Lead generation is one of the fundamental underlying objectives of marketing. Most marketing techniques and their success or failure are often measured on the yardsticks of conversion results.
Since the last decade, marketing has become more and more target-oriented. The objectives have shifted from broad reach to target reach. Study of prospects and their abilities furthers the analysis of trends.
These trend analyses are then re-used to better existing techniques and improve their efficiency. The erstwhile techniques of SMS Marketing and email marketing lost to digital marketing and faded into obsolescence for the same reason.
Most businesses are often faced with one question persistently. That is, how can leads be converted and captured? The answer to this question is neither easy nor quick. To understand these, a few paradigms have to be understood better.
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What Is A Lead?
Typically, a lead is a person who is interested in your product or services. Businesses conduct lead generation from a variety of sources. After lead generation, the sales team is often tasked with following up leads to convert a prospect into an account. This is called Lead Conversion.
Lead conversion is the primary and ultimate aim of the sales and marketing team of any organization. Business leads are essential because, without that, there exists a void and the sales team is unable to sell.
The aim is to make a person reach your doorstep, inquire about your product or service and obtain the same from you. That way, there is a greater chance to forge authentic customer relationships and create long-standing accounts from a prospect. The problem, however, lies in momentum.
If leads are not appropriately identified, the sales team may fail to follow up, which might cause a “hot lead” to go “cold”. This means that the person could become a prospective buyer, but due to low momentum or inadequate reciprocity, the lead failed to convert into anything of substantive value.
How Can You Ensure Leads Don’t Go Cold?
Most business organizations are happy and contented as soon as they have captured the lead. What they don’t realize is that capturing a lead does not mean anything until the leads are converted into sales. Leads have no value until they become sales accounts.
The surefire way of making sure leads don’t go cold is essentially separating the “hottest” leads, i.e., prospects who are highly interested. These leads have a high chance of convertibility if the sales team acts on it with prompt follow-ups.
The golden rule of lead qualification or segregation is timing. Out of sight is out of mind, and this holds especially true for a prospective customer. Therefore, the hottest leads must be acted on immediately.
Although lead segregation is essential, it does not necessarily mean that your entire effort is laid to waste. Here are some techniques to convert cold leads into hot ones and sustain them –
1. Targeted Content Is Vital
Moving leads through a sale funnel requires one essential ingredient, and that is target-oriented content. High-quality content, when sent through various channels, helps to add value to your lead and create brand recognition at the same time. Content must always be focused on the practical usage for the customer and create demand or need in their mind. High-quality content that keeps the lead at the forefront of their linguistic usage is always bound to perform better. Value-rich content helps the customer maintain his trust in the business. However, most people recommend a personalized content delivery.
These days, email marketing through embedded videos and links also called, Video Selling is very much in vogue and is one fine example of a personal touch to targeted marketing content.
2. Prospect Deserves The Attention
Have you wondered why consumers rally behind brands that create competitions for them to enter? The answer is – attention. Customers always want the business to be about them. Therefore, while converting a prospect, remember to personally address them, personalize offers for them and so on. That is because while you realize customer is king, merely realizing will not suffice. Businesses that put effort into personalizing their marketing campaigns for the customer achieve the lead in the industry. This way, they are head and shoulders above the rest of the competition in the market. For example, video selling platforms such as Vidyard and Hippo Video help you to sell content through email embedded videos with personalized information.
3. Relationship Building Is Critical
The main reason why hot leads become cold over time and how they can be revived is – effort. Leads are more likely to warm up towards a brand if they believe that they are being addressed on a personal level. Customers who sense that they are treated like just another prospect are more likely to turn you down without any chance of reconsideration. This is where SMM strategies come in. When consumers are reached personally through social media, they are more likely to align themselves to the brand value of your business and reciprocate. The process may be too tedious and painstaking but is a sure-shot strategy to build long term relationships.
4. Network To Move Ahead
A lead should not be treated in isolation. When consumers feel they are part of a community, they are then more likely to warm up to you. For this, you must network and ensure reciprocity. For example, if your lead is a startup in its nascent stages and another is an accountant, you can link them both up and maybe throw in an additional discount for being a part of a club. Exclusive, isn’t it? Mega brands such as Walmart, Oriflame, etc. are able to build loyalty programs this way.
Ultimately, in the world of sales, there is nothing called a perfect sale. However, it is best if a combination of strategies could help you to revive a cold lead and generate potential from a hard sell. A few cold calls and email bursts in the right direction might just do the trick for you.