This is the third lesson in our series on how to build a lead generation machine for any manufacturing or B2B company.
The whitepaper that this post is created from is a guide that illustrates how our client increased leads tenfold and filled their sales pipeline with $400 million worth of potential deals within a single year. The lessons can be used as a formula to accelerate growth and realize real results - fast.
As a guide, it helps explain how changes to existing process changes could better support both sales and marketing and offers advice on how and why developing a high-performance lead generation engine works for manufacturers.
Our client went from a basic website, product brochures, print ads in industry publications, and attendance at trade shows to a fully-digital approach—which is getting them noticed by new prospects, creating engagement with customers, and generating hundreds of leads each month.
In the first lesson, we shared the need to develop a clear and actionable case study. Doing so will help articulate what a business wants to accomplish and spell out how it will do it.
Lesson two was about finding opportunities. Knowing what to focus on and moving quickly can make big difference.
Establish All Your Definitions Upfront
This lesson is about getting clarity, so no one in a company has a different idea about what something means or what to expect. Ultimately, clarity enables a company to stay focused and consistently move forward.
One of the things our client gained clarity on, was terminology. Being clear about certain terms and phrases seems basic, but getting it right can be vital to setting expectations and building alignment across the organization.
For example, the term ‘lead’ can mean different things to different people. For some, a lead could be as simple as contact information from a completed form. For others, it could be someone who signed up for a webinar.
Defining exactly what ‘it’ means before jumping into action can avoid confusion and headache when it comes time for marketing or sales to move ahead.
“For us, a lead is an opportunity for a conversation,” says our client.
“It’s not necessarily a sales opportunity yet, but it has possibilities. If someone filled out a form to download a whitepaper or signed up for a webinar, that’s an opening for a conversation. Someone downloading content is like someone walking into a car dealership. You don’t let that person leave without going over and talking to them. They have walked onto your lot, they’re checking out your stuff: you don’t just let them walk away. That’s a missed opportunity.”
One of the terms our client wants to establish clarity on was leads. In their case, leads were divided into three categories:
- Pre-qualified lead (PQL)
- Marketing-qualified lead (MQL), and
A PQL can be many things. For our client, a PQL is someone who has filled out a form. Any form. After passing basic checks (e.g. wasn’t a test, a partner or a student doing research) these leads become an MQL.
At this point, the lead management team steps in, to research and/or contact the MQL to figure out if the lead is ready for further follow-up.
Finally, if the follow-up results in a request for a quote, the lead moves from MQL to a fully-fledged opportunity.
Each company defines leads differently, based on their needs and individual sales processes. There are lots of models to help define the right lead generation parameters for a business. Some can be complex, but in our experience, there’s often no need to complicate things. By keeping their definitions simple our client now ensures clarity throughout their process and has enabled adoption across the organization.
Interested in learning more?
We hosted a webinar with our client earlier this year. In it, we shared more about our clients’ experience in producing 500+ leads a month. Their new process is far more efficient and cost-effective than before working with us and they couldn’t be happier.
Lead generation programs differ. Just like a car, their quality, efficiency and state of repair determine how well they function. The only way to get a ‘high-performance engine’ that moves businesses forward with efficiency and speed is to pay attention and watch for changes, along with being prepared to make adjustments along the way - like ensuring everyone is clear on terminology and expectations.
To learn more about our client’s success, read the whitepaper which outlines all the steps they used and the lessons they learned along the way. These lessons can be applied to manufacturers of all sizes. If you have questions, contact us, we’d love to explore your opportunities with you.
If you’re wondering what an outsourced marketing agency can do for your business, read 5 Ways Marketing Consultants Are Worth It, and Taking Care of Business By Outsourcing Lead Generation, then call us for more.
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