16 Questions to Ask When Mapping Out Your Lead Gen Team’s Relationship Marketing Plan
Many of the lead gen teams in our portfolio are highly productive. They are hitting, if not surpassing their daily/weekly/quarterly productivity metrics, and pumping their sales teams’ pipelines full of fresh new opportunities. I’m very, very proud of their efforts — theirs is no easy job, and the appointments/opportunities that they generate should be treated like gold by the sales and marketing teams. A LOT of blood, sweat and tears went into that hunt.
What I am seeing pretty consistently amongst most of the teams that I’ve worked with is that they are great when it comes to initial touch points and content sharing with leads that are just becoming “aware.” At this point, no hand-off to sales reps has occurred. Once the prospect becomes interested, and he/she is open to the next step, then a second call, most likely with a field sales rep, occurs. If on that call/demo/meeting the prospect shows signs of closing in the next 30-60 days, the sales guys are usually ALL over it.
If not — and if there is not a true sense of urgency on the buyer’s end — it’s likely the sales person won’t develop a true feeling of ownership over the account. This is when things start to fall through the cracks. The touch points (human and/or marketing) can run dry. Email blasts can go out with content that has NOTHING to do with that particular target buyer persona or what their needs are at that particular stage of the buying cycle. Garbage.
In order for the sales engine to run as efficiently and effectively as possible, those “gray zone leads” — which I’ve referenced in many previous points — need to be touched consistently, and they need to be touched with messages that are going to resonate with their particular situation, ultimately to keep them moving toward the buying stage.
This is no easy feat, and I wish I had all the answers. Your expansion stage company’s relationship marketing program is going to be very specific to your target segment, it’s buyer personas and the direct marketing channels that make the most sense given the buyer’s preferences. That said, I’ve outlined a series of questions that will at least get you thinking about how to implement this type of program so that you can get the MOST out of all of the prospects that have entered the buyer’s journey.
- Who will be responsible for managing your relationship marketing program?
- Where does this stand priority-wise with other goals that he/she may have?
- Have you clearly defined your target market segments?
- Have you clearly defined your buyer personas (pains, needs, buying criteria, who influences them internally and externally, etc.)?
- Okay, if you don’t have these first four questions answered, but you’ve got a Lead Qualification team prospecting already, I’m a little nervous for you. THANK GOODNESS you are reading this post, because you need to act fast (but be smart about it). There’s no time like the present to analyze your historic data (i.e. closed deals, pipeline, etc.) to FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS on that segment (or two), and those buyer personas you are confident you can completely win-over and you can continue refining your messaging and product roadmap around. But I digress.
Editor’s Note: To get more great tips on improving your B2B sales and marketing strategies (and growing your business), sign up for the OpenView newsletter.