Lead Generation Guide for B2B Marketers

Lead Qualification Framework by Eric Schwartzman

If you’re preparing to climb the revenue growth mountain, the length of your ascent will depend largely on who you’re selling to and where you’re starting out from.

If your sales team is focused on a target audience, you’re going to want to give your reps an easy, repeatable way to personalize and tailor sales decks, case studies and follow up emails so they’re relevant to their prospects.

If you’re dealing with an unlimited market of potential leads, you’re going to want to provide a seamless customer experience so your customers can move seamlessly through the funnel from marketing, to sales or customer service.

Either way, you’re going to need the right tools for your climb, which means you need to the right lead generation strategies and lead generation tactics.

If you’ve already got email marketing, search engine visibility, marketing and sales automation up and running, and a customer support ticket system in place, congratulations. You’re in the foothills.

Once you’ve got enough repetition to aggregate data with some degree of statistical relevance, you can focus on benchmarking lead capture, lead qualification and lead conversion performance.

As you reach mid-elevation and start to come out of the forest to the top of the tree line, you can start to drive your sales planning and forecasting against the actual data you’re collecting on the percentage of potential customers using your product or service.

If your lead quality gets better, but your close rate is inconsistent, improve the lead qualification process. Perhaps sales blames marketing for lousy leads? Or marketing blames sales for engaging too aggressively?

Progressive organizations think about getting themselves as sherpas seeking to align sales and marketing against common KPIs.

Conduct a lead acquisition diagnostic with marketing, a customer acquisition diagnostic with sales, and facilitate lead qualification alignment workshop to bring both teams together.

Once lead qualification responsibilities are shared between sales and marketing — which may be easier to achieve at the campaign level — you’ve reached the alpine.

You’re generating and qualifying leads consistently and repeatably. From there, you can see the snow line.

Now’s the time to work fortify customer service workflows and optimize automation to relieve marketing, sales, and service of as many manual tasks as possible.

Drive those stakes firmly into the mountain, link up the Carabiners with a length of sown cord. You’re up past the vegetation layer now, moving onto the ice cap.

The summit is in reach.

We’ve arrived at a place where lead scores are reliable and prospects move predictably through the sales funnel without any surprises.

You’ve nailed the lead qualification process and are surrounded by a surplus of prospective new customers who are ready to buy.

Audit your customer acquisition channels, lower your cost per lead, and kill whatever isn’t working without prejudice. Are leads coming in through a certain blog post or white paper? Are you building a high-quality email list? Is there a certain piece of content outperforming the others?

Test so you can scale back your spending to just the channels that are working and optimize your deal flow to a level your reps can handle.

Now’s the time to start using artificial intelligence to analyze sales calls and share the secrets of the closers with the rest of the team.

You’re ready to scale. So rather than build a temple from which to share eternal wisdom (although you can do that too), it’s time to staff up and grow.

The important thing is to know where you are on the mountain before you start, so you can progress upwards logically without wasting time and energy by attempting to run before you can walk.

Similarly, it’s going to be tough to increase the lifetime value of a customer if your customer success team doesn’t have the right tools in place to drive utilization.

Nailing a lead qualification sequence that works for your company is process-oriented, just like climbing a mountain with a base, a slope, and a summit.

Awesome climb. Thanks for joining me.

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