Marketing's Immediate Impact

Considering everything you know and all the experience you've had, what's the one thing you would recommend I change to improve my lead generation?

Sometimes it's easy to crystalize big thoughts into simple sentences like this, but I never could. I tend to like to see the complex. I revel in how the sausage is made. 

So, the CEO's challenge woke me up.

"So, what would you have us do to improve our marketing TOMORROW? What's the top opportunity we're missing when it comes to driving leads down the funnel?"

I'm a big believer that you need a blend of both best practices (learning from what's come before) and innovative ideas (challenging the idea of what's possible in the future).

The best practices? This particular company was working hard to generate interest, but they weren't capitalizing on the interest gained.

I recommended email capture forms for a TBD newsletter. (Don't worry about the content; just start passively collecting email addresses.)

I also recommended exit-intent tools. Website builders and marketing platforms like HubSpot offer technical solutions like adding a pop-up after a user scrolls over 50% of the length of the webpage or when the cursor leaves the boundaries of the webpage (signaling exit intent). To make the pop-ups less intrusive, don't make it a hard sell. Again, something easy like signing up for an email newsletter with a minimum number of form fields — I recommend just email or perhaps first name.

The innovative ideas? These guys really helped form the idea. In short, they outlined a pattern of prospects getting stuck at the bottom of the funnel, just not sure whether to finally purchase the software. So, we're in the midst of two innovative ideas.

One idea is using post-sale account management content as both an up-seller and a sales tool. When I've seen prospects not converting after a lengthy sales cycle, it's often a failure to understand the real-life implications of the choice. How will we onboard? Will this choice make me look foolish? So, we're discussing how an implementation guide might be written and leveraged as a piece of sales collateral. Not enough tech companies consider just how intimidating buying software can be, especially for non-digital natives.

Another pattern I've seen in software is a failed hand-off from the prospect's business stakeholder to the technical implementers. We often sell to a CEO or CMO. But if we fail to get the implementer's blessing, it sets up an antagonistic relationship from the get-go. We're thinking about ways the sales process can seamlessly include a CIO or CTO to pave the way for a successful software implementation. 

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DJ Francis