Modern-day lead generation is more complex and challenging for several reasons. There is more global competition, less patience, lower attention spans, and of course, the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is now harder to grab attention, build trust, target the right audience, and convince them that you are better than the alternative.
However, using powerful technology such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), Machine Learning (ML), and Big Data, you can boost your lead generation in new and creative ways.
The key is understanding how it fits together with traditional lead generation and within your current business processes.
Let’s get started:
Align Sales and Marketing
Long gone are the days when sales and marketing were two separate silos that rarely interacted with each other. In the past, you might have had a billboard for marketing that brought customers into your business, and then the salesperson did the rest.
Today, the two fields are more interconnected. You don’t want to have separate data sets for marketing and for sales that don’t interact with each other. Instead, you should align them to where they inform the other.
Sales reps can use Big Data intelligence to see certain buying preferences and leverage these during calls and negotiations. Furthermore, they can feed their results back to the marketing team and input it into their database.
Of course, it is no use to simply have all this raw data sitting there. That’s where the power of Big Data comes in.
You can design algorithms that sift through these data sets and “compares notes” to see common denominators between successful sales and marketing campaigns, as well as when customers are more likely to be a paying client.
Insight Into Buying Habits
Your lead generation is not static. You need to be constantly evaluating it and improving it based on the data you have. But this is quite the task to do manually, and not realistic. Instead, you can utilize AI and Big data.
Data collection and analysis provide a complete insight into buyers’ habits and preferences. You can use this data to personalize your marketing and sales messages.
For instance, you may find that it takes five advertisements until you book a lead for a sales call. Or you might realize that most decision-makers have a specific title.
The more you know about your buyers (in B2B, there may be multiple decision-makers), the more you can craft your marketing to appeal to the leads you want to generate.
There are bound to be weak spots in any campaign. You need to identify these bottlenecks and fix them. Otherwise, you will always have a drastic dropoff at some point along your sales funnel.
Optimizing your campaigns takes a lot of knowledge of the data and how to interpret it. You likely have someone on your team who handles your online marketing. However, the skills and ability to pour through mountains of data is expensive and hard to come by.
This is why automated data organization is so powerful. It can bring you insights based on what metrics you are optimizing for. You might find that the information you thought was useless was incredibly relevant or that it doesn’t have much to do with successfully generated leads.
You can break down your lead generation and email campaign and optimize it with data in the following ways:
- Channels – Which platforms are your leads coming from that lead to the highest conversion rates?
- Repeat Purchases – How many repeat purchases do you have? Who is doing this repeat purchasing? It may be worth it to create a buyer profile based on these leads and actively target them.
- Ads – Which ads are underperforming and need to be cut? Which ads should you continue running and tweaking to optimize your budget?
- Landing Pages – Are your landing pages converting leads at the right rate, or does something need to be tweaked?
- Geography – What geographical area is bringing you most of your leads?
You could draw data from several other categories, but the list above will give you a powerful start.
Evaluate Leads More Effectively
You need to conserve resources, especially in these uncertain times. The right Big Data algorithms can identify leads that aren’t actually helping you be profitable. You can design them to look at the “real” metrics that drive business growth, such as sales and consultations.
Again, going through this data on your own is not feasible. But utilizing technology allows you to gain insights in a relatively short amount of time, while your team can spend time on other things that technology cannot emulate, such as speaking with customers.
By using Big Data to see which leads convert at a higher rate for a lower cost, you cut out unnecessary spending.
This frees up your budget to be used wherever it needs to be in your organization. You can reinvest it in other lead generation campaigns as well as customer service, sales, and product improvement.
Better CLV and Retention
Your average Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is an important metric to keep track of, understand, and improve. The CLV is how much a customer or client is truly worth over the lifetime of your business.
For instance, you might make $5,000 for one sale. However, if that customer buys more than once or brings you referrals, their true value is higher than the initial purchase. That’s why it’s so important to understand this equation and how to retain customers longer.
To do this, you need to understand your buyers’ habits and preferences. This is especially important in B2B sales because, unlike B2C customers, you need to nurture your B2B clients over a longer time. You also need to know the decision-makers at various levels.
Big Data can help with B2B sales because you can identify several metrics. You can see the purchase amount, frequency, recency, and funnel sales data. This enables you to predict which customers will be most profitable and funnel them into a paying client.
While you should limit your expectations for Big Data, it has incredible utility across a range of lead generation tasks and strategies. It is best leveraged with an existing idea of whom you want to engage and what your message is.
From the right starting point, you can collect and organize the right kind of data for your business. This way, you can use the power of automation, sorting, and machine learning to your advantage.
The end result is a better understanding of your leads, how to manage them, and how they are responding to your campaigns.