During one of our recent client events, we were asked the following question: “How can my company reach more potential customers and generate additional revenue when we are a distributor driven company?”
In this three part blog series, we will tackle the answer to this important question and help clarify how inbound marketing can help distributor driven businesses. This is Part Two of the series; if you missed Part One, you can read it here.
Generate Revenue by Delivering Sales Ready Leads
Once you have received a potential customer’s basic information, it is time to start an initial conversation with them. It is important to be aware that when a potential customer shows some interest in your product by requesting (and providing) information, they may not yet be ready to commit to a purchase. This prospect could be conducting research on a project that is months away.
A common occurrence is that the lead is given to the sales team too early. This often results in the potential customer being contacted once; determined that they are not ready to buy; and then never contacted again. As well, negative feedback is received from your sales team and/or distributors that may result in lower priority being placed on subsequent website lead follow-up.
Because general inquiries (Marketing Qualified Leads) are often distributed before they have matured into Sales Ready Leads, it is important for you to control the early to mid-stages of the buying process. This will ensure that “qualified” general inquiries actually transition into sales and subsequent revenue growth. Delivering Sales Ready Leads to your distribution channel is even more critical due to their inherent sales capacity and breadth of product constraints. Worse yet, the distributor may even substitute a competitive product in your place around this general inquiry if not appropriately distributed.
Implementation of Marketing Automation technology is an effective strategy for managing the initial dialog with prospective customers to transition Marketing Qualified Leads (initial data capture) into Sales Ready Leads. Marketing Automation platforms provide the ability to progressively profile (Lead Score) prospective customers throughout the buying cycle by utilizing targeted email campaigns and individual behavioral tracking.
Deployment of email nurturing campaigns will allow you stay top of mind with relevant messaging throughout the buying process. Lead Scoring through marketing automation software supports the measurement of individual activity such as content being consumed, return visits to your website, and, engagement in email campaigns.
Calls to Action strategically placed throughout your website are weighted with point values throughout the research, consider, and commitment phases of the buying cycle. These identify and trigger the progression of a lead from general inquiry to a sales ready lead.
Examples of research and consideration measured activity could include: content consumption of product specifications, competitive comparisons, and specific applications/case studies. Examples of measured commitment actions with higher point values would include: Request a Meeting, Request a Quote, Request a Sample, etc. Collaboration with the sales team around these “historical triggers” is an essential part of developing effective lead scoring techniques. Ongoing evaluation of the metrics and implementing appropriate adjustments will ensure long term lead scoring success.
Now that you understand the process of lead scoring and when a potential customer is ready to talk to you, learn how to determine your impact on company revenue in Part Three of this series.
Ways to Reach Potential Customers & Generate Revenue for Distributor Driven Business: Part One