Is your sales lead pipeline running dry? If so, you’re not alone. Eighty percent of the average salesperson’s day is spent on non-revenue generating activities, including not knowing where to find good prospects or recognizing them once they find them. (TeleSmart.com) With today’s sales cycle lasting up to seven months or longer, non-lead generation activities are not a very effective way to market or sell your business.
Inbound marketing and lead generation is the process of helping clients find your professional services company online – often before they even need to make a purchase. When it’s time to select a business, prospective clients then turn this awareness into a brand preference, which ultimately nets your business a sale and a loyal client.
Whether you’re brand new to inbound marketing or looking to improve ROI, these four tips will help you make the most of your business’s inbound marketing program.
Strategy 1 - Don't carpet bomb the internet.
Use inbound marketing to strategically target the right leads at the right time, rather than “carpet bombing” the Internet. Sure, casting a wide net can generate a lot of leads very quickly, but quantity does not trump quality. Effective inbound marketing strategies must connect your business with the right client at the right moment.
In order to do this, your business is best served by focusing its inbound marketing efforts on clients that fit a specific customer profile. Stop the one-size-message-fits-all approach and strategically leverage inbound marketing to connect with high quality targets.
Strategy 2 - Segment your target audience.
Don’t let your leads languish in a giant pile. Sending all your leads the same marketing message is the equivalent of holding a sign besides the highway and hoping that a car will eventually stop to take a closer look at your message. To really improve site traffic – and consequently boost sales – your business needs to use inbound marketing to segment potential sales leads.
Go beyond basic segments like company size or contact position. Instead, segment based on the number of contacts the lead has had with your business and the type of interaction that has occurred (e.g., downloading a white paper or signing up for a webinar).
Strategy 3 - Reach the right decision makers.
We get it: breaking through today’s communication clutter is not just tough, but at times it can seem downright impossible. In order to reach the right decision makers, however, your business should not be more of the same noise – it needs to sound different. Use your inbound marketing program to produce content that is unique, relevant and creative.
For example, address a recent current event by adding your business’s unique spin or a side of the story that has not yet been reported. Remember, your target audience with content marketing is not always the chief decision makers, but oftentimes the middle management employees. Target these gatekeepers with relevant, original content and watch the doors to the chief decision makers swing wide open.
Strategy 4 - Be visible when it matters.
While SEO is important, this tactic alone is not going to get your business to the top of the organic search results. Effective inbound marketing strategies will get ensure that your business is seen by the right people at the right time. Start with proactive lead generation strategies such as pay-per-click advertising and display ads, which can quickly generate a steady stream of highly qualified leads.
Remain visible by cultivating these leads with content marketing and social media marketing. Use a robust marketing automation platform to track the lead generation and nurturing process. What problems are these leads facing? How can your business’s services best address these problems? Stay visible by being the solution: when your lead is ready to hire a new company, they’ll come to you first.
Inbound marketing is ideally suited for knowledge-based firms because it attracts leads to your business by sharing your expertise. However, to be successful with inbound marketing in your professional services firm, you need to be strategic in how you execute your growth plan. Follow these 4 strategies to optimize your growth results.