Finding new prospects, learning more about them, striking up a long-term relationship – lead gen has at least a little in common with online dating. There’s plenty of competition, and success depends on making an appealing first impression and then following through by building trust. How you become a perfect match for your leads depends on your research skills, your ability to listen, and your commitment to earning their business.
Do Your Homework
Online dating sites use questionnaires or quizzes to match potentially compatible people – a kind of data collection. Gathering data is just as important in a B2B marketing context, and if you plan to have a lasting professional relationship with your prospects, you need to know more about them. Data enhancement services fill in gaps in your knowledge, while data you collect from leads directly will give you greater insight into their roles within their organizations. Progressive forms that ask for two or three new details with each successive visit or download are excellent for building early lead knowledge.
Leads can tell you volumes about themselves without saying a word. Tracking on-site behavior shows you which topics interest them, where they are in their buying journey, and which specific problems they want to solve. Give leads space to tell you about their needs by presenting them with a range of content that lets them drill deeper into subjects they find compelling. If they’re reading blog posts related to a particular subject, you have a good indication that they’d welcome an offer referring to it.
Just about everyone prefers a companion who can be spontaneous, and that goes for business settings too. We all appreciate a business partner who’s accommodating enough to meet us halfway and let us set the tone of our exchanges. Lead nurture programs that adjust to a prospect’s specific pace and path along the buying journey are far more appealing than a one-size-fits-all solution. Moving from a standard content strategy to an account-based marketing approach to lead gen can mean double-digit gains in conversion rates.
Commit to Your Prospects
Not everyone on a dating site is looking for commitment, but your leads absolutely demand a committed business partner. They trust you with major buying decisions, and they need to know you’re there for them over the long haul. Commitment means following through on your promises, delivering what you offer, and being forthright about limitations. Lead gen strategies that flow into customer care can only happen when you centralize sales and marketing data within the same database. With full sales/marketing integration, you’re able to make the transition seamlessly.
The best relationships get regular maintenance. Checking in with leads occasionally to see how they’re doing or if they have questions your lead nurture content isn’t answering for them builds trust. You’re there for them at every step of the buying journey, and when you check in with them personally, you make sure they know it.
It takes a little more effort up front to become the perfect match your leads are hoping to find, but it’s worth it when they become customers for life.
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