We all hope that 2018 will bring us more leads, but with an assist from the next generation in marketing automation, we can now also get better leads. That’s especially important now that quantity is harder to find; markets are more fractured, and competition is stiff. Make 2018 your best year yet for quality demand generation, lead development, and scoring with these insights.
Automate Your Entire Funnel
While automation and lead nurturing have made a major impact on the middle and lower portions of the sales funnel, top-funnel efficiency has lagged behind because too few businesses make good use of the customer knowledge they already have. Centralizing your CRM and sales histories opens up access to a far deeper pool of data you can then use to improve targeting efficiency at the outset. In other words, you can learn more about the prospects you have yet to meet by analyzing the buyers you already know.
Think in Terms of Account-Based Marketing
According to research from Marketo, a leader in marketing automation technology, 97 percent of marketers polled cited account-based marketing as a proven ROI booster. That many successful marketers can’t be wrong, but to make the most of ABM, you’ll need a more sophisticated approach to it in the coming year. Analytics that let you measure saturation and penetration within a prospect’s company help you target accounts more precisely, while customization helps you achieve higher relevance. Sales/marketing alignment, or “smarketing,” is a huge factor in successful ABM.
Focus on Quality Data
The problem with marketing data is no longer getting enough of it; it’s filtering it effectively when you have too much information. Automated data hygiene processes that verify and normalize data for you are key to improving overall data quality, which in turn affects every aspect of your demand gen strategy. Lead scoring based on cleansed, centralized, integrated data helps you pinpoint your sales-ready leads who have reached the destination of their buying journey and reroute those who aren’t yet there to the appropriate lead nurture programs.
Play Well with Others
Your best friends in effective lead gen are your counterparts on the sales and customer service teams, but all too often, there’s a disconnect between marketing and sales. Your company’s sales records and customer service histories are invaluable resources for designing better predictive algorithms for lead generation. You’ll contribute to their success too by showing sellers and CS reps how to cross-sell and up-sell more effectively. When you pool your resources and work together, everyone wins.
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