Would you prefer five quality leads or 100 bad ones?
We can almost guarantee you answered five quality leads, which is why we asked Vinnie Romano – Growth Partner of Hunt & Hawk, a company that helps brands align their sales and marketing efforts – to join us at Brisbane Business Hub to share his insights on generating demand for your business.
For those who couldn’t attend the event, here are some of the key takeaways.
Focus on quality, not quantity
Everyone wants leads, right? When it comes to business, it seems like the answer is an obvious yes. But there is a big difference between the quality and quantity of those leads.
“We all know what it feels like to be a prospect for a product or service we don’t want,” Romano says. “We don’t want to be targeted. So why are we doing it in this way to our customers? The answer: Businesses think that is the norm.
“You have to remember why you are prospecting in the first place – to turn leads into customers. It doesn’t matter how many leads you have if quality assurances haven’t taken place and 99 per cent of those leads end up in the dead lead basket. It’s much more beneficial to have a smaller amount of closeable leads.”
Guaranteeing quality leads
Romano flips lead generation on its head, and instead teaches businesses how to generate demand.
Demand generation is the concept of generating demand for your business, as opposed to generating leads for your business. Lead generation is still involved, but it is only the first step in the process.
“Demand generation is the holistic view that encompasses all parts of the customer experience, whether you’re in a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) organisation,” he says.
Demand generation covers:
- Generating quality leads: Finding closeable leads
- Nurturing those leads: By proving trust and getting people excited about what you’re selling
- Customer conversion: Turning leads into customers
- Customer advocacy: Turning your customers into your marketers to generate word-of-mouth marketing
“The most important thing to remember is you’ve got to reach your customers at a time of learning and discovery, not when it’s convenient to you to push your product or service,” Romano says.
“Everyone has the capability to type a query into Google. What you need to do as a business is have content, specifically the content your customers are looking for, coming up in this search.
“If you’re doing your job properly, your content will rank at the top organically, and you’ll have more of a chance of being able to get a stranger into your ecosystem by positioning yourself as a thought leader in your space.”
The role of content
An important part of demand generation is identifying the turning point from stranger to prospect.
“74 per cent of buyers select a vendor who offers value first,” Romano says. “If you lead with price, you will just be consistently competing with your competitors. Leading with value is the way forward.
“Leading with value helps to start conversations. Create this value by addressing the pain points and challenges your customer faces, and create content to meet their needs.
“In the ‘attract’ stage, the content that works the best are blogs, ebooks and white papers. In the ‘engage’ stage, case studies and success stories will work better. And in the ‘retain’ stage, social and direct communication is the way to go.”
1. Identify your target audience
How can you create content for an audience you don’t understand? Put simply, you can’t.
“You need to think about who it is you are trying to sell to, your ideal customer, and there may be more than one,” Romano says. “Develop personas for each ideal customer. Think about who they are – their job title, a short bio of their career trajectory, their marital status, age, salary, residential setting, demeanour and how they like to communicate.
“The biggest part of this is looking at what their goals are as a human and what is getting in the way of them achieving these goals. Look at their primary, secondary and tertiary goals and then identify challenges within those goals.
“When you have this down, you can then use this as a basis for your content strategy.”
2. Create content for that target audience
There is no point in creating content that isn’t valuable to your target audience.
“We want to create content that we know is going to get action from your ideal customer, ” Romano says. “Even better, find pieces of content that will overlap for multiple personas, rather than needing to create one for each. Additionally, the more timeless you can make it, the better, to minimise your production time and efforts.
“Throughout this, you also want to let your business shine through. Be consistent across all of your collateral, pinpoint your difference in the market and communicate it.”
3. Lead scoring
Romano says assigning a score for each lead you generate will help you to create better quality conversations and give you a better chance of a sale.
“A lead score is a number that you put on a particular person that has entered your ecosystem,” Romano explains. “At every touchpoint that they do a particular action, they receive ‘x’ amount of points. For example, if they download an ebook, they receive 50 points. If they open an email or like a social media post, they receive 10 points. If they click on a particular link, they receive a further 5 points.
“Once they arrive at 100 points, the person who is responsible for sales can now pick up the phone to a qualified lead, rather than starting at a cold call, and structure their dialogue appropriately.
“Setting up a good lead scoring system means you don’t bother talking to people until they are ready. This can all be set up automatically in the back end of your CRM.”
This can help you to prioritise and de-prioritise prospects.
“If someone hasn’t viewed a piece of content in the last 30 days, they lose 10 points, if they haven’t reviewed your website in 60 days, they lose 30 points, and so on,” Romano says. “Losing the interest of these targets is fine because you’re still creating content, you’re still targeting and you’re still understanding your audience. This also makes sure you are only doubling down on those who you should be talking to.”