The good news is that creating qualified leads through your marketing strategy is entirely possible, it just requires sales and marketing teams to work together and communicate their goals openly. This open communication is a core tenet of “smarketing”, which the process of aligning sales and marketing teams around common goals within a business or organisation, focused on improving revenue.
If a sales team communicates to marketing that the leads coming down the funnel don’t fit qualifying criteria, the marketing team can adjust their strategy to make sure the right leads are getting attracted at the top stages of the funnel.
Image Source: HubSpot
If you’re finding that the wrong leads are getting attracted to your marketing and sales funnel, adjusting one of the following aspects may result in more qualified leads coming through your sales funnel:
The content you produce is the most critical aspect of your marketing. We’ve spoken before about the different kinds of content you should be producing for each stage of the funnel, but the right topic or format for qualified leads can change.
Here’s a simplified example of this: your sales team may be getting a ton of great leads who want to buy apples. Last year the goal was all about selling apples, so you released an infographic of the different varieties of apples, and an ebook about choosing the best apple for your breakfast, and a cost analysis of the different varieties of apples available. This is great, except that the sales team is now focusing on pears, because the profit margin on pears is higher. A person looking for pears will never enter the sales funnel, as all the content is about apples. What can you do? You change the content. You find out from the sales team what they want in a lead, and you give them the content that brings them qualified leads. Only by communication between the two teams will marketing know what a qualified lead looks like so marketing strategies can change accordingly.
Continuing with our analogy of a highly strategic fruit store selling pears, delivering the wrong content in the wrong context means your sales strategy might fail. Your new video about how to spot a high-quality pear isn’t going to do so well when pears aren’t in season.
Sales people know that their customers go through yearly cycles. They know when a client’s budget is coming to an end. They know when clients are ready to up-sell. By adjusting your marketing strategy to correspond to these trends, you’ll do a better job of qualifying the leads your sales team get.
Possibly the easiest part of your marketing strategy to adjust, the right platform makes all the difference when it comes to bringing qualified leads into the sales funnel. You may define a sales-qualified lead as being the decision maker in their company. In our experience, decision-makers are more likely to be susceptible to marketing content on LinkedIn than on Facebook, so your solution would be to adjust your marketing strategy to make sure that your content is in the right place for the right leads.
If your company is struggling to get qualified leads through the sales funnel, take a look at your marketing funnel for solutions. You may find that it isn’t optimised for sales enablement and qualified lead generation. Follow each step of adjusting content, context and platform until you begin to generate better leads. Check in with your sales team on a regular basis to check if your marketing strategy is achieving your sales goals, and keep adjusting until you get it right.
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