Beat Common Lead Nurturing Failures with “Live in 45”

Written by Rockannand on October 26, 2011 – 2:03 pm -

We keep hearing the stories of great results from lead nurturing, only to find that achieving them is much easier said than done. Why is that?

  • Incomplete strategy. Marketers don’t take into account all of the components needed for good execution of a lead nurturing campaign. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.
  • Poor execution. We are all pressed for time, juggling many projects so we cut corners, making mistakes that lead to disappointing results.
  • Analysis paralysis. We over-think each aspect of the campaign, the content, the audience, the steps, frequency.  Searching for the perfect campaign, but we only get wrapped around the axle and nothing gets done.

There are many more reasons why B2B marketers fail at lead nurturing, but these are the three biggies in my book. But first some context for what I have been doing of late.

How The Lead Gen Process is Like Fishing
Before I started my consulting practice in 2001, a colleague of mine and I experimented for over a  year  with an approach to demand generation that led me to marketing automation in 1999.  Our approach had these key attributes.

  • Strong content that demonstrated thought leadership not product expertise.
  • Automated, rules-based processes that generate new leads and manage existing ones.
  • List segmentation to be able to test campaign tactics across many audiences simultaneously.
  • Digitally-based, with web tracking to follow interest, behavior and determine sales readiness.
  • A heavy focus on outcomes realized in 6-8 weeks

What about the analogy to fishing? The secret to fishing and  catching the most is always to have your pole in the water casting out because you never know when the fish will pass by. The problem with fishing is that you can only have one rod working one spot at a time. If there’s nothing there, you move to the next spot. It takes time and effort to hit all the spots.

Traditional leadgen campaigns have also been like fishing in that each campaign has required execution one at a time – one campaign, one cast.  If no bites, we move on.  Batch and Blast. We really don’t know WHY the campaign failed because it could have been wrong day, wrong week/month, poor content, bad list. Just like fishing: Wrong bait, wrong tide, wrong weather conditions, wrong spot.

Live in 45: Fishing Many Virtual Ponds at Once
What if marketers, could execute the same campaigns to many target segments with different offers, subject lines and headlines? Marketing automation affords you the unique opportunity to hit all those “spots” (target segments) simultaneously and virtually using different types of bait (tactics and offers).Of course, the tools have had the ability to do these practices for a while now, but my experience is that the practices have lacked focus on outcomes and lots of testing.

This is where the Live in 45 system comes in to play.

The name of the game today is knowing exactly where to focus scarce sales and marketing resources and on the best opportunity and high return programs. For B2B marketers that means accelerating the learning process of what tactics work and what do not and what target segments are better audiences for your products and services. Unfortunately, this appears to be where the rubber meets the nails, potholes and the breakdown lane as marketers have focused their program objectives too much on activity and not on outcomes.  When you are focused on the wrong metrics and questionable goals, it takes much longer to learn where the fish are and where they are not, what bait to use, what time of day and tides, etc.

The Ultimate Live in 45 Lead Nurturing Program
The best fisherman test and measure All the time.  They learn from their mistakes faster than the rest. The secret is not magic, but simply “outfishing” the competition with a system that works and works well.

I call it the Live in 45 system. It is a focused lead nurturing strategy that overcomes the failures mentioned above.  Results you can expect in the first 90 days might consist of finding and closing over $100,000 of new business from “dead leads” that sales overlooked and doubling the number of marketing qualified opportunities passed to the sales team.

I have decided to offer the program as a 6-week guided implementation delivered in a group setting for a fraction of what my clients have paid in custom engagement. Its called the “Ultimate ‘Live in 45’ Lead Nurturing Program”.

Check it out here and let me know what you think. The inaugural program kicks off next Tuesday November 1. I am excited at the prospects and welcome your questions and feedback.


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Posted in Lead Nurturing, Marketing Automation | 1 Comment »

Lead Nurturing is Coming of Age Part 4: Moving from “Good” to “Best”

Written by Rockannand on December 13, 2010 – 5:28 pm -

In part 1 of this series, we noted from Sirius Decisions recent research that the market leading companies, using the same number of leads are able to

  • Close over 4 times the number of deals as “average” firms
  • Close twice as many deals as “good” firms.

These are eye-popping numbers to consider, especially with economic times that demand that businesses make every opportunity count.

What does “Market Leading” Mean?
The market leading firms are adept at aligning their people around marketing-to-sales processes enabled with CRM and Marketing Automation tools that optimize their efforts and maximize target audience reach. The best B2B marketing organizations are almost exclusively focused on lead quality. They emphasize buyer behavior and compare to well defined buyer personas in order to build targeted campaigns that move prospects through the buyer stages. They have metrics in place that clearly show management and sales the impact of demand generation programs on the pipeline, closed deals and corporate revenue.  Marketing and sales are tightly aligned in terms of people interaction, lead flow process and the use of technology to support every aspect of client acquisition and retention. They practice Lean process improvement principles to eliminate waste in marketing and sales resources and optimize every dollar of sales and marketing spend.

What Should “Good” Firms Focus on to Become “Market Leading”?
In part 3 of the series, we detailed the steps required to move from “average” to “good” performance. With those practices in place, we can now turn our attention to the following programs to implement in order to achieve marketing leading lead management status

  • Establish lead quality teams consisting of marketing, inside sales, sales admin and possibly the sales team and conduct weekly lead hand-off reviews.
  • Develop comprehensive buyer personas that profile key buyer types such as end-user, influencer, buyer/decision-maker and executive (CXOs).
  • Develop progressive profiling programs that deepen the intelligence for each buyer type in your CRM/Marketing Automation database. Utilize prospecting tools such as Cardbrowser, Hoovers, Netprospex, Zoominfo, etc to automate the process of keeping contact information fresh and complete.
  • Create comprehensive content maps for the key buyer types and for each buyer stage:

Awareness > Inquiry > Consideration > Purchase.

After mapping existing content, create and/or re-purpose content to fill any gaps. Ensure that content consists of whitepapers, webinars, short articles, case studies, videos (2-3 minutes) and podcasts (5-7 minutes).

  • Develop lead nurturing campaigns that segment by buyer type and buyer stage. Deliver personalized value propositions by these segments to deepen engagement and optimize buyer stage conversions.
  • Develop metrics based on corporate objectives such as revenue growth and customer retention. Use marketing dashboards and reports to present marketing’s contribution to revenue and pipeline to senior management on a monthly/quarterly basis.

Comments from others on the earlier installment in this lead nurturing series have highlighted other resources and approaches to consider. I will wrap things up with a final post that links to these resources.

Related Posts:

Lead Nurturing is Coming of Age Part 3: Moving from Average to Good

Lead Nurturing is Coming of Age Part 1: Making the Case for 2011 Marketing Plans

Lead Nurturing is Coming of Age Part 2: Where do I Start?

Case Study: Lead Nurturing Through Thought Leadership Content


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Posted in B2B Marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Management, Lead Nurturing, Lead Quality, Thought Leadership, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

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