increasing the impact of your engagement with your leads. Email might still be the predominant personalisation channel, but brands are experimenting with personalised home pages, mobile apps and chatbots to improve brand intimacy. If done well, this level of personalisation can encourage trust and make lead nurturing much more effective.
Don’t neglect email
While it’s important to add more techniques and channels to your lead-nurturing toolkit, you can’t neglect the fundamentals. Email is a tried-and-tested method of lead nurturing and the digital marketing channel with the highest ROI. All you need to do to keep up with your prospects is to evolve your strategy.
Personalisation is non-negotiable. The next frontier is hyper-personalisation, which uses customer insights and data to target smaller niches and deliver more value to customers. Some variables you can use to boost your personalisation include pre- and post-purchase behaviour, birthdays, geolocation and shopping cart contents. A combination of these variables can help you craft impactful lead-nurturing messaging that will make every lead in your database feel like they’re your only customer.
Some of the leads in your pool might go cold over time, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on them. Re-engagement tactics such as personalised win-back offers, surveys and limited-time promotions are excellent ways to warm your leads.
Let content take the lead
Content marketing is peerless at delivering relevant and conversion-inspiring messaging to leads to drive them along the sales funnel. It’s especially effective for business-to-business marketing strategies and longer sales cycles with higher costs per customer. Longer sales cycles mean more education is necessary and that’s where well-crafted content can be invaluable.
You can use your content to improve lead quality by providing relevant solutions to your customers’ problems. This allows you to consistently deliver value without expecting anything in return or prompting a sale. At the end of the day, lead nurturing is about deepening trust and useful content that doesn’t always end in a hard sell is an effective way of achieving that.
If you’re still looking for ways to bridge the gap between marketing and sales with high-quality and actionable leads, download our Sales Enablement brochure.