Lead Generation Technology Heading Toward Ferrari or Yugo extremes?
Lead Generation is a top priority for CEO’s, Marketing Leaders and Sales Leaders. Why? Lead Generation is a game changer with a significant contribution to the bottom line. Unfortunately many companies have an extreme focus on the technology portion of LeadGen --- often over-emphasizing or completely neglecting technology.
As your internal teams grapple with the complexity to refine/launch your lead generation program --- make sure your technology team isn't taking a Ferrari approach with unneeded complexity that radically increases cost and delays impact. Likewise, make sure your team isn't about ready to hit the road with a Yugo approach that seeks to operate without key technology best practices.
Guide your team with a series of best practices to drive focus to the essential elements for success. This article on Lead Generation Technology is the third in a series of best practices for Lead Generation.
Technology Infrastructure best practices provide the punch to accelerate effectiveness. The following are the top best practices for the Technology Infrastructure required to support a world-class lead generation effort:
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Common CRM across marketing & sales – Once an inquiry has transitioned into a potential lead, the marketing team’s lead development team must work from a common CRM to remain aligned with the sales team. Look-ups prevent stepping on each other’s toes when there are existing opportunities in the pipeline. Notes and activity history must be provided in a single CRM.
Marketing Automation system is in place – Don’t make the mistake of starting with technology, but rather nail down the lead management strategy and configure the marketing automation technology to support the business. Once a lead management process is in place, marketing automation technology increases the efficiency and effectiveness of the lead generation team.
Integrate the CRM and marketing automation – Lead Development Representatives (LDR’s) should have the ability to work form the CRM system and utilize marketing automation functionality to assign auto nurture paths, access 1:1 engagement templates, and monitor the level of interest and fit to the Ideal Customer Profile (IPC).
1:1 contact integration between CRM and Marketing Automation – The CRM system should serve as the master, with updates pushed to the marketing automation system. Technical data integration is only possible to the extent that the Lead Development Reps are disciplined in their look-ups of new contacts.
Capture level of interest through Scoring of prospect activities – The level of interest a prospect has in your product/service should be tracked through a point system that captures observable activity. This includes website page viewing, downloads, email clicks, webinar participation, and manually entered physical events such as workshop attendance. The score is used to set thresholds for levels of engagement and to prioritize follow-up.
Automated lead nurturing through a sequenced campaign targeted based on interest and/or profile – Once a prospect has completed a single form fill, automated lead nurturing gives you the capability to build a value-based dialogue. Once engagement of the prospect increases to a level of high interest (Scoring threshold), then the LDR begins 1:1 engagement. The automated nurturing provides an efficient ability to nurture many, and allow those that are truly interested to rise to the top for human follow-up.
Tracking capability to tie campaign elements, website visits, form fills, inquiries through to opportunities in a closed loop – Website and campaign element tracking must be in place to provide a full view of how individual activities track through the complete interaction.
- Campaign element tracking – Emails, banners, and communications sent from individuals should provide full click metrics reporting.
- Website tracking – Individual website pages, forms, downloads and video viewing must be tracked in aggregate as well as at the individual contact level. The individual contact level tracking is tied to a contact in the CRM and the activity history is added to the record.
- Inquiry>MN>MQ>LEAD>OPPORTUNITY tracking – The conversion between lead management stages required to move a prospect through from Inquiry onto Opportunity must be tracked. This provides valuable insights into how individual LDR's are performing at various stages of the process.
Website configured to capture inquiries through custom landing pages – Most leads begin when a prospect declares their interest by filling out a lead form. High value assets on the website should be ‘gated’ to include a form. Keep in mind though, that a balance of un-gated and gated assets can produce a higher level of engagement than 100% gated. The lowest possible barrier should be balanced with the right level of information to research and diagnose the prospect.
Progressive profile building and/or Login capabilities have been assessed – Progressive profile building is the ability to build profile data over time through a succession of simple form questions. This is complex to build and should be assessed for advanced Lead Generation teams.
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