Before Generating Sales Leads, Get Your Ducks In A Row
Most sales and marketing pros focus on generating sales leads. “Just get people to the Website!” or “Just make the phones ring and our sales people can take it from there,” are common demands of marketing teams. Then the advertising and PR hit the magazines, the PPC keyword ad program tops the search results, the companion direct mail - email drops. Did the campaign work?
This company will never know for sure because the free download and contact form on its Web site weren’t working. Just how many hot prospects submitted the form and never heard back they'll never know. In the zeal to take an aggressive approach to boosting sales, it’s easy to overlook the importance of having the back end setup to handle the response.
Here are five back end items to consider before launching your new lead generation program:
- Web site forms – If the prospect is being asked to complete a form to receive a free download, free white paper, quote or some other material, be sure to setup the form well before launching the marketing program and test, test, test with multiple browsers on multiple devices. There’s nothing worse than investing in a lead generation program and missing sales leads because the request form had a programming error. In addition, make sure the leads captured via the form are automatically stored for export as an Excel spreadsheet and/or to Salesforce, Goldmine and other CRM programs.
- Landing Pages - Make sure the Web site coordinates with the business development program. If the campaign directs prospects to the home page, make sure there is relevant information immediately visible to quickly show prospects they have arrived at the right place. Or, create separate landing pages targeted to each individual direct mailer, email blast, ad or other vehicle to enhance both response and tracking ability.
- Literature – If you’re offering free print literature in addition to a free download, be sure to have it on hand in quantity, already setup in envelopes. If you’re offering a product sample, make sure they’re on hand pre-packaged and ready for mailing. People have grown accustomed to instant downloads and Amazon-fast deliveries so it’s important that physical materials arrive without delay – while your hot prospect still remembers requesting the materials.
- Phone – Make sure your sales people, customer service team and anyone else who takes a phone call is aware of the program’s launch and has the marketing materials handy. They will make an important impression as the first live person representing your company and they need to be trained to capture the contact information, send out the proper materials, and advance the prospect to the sales team. Smooth and professional.
- Social Media – If the program is to attract followers on LinkedIn or Twitter, for example, be sure your team is in place to monitor those platforms, respond instantly, and manage the conversations among your growing community. These conversations will play an increasingly powerful role in whether these prospects advance towards a sale.
- Bonus: Take advantage of Google Analytics to find out which marketing vehicles sparked the strongest response, assess the performance of different landing pages, and track the visitors' paths through the site to the contact form. It's a powerful data acquisition tool that may be under-appreciated.
Much attention gets paid to the lead generating materials at the front end of a marketing campaign. But if even one part of the campaign’s back end is overlooked, the effort may be wasted. For guidance on generating leads (and converting leads), call epr at 908-479-4231 or firstname.lastname@example.org.