Part 1: Qualified Lead Generation
Every summer a group of long-time friends and I have a mini-reunion in Saratoga, NY at the race track. While I can’t claim to be a horse racing expert, it is fun placing $2 bets and hanging out for the afternoon. Early in the day, I place simple bets, like picking a horse to come in first. As the day goes on, I get more exotic with bets. I’m risking my two bucks on complicated wagers like the “Superfecta,” in which the player must pick the first four finishers of a race in the correct sequence.
In the digital world, I’ve found there are four things that companies need to get right to maximize their potential – I call these four things the Digital Superfecta. Those four things are: qualified lead generation, e-commerce conversion, product management, and analytics. If your digital team is excelling along these four tracks, you are well your way to solid digital revenue growth.
Each week for the next four weeks, we will examine one of the four legs of the Digital Superfecta.
Before we get started, you might ask, “Why is advertising not one of the four components of the Superfecta?” Advertising is certainly a critical revenue stream in the digital world, but world-class digital departments do more than just amass clicks and sell page views. Much attention has been paid to digital advertising over the past twenty years. This has made the ad markets extremely efficient, making it tough to game the system or become smarter than the competition. The playbook for traditional digital advertising is pretty clear, such that advertising revenue should be viewed as a basic prerequisite for your digital department, rather than as an opportunity to drive a distinctive competitive advantage.
Assuming you’re up to snuff in digital advertising, the real opportunity comes from focusing on building your capabilities in the four Digital Superfecta areas. These are the levers than can drive real revenue growth.
Qualified Lead Generation
I once saw sales consultant Marc Wayshak give a speech on sales strategy. One point I’ll always remember was: your job as a sales person is to disqualify leads. While it may sound counter-intuitive—shouldn’t you be trying to qualify leads?—you don’t want to waste your limited time trying to convince people who will never buy anyway.
If your digital department can help your sales team disqualify leads, then you have a huge advantage over your competition. You’ll be able to close more deals, more quickly, and at a lower cost.
The typical way of using digital to qualify / disqualify leads is through content marketing efforts. That is, creating how-to guides, industry reports, whitepapers, etc. to capture leads, and then using subsequent campaigns (typically emails, blog posts, and social media activity) to better understand each prospect. Ultimately, the goal is to classify leads by their likelihood of buying.
Depending on how prospects engage with your content, you can bucket them into one of four categories. This works for both B2B and B2C companies.
Cold but Qualified Prospects
These are prospects that don’t see or refuse to admit they have a problem. They ignore your ads and emails, and don’t visit your site no matter what you do. Life’s too short and resources are too constrained to focus on this segment. Let your competition spin their wheels (and marketing budget) on this group of customers.
So there you have it. Leg #1 of the Digital Superfecta: qualified sales leads. Next week we will take a deeper dive into leg #2: e-commerce conversion.