At this time of economic uncertainty and down-turning markets, lead generation just got tougher. Strong strategies that have delivered good ROI in the past are no longer delivering the goods.
Some might say it’s inevitable that companies must revise pipeline expectations downwards in a bear market. But for our ambitious tech clients, that’s not an option. So, what can you do to sustain or turn your lead gen (and hence sales) performance around?
Here’s the crux of the problem. As the market tightens up, inbound volumes inevitably drop. Customers are adopting a more cautious approach and are not as proactive with investment in solutions and the technology industry is no more immune than other sectors. But the addressable market is still there – your customers need the margin gains and competitive edge that your products, solutions and services can drive for them. That means you need to shift the emphasis from inbound to outbound sales and marketing.
Outbound has a reputation for generating a large volume of leads. But for organisations that sell high value, complex solutions and need to address multiple stakeholders, volume doesn’t always deliver the best balance between quality and quantity of leads. A traditional approach to outbound, lining up calls with people who aren’t decision makers, aren’t directly involved in the buying process and who may or may not have a genuine interest or any needs at all, just leads to more effort being squandered, reducing the ROI even further.
Your reimagined outbound approach needs to achieve the objective of generating engaged, enthused and conversation-ready leads with the same quality of purchase intention that you used to attract through inbound channels.
The optimal approach in a bear market is to switch to outbound lead generation that harnesses the cumulative power of your sales and marketing efforts, so you can reach out in a consistent and highly focused way across many channels to contacts in the target organisation. This calls for efficient, low-waste strategies using smart people and approaches where sales and marketing work hand in hand.
Decision-makers in your customers are looking for ROI from your solution and a coherent, credible approach. That means you must engage across multiple touch points, connected by the same overriding issue, but sympathetic to targets’ different strategic, operational or tactical roles within the decision and purchasing process.
Delivering that level of accuracy demands account specific insight and context. By deeply understanding market needs and applying solutions that map to them precisely, we help our customers increase efficiency in their outbound lead generation and therefore conversion rates. Marketing teams can furnish the sales organisation with real account insight and intent, solid indications of engagement and ultimately much more educated and conversation-ready leads.
Happy CMO, happy CRO and critically in today’s economy, happy CFO.