Effective Lead Generation with Internet Marketing
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The business scene today is rife with new competition. Budgets are shrinking, and marketing and sales teams are stretched to the limit to do more with less. Marketing to sales: “We get the leads; you get the sales.” Keeping the pipeline full of effective leads is vitally important in today’s challenging business. In fact, consistent lead generation is often imperative to a company’s very survival.
Why is lead generation inherently more challenging?
Fewer opportunities: Although the deal value of each sale is extremely high, there are simply fewer opportunities as compared to more transactional selling environments.Commoditization is more difficult to overcome: Marketers must work much more diligently and creatively to differentiate their organizations from increasing competition.Increased selling at the executive level: There must be an intelligent and varied approach to reach and convert executives who are more often the economic buyers for complex solutions.Must reach the sphere of influence: Buying processes frequently involve a team approach. Enlisting the support of one decision maker is rarely enough. The sphere of influence must be identified and targeted.Less selling time: Because of longer sales cycles, salespeople cannot afford to spend time on unqualified leads. They must focus attention on opportunities that have the greatest likelihood of closing.Return on investment: Direct return from lead generation activity takes time to surface. A solid plan for reporting and measuring reliable indicators must be in place to justify continued investment.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, the process of increasing the number of visitors to a Web site by ranking high in the results of search engines across the Internet, is essential for directing more traffic to a specific Web site. Some business-to-business marketers remain focused solely on enhancing the search marketing capabilities of their Web sites, i.e. indiscriminately generating more traffic at the expense of Web site content and relevance. This stems from the misconception that added traffic equals a greater number of inquiries and leads and, in due course, more sales. Search engine optimization assumes a lower rung in the climb towards more effective lead generation in the business-to-business sector. A Web site that is oriented to the demands of a lead generation program attracts the kind of visitors that results in the capture of a lot of valuable inquiries. Three underlying Web site design principles should be looked to for facilitating this. They are as follows:
People are attracted to Web sites for a variety of reasons, and it is to your advantage to promote yours as an easily accessed source of information appropriate to the needs of your potential customers. There is little point in having a Web site that no one visits. When you browse online, consider:
What does it convey about the company?Is it professionally done?Does it have the right information?Is desired information quick and easy to locate?What value is perceived?What is the next step?
Converting the Web site visitor to qualified lead status is a tall order, but the results can be dramatic due to the extraordinarily large visitor potential. In pursuit of increasing the ratio of visitors to qualified leads, it is beneficial to examine:
What is happening on each page to hold your visitor’s interest?What actions you want your visitor to take.What appeals to that person or typically to the role of that person?What the visitor needs to do for more information or to make contact.What you could be doing better.
Turning visitors into high-quality leads is regularly a matter of how quickly you respond to their inquiries. Though they obviously are entitled to your answer with all due haste, research indicates that nearly half of all inquiries are not followed up within two weeks–if at all.
In lead generation, the job of the marketing department is to develop leads to match the buyer’s readiness to buy and the seller’s expectations of selling.
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