There are Lead Generation Programs and Lead Qualification Programs. Some (and rightfully so) could argue that Lead Generation Programs contain Lead Qualification elements. Here’s what we are seeing with our clients:
Lead Generation Program:
One of the most common elements of feedback from sales teams is that they do not receive enough leads (or any at all). A Lead Generation program will solve that equation and change the conversation to “Stop giving me so many leads. Some of these are garbage. Only give me good leads!”. Once you start hearing that feedback, it’s time to bring on some qualification efforts. Before we get to that, though, here is all a lead generation program consists of:
- A good story and compelling look for a website. This can be the entire company as a whole, or more commonly a microsite or single webpage that pertains to a single topic.
- SEO Efforts. This will ensure your site shows up in search results organically.
- Google Ads. This will bring traffic to the site and create conversions (form submits or phone calls) that can be routed directly to sales. It will also help give a boost to your over-all SEO.
- Social Media Ads. An additional channel that will do the same as above.
The key to remember about leadgen programs is that they are broad. We’re not suggesting you need to open it up to the whole world, but many companies get too narrow with their keywords in hopes that it will qualify the lead. Perhaps long term you can achieve that, but in the beginning, you need to find out what’s working and what is not.
Lead Qualification Program:
Just because someone calls or fills out a form doesn’t necessarily mean they will buy. Also, just because someone doesn’t fill out a form or call doesn’t mean we can’t track some of their activity. All of these platforms will plant what’s known as a cookie on the user’s web browsers, which allows the platforms to follow them around the web. This means you can do something known as retargeting, which will show additional ads or content on other (non-related) webpages they visit.
This is the beginning of a qualification program, or in other words, additional efforts that will move potential prospects through your pipeline (or just encourage them to buy). It consists of:
- Email: A newsletter and a monthly promo push go a long way. Make sure you have a sign-up on your site.
- Social Media: Encourage them to follow your pages and showcase your personality. To build trust, people need to have a feeling for how your company operates.
- Marketing Automation Process: Do you have a nurture path setup for people who disappear? Do you have a scoring model in place that identifies where someone is on their buyer journey? Does sales get notified when someone is ripe?
You might be rolling your eyes at these points, but when sales complain they don’t get quality leads, these are items you’ll need to have in place to keep them motivated… and, more importantly, to continue bringing on new clients/revenue.
Bringing it all together:
We’ve seen it time and time again. Here are the pitfalls, the perks and the timelines you’ll go through:
- Many companies think Lead Generation alone will get them quality leads. You will get some quality leads right away, but long term, you need to focus on getting lots of leads, qualifying them, and then delivering the quality leads to sales or consumers.
- Don’t bother with any of this unless you have a good story to tell and/or your brand is up to date.
- It takes most companies 3-6 months to get loads of leads coming in from leadgen. It takes another 3-6 months to get a qualification program up & running and qualifying leads. It’s a 6-12 month process. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise 🙂
- It’s not impossible to do without a Marketing Automation Platform, but it’s much tougher. We recommend Hubspot.
- You’ll need to spend at least $5,000 per month on advertising and at least $5,000 per month for related services. For a 6-12 month project, you’re looking at $60,000 – $120,000 for the year to get started.