Great to see you in class!
Time for the second lesson, where you will find out what it means to get new leads and also how to get from having a simple lead to gaining a real customer.
This lesson will help you understand exactly how to Deal with Leads. It’s easy to generate leads. It’s amazingly hard to get the right kind of leads for your own business.
If you get 400 people as leads in your marketing funnel, but none of them convert into customers, something isn’t working.
Before we dive into ways of using your website and social media accounts to generate leads, it’s important to see how you can get leads that you will be able to convert into real customers.
A Tale of Two Marketing Companies
In order to understand everything better, I feel I need to tell you a short story of two great companies from the Inbound Marketing industry: Hubspot and Act-On.
Where marketing ends, sales start.
Hubspot is staffed with an army of marketing people. That’s how they create so many landing pages, so many webinars, so many articles, tutorials, and so on.
They’re using a lot of marketers to get traffic to their site and then to turn the new visitors into leads. Using marketing automation, they make sure that those leads become customers.
Now, for that marketing automation to work, there is a very well-defined process that they have implemented, which I will explain later on in this lesson.
Their main strategy is to produce A LOT of targeted content and attract as many leads as possible. They don’t need a lot of salespeople, because the ones they have NEVER ever go door-to-door, they don’t send out cold emails, they don’t cold call, and so on.
They get all the leads they could ever want from a very well-defined lead generation mechanism.
In most companies, the salesperson has to waste a lot of time just to get leads. In Hubspot’s case, that doesn’t really happen, because they get so many leads into their marketing funnel.
They also send a lot of content through marketing automation sequences to the leads they get and make them more and more “ready” to be contacted by a salesperson.
The salesperson just has to be there to close the sale. It’s not a tough job, because most of the “complicated stuff” is handled by the marketing department and the content they create.
If we had to give numbers to this, just to make a point and help you paint a more colorful picture of what all of this means, I think it’s safe for us to play with imaginary numbers.
Remember: these are not the real ratios. These are not the real numbers. These are just to help you understand the difference between two very influential companies from the Inbound Marketing industry.
Let’s assume that:
Hubspot has 200 People in the Marketing Department and 20 people in Sales.
Their competitors are doing quite the opposite:
Act-On, on the other hand, has 20 People in the Marketing Department, and over 200 people in Sales.
Wow! That’s quite unexpected. And again: both companies are growing, both are doing very well, but their approach to handling marketing, lead generation and sales is completely different!
It’s important for you to know that there is more than just one way of doing business. Understanding this allows you to be more flexible, and choose the path you personally feel it would FIT you.
Most companies do things the Act-On way, where they hire lots of salespeople, to contact lots of people via LinkedIn, email, conferences, etc.
But I’m thinking that a company like yours doesn’t really have that man-power.
So you can easily think of placing your bet on a Hubspot kind of strategy, where you produce more content – as opposed to producing more cold calls.
However, just producing tons of content will never be enough.
A lot of people produce a lot of content. The problem is that most of them don’t generate leads. And then: there’s no process in place for turning those leads into actual customers.
You need to have all your bases covered, and make sure you’re not just creating content – but that you also have all the mechanisms in place to ensure that content is successful in terms of generating leads for your business.
Understanding the Purpose of the Marketing Department and How This Will Change the Way You See Your Business
I’ve wondered, some years ago, while reading through a lot of great marketing lessons where marketing stopped. I mean: at one point it has to be considered that the Marketing Department reached an end goal.
Otherwise, it would seem a bit chaotic, and they [the Marketing Department] wouldn’t have a clear goal, nor a clear metric that they had to improve on.
How do you measure the success or the performance of your Marketing Department?
Most people would say: “well, I’d measure that in terms of new customers”. And this would already be a Huge mistake.
Marketing is all about positioning, pricing, packaging, etc. I agree. Marketing does not mean “promoting”, nor “promotion”. It’s much more than that.
But if you have a Marketing Department or some people on the marketing team, and you’re working on inbound marketing and content marketing, what could you measure their performance on?
The answer is: “Leads”. An even better answer would be: “Qualified Leads”.
All of my studies and all of my discussions with experts (people from Facebook, Hubspot, Act-On, etc.) have led me to see that the Marketing Department is in charge of generating Leads and then getting them ready for the Sales Department.
Let us continue over the next few lessons to discuss about the marketing department (even if you have just 2 or 3 people in it) as the team in charge of getting targeted traffic to content on your site and then generating leads that are easily converted into customers.
This is what I am going to teach you in these lessons.
I really wish I had someone to explain all of these to me when we started Squirrly.
Since learning this, all of our marketing and sales activities over at Squirrly have been 10 times more efficient. Why? Because we invest our time and effort only in the things that matter.
Because we perfectly understood the relation between marketing and sales.
Generating great opportunities for your sales team.
There is a process for all of this:
Lead Generation ⇒ Nurturing Leads ⇒ Extra Lead Nurturing ⇒ Qualified Lead ⇒ Sale.
This is all about the way in which you generate new leads for your business. We will cover various methods to do this over the next lessons.
In order to effectively generate leads, you will most probably promise access to something valuable for that person:
1) A free consultation;
2) An eBook;
3) A white paper, or an industry report;
4) A course;
5) many other types, which we will cover in the next lessons.
It’s a process in which you get the leads you’ve acquired earlier on to start trusting you and trusting your brand.
So, how do you do this?
First of all, you need to deliver on your initial promise. If you promised something to someone, deliver that promise first: the eBook, the free software, etc.
Then, you can start sending in more valuable things.
More valuable things could be: courses, PRO Tips, webinars, etc.
You need to stay in touch with your fresh leads.
Educate them. Send them great content that will teach them something valuable.
In the emails you send out to them you should never talk about Problems. You need to talk about solutions to their problems.
You can send case studies, success stories, etc.
If you manage to establish a more personal connection with them, you will increase your chances of success.
Extra Lead Nurturing
This can be done through real conversations (NOT automated stuff), over email, phone, Skype, one-on-one coaching meetings, etc.
If you do all of these AND if your process is crafted right, then your leads will get to the stage where they are Qualified.
Your goal. Your number one goal.
Get your Leads through all of the steps above and turn them into Qualified Leads.
The natural thing that comes to the mind of a qualified lead is: “Shut up and take my money!”
They are so familiar with you, they trust you, they love what you have to offer. All they need right now is for a Salesperson to get in touch and close the sale.
Now that we went through all this, you are ready for the next lessons, which will be super actionable.