Getting Leads Today And New Customers Tomorrow Requires Special Thinking And Proven Techniques
We hear this a lot from prospects: “I need leads immediately.” OK, some tactics can be deployed quickly to generate leads, sales opportunities and new customers in short order, if there’s budget for those types of activities.
But the key is to balance short-term requirements with the longer-term tactics that produce more sustainable results into the future.
This is a bit of a balancing act. It requires a strategic conversation and a well-thought-out inbound marketing strategy (or an equally well-thought-out demand generation plan) to thoroughly understand the pluses and minuses of investing in and working on short-term tactics that can be used to build longer-term tactics. Coming up with the correct balance of both sets your company up for short-term success and long-term growth.
Here's how to make sure your balance is correct.
Understand Your Current State
You have to know where you are today before you can know how to get to where you want to go. For example, we almost always start work with clients by reviewing their current situation. How many visitors are going to your website today? This helps us know how much work we need to do to drive visitor numbers up to achieve the desired state. This applies to conversion rates, lead numbers, sales opportunities and even new customers or revenue.
As another example, when we work with sales teams, we’ll want to assess the current set of salespeople. How effective and efficient are your salespeople? How are they using the tools available to them? What is their overall attitude? If closing leads is your challenge, knowing the people we’ll be working with is important. You might not have the salespeople you need to get you to your goals. You need to know that.
Get A Complete Audit Of Your Assets
Few companies are starting from scratch when it comes to marketing and sales. You have a website, you have some content, you have a sales process and you have some search engine optimization rankings.
We want to know what assets are usable and what assets are missing. This helps identify usable assets that could be deployed to drive leads today and what assets need to be created to sustain lead generation into the future.
This also helps us create an efficient and budget-friendly program. By reusing as much of your existing marketing and sales tools as possible, we focus your entire remaining budget on the new tools and assets that are missing or required to deliver the lift you’re expecting.
We’ll typically do audits on your website, current search performance, content, data quality, email assets, sales process, sales tools and advocacy resources.
Make Sure Your Goals And Expectations Match Your Budget
Driving leads today and building a long-term revenue machine might be something your budget can’t support. Typically, this requires us to run two concurrent programs. In most cases, we run a plan, build and grow program. If you want (or need) leads immediately and want us to get your longer-term revenue machine going, we have to do the plan, build and grow program, and on top of it we need to add a FastStart™ program. This is a condensed approach that gets the most important parts of plan, build and grow done in days, instead of weeks. This requires an extra investment, as I’d hope you would expect.
Marrying budget with expectations around marketing is an exercise we help both prospects and clients with on a regular basis. You simply can’t go from $10 million in revenue this year to $100 million in revenue next year on a $2,000-per-month marketing investment. Balancing those goals and expectations with the appropriate level of marketing investment is key and usually takes a simple set of models to uncover if there’s misalignment.
Balance Your Tactical Efforts Every 30 Days
Most people we work with are looking for short-term results and long-term programmatic builds, so this situation is common. One of the best ways for us to help our clients balance this out is to do 30-day planning. By looking at marketing tactics on a 30-day cycle, we can ensure that we’re doing everything possible to impact results today while not losing the perspective of what also needs to get done to drive leads in the following months.
Balancing these tactics and making sure work gets prioritized properly is more complicated than it might seem on paper. You’re going to want to consider a prioritization methodology to help with some of these decisions. We use the “what’s going to take the least amount of effort and produce the biggest positive impact?” methodology. This means we’ll work on easy-to-deploy tactics with the potential to drive big results first and then work in everything else around those tactics. This drives short-term results effectively.
Keep Your Eye On The Long Term Every 90 Days
To drive longer-term results, add a strategy discussion and review every three months. This element, built into our standard engagement, ensures we’re always connecting our 30-day plans with the long-term goals of the organization and ensures we don’t miss the forest through the trees. It also allows us to run longer campaigns or support tactics with longer time frames. We simply break up longer campaigns into smaller sections and weave them into the 30-day plans.
For example, you might be in the middle of an Agile website deployment that includes upgrades each month for six months. If you’re stopping twice during that project to make sure the site still aligns with your overall strategy, the final product is going to be better, produce better results and be perfectly aligned with every other marketing tactic being executed. Without this oversight, you end up with a site that no one likes, doesn’t tell your story and, worst of all, doesn’t produce leads or sales opportunities. Sound familiar? Don’t make that mistake.
If you think about the formula for revenue growth like you think about a recipe, you’ll be on the right track. For example, you make the dish the first time and it’s good but not great; too much garlic. The next time, you cut the garlic, but it ends up too salty. Finally, the third time you make it you get the balance perfect. But the next time you make it, something is off; perhaps one of your ingredients wasn’t as fresh, you cooked the dish too quickly or you turned the heat up too much. Another adjustment is necessary.
Dialing in revenue is similar, especially when you’re trying to balance short-term goals with long-term sustainability. Having leads this month is good, but generating more leads next month and an ever-increasing amount of leads every month out into infinity is the ultimate goal. Getting leads today might be at odds with building the lead machine. Striking the right balance is key.
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