Lead quality will be a major focus area in 2017 as marketers look to drive great partnerships with sales. I recently shared the prerequisites of lead quality from sales leaders’ perspective.
It’s a logical next step to explain the campaign strategies that will ensure you deliver a healthy flow of quality leads that meet varying requirements of the sales organization. There are three strategies, all closely linked.
1. Diversify your program types
Marketing can’t put all its eggs into a single type of campaign basket. Even if there’s a big focus on ABM in a given quarter or fiscal year, there’s still a need for net new leads.
You might plan campaigns that yield a blend of the two, say 80% ABM, 20% net new to meet sales’ ABM expectations while also ensuring there will be additional opportunities in the future. I’ve seen ABM tunnel vision first hand and, while I’m all for a robust ABM strategy, that list of named accounts has to be expanded over time. Expansion relies on a solid net-new leads strategy.
You can run highly targeted BANT, High Quality Lead (HQL) or Sales Ready Lead (SRL) campaigns seeking ABM targets, while content syndication programs may be ideal for top-of-funnel leads that get nurtured over time. An inclusive, ABM-plus-net-new strategy ensures a robust pipeline for both short-term (revenue) and long-term (prospect-building) success. Our recent State of Demand Gen Survey found more than 40% of marketers – the highest percent – ranked sourcing new pipeline opportunities highest among their measures of campaign success. One pointer: even the net new leads garnered from content syndication can be enhanced via intent data or BANT qualifying questions to shorten the nurture cycle and time to conversion.
2. Target and capture diverse types of leads
If the main objective of a campaign is delivering top-of-funnel leads through tactics including content marketing, that’s where the volume and emphasis should be placed. But it’s even better for sales if there’s a regular delivery of higher-qualified BANT or SRL leads in parallel.
One successful approach we’ve seen involves capturing a high volume of leads, with a subset of those leads progressed in waterfall fashion so that a portion advance to highly qualified status and can be turned over to sales now. Generating sales-qualified leads was the second highest campaign-success indicator among our State of Demand Gen survey respondents. Your sales relationship will only grow stronger when you’re able to deliver leads into the CRM system that populate a range of qualification categories.
3. Deploy partners strategically, even surgically
Most brands use partners already, so your real goal should be striking the optimal engagement with partners, from performance and cost-efficiency perspectives. The most savvy marketers we work with recognize they can’t deliver on all types of programs and all types of leads simultaneously, in house. So they engage partners to augment their expertise. That can call for a highly targeted use of several partners for portions of a campaign or it may mean turning over entire campaigns to one strategic partner.
Understand what your team, your infrastructure and your database are equipped to handle internally, and look for partners that complement your strengths while plugging into your systems and operations seamlessly.
An optimized sales relationship depends on lead quality. Delivering consistent quality means having the right mix of campaigns, leads and partners.
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