As we’ve talked before, the execution stage is where many lead generation and email marketing efforts fall short. Our last post touched on the challenges associated with executing a campaign, extrapolating and logging the relevant data (from an outbound campaign) and applying the knowledge gained in a meaningful way.
Here are some suggestions for overcoming those challenges:
Identify your prospects and segment your lists
Execution starts with identifying a very targeted list of prospects, who
- By virtue of their demographic match the attributes of your best customers, or
- Have a very specific attribute in common that you can address, or
- Fall into the same portion of the sales funnel.
This can be easy or this can be difficult, depending on how well you know your list. It is also where having a good sales infrastructure in place and a disciplined adherence to systems really comes in handy. When you have segmented your prospects as part of an overall territory management plan and logged key attributes about your prospects in your CRM system, it makes segmenting your prospects and narrowing your messaging almost intuitive.
Adhering to your territory management plan allows you break the pipeline down into different categories to
- Attack a market in an orderly fashion
- Get the right message out to the right prospects
- Increase your overall chance of generating leads and closing accounts.
Target your messaging and offers
When you have taken the time to segment and break down your lists and really know who you are talking to, it is so much easier to craft a message and an offer that they will really care about.
Say you are selling software, for instance, and you know that 30% of your prospect list is already using a product offered by a competitor. Say you also know that, while that that competitor’s system is generally well thought of, it has one key flaw that continuously causes problem for its users. You can take this knowledge and use it to create messaging that really speaks to their pain and demonstrates the benefits of YOUR solution. This type of messaging has proven time and time again to be far more effective than that which just pitches features and ambiguous benefits.
Pull out relevant data
In addition to the primary purpose of generating warm leads and inbound responses, every email marketing “drop” is an opportunity to learn more about your prospects. The more targeted and focused your message, the more you learn, BUT you have to take the time to look at the metrics and pull out the data. If you fail to do that, you are missing out on an enormous opportunity. Determine in advance what you are looking for, craft your messaging and calls to action in such a way that by virtue of a click or response you have learned something about that prospect and follow through on the tail end to make sure that data is gathered, logged in your CRM and passed to your sales team.
Apply what you have learned
Everything you learn should be recorded and rolled up into your CRM. The process will come full circle as you use this information to continuously update and segment your lists.
Nurture leads that aren’t ready to buy
Where many sales and lead gen efforts fall short is that when it is determined that a prospect is viable but not ready to buy they are removed from the list and are no longer actively called on or marketed to. This most often happens when sales and marketing aren’t working in concert. What we suggest should happen is that leads that fall into this category should be turned over exclusively to marketing for a lead nurturing process until they are ready to be moved up in the funnel.