3 Best Practices for Successful Lead Generation Follow-up
Nurturing leads is an integral part of the lead generation process, and follow-up is an important piece of the lead development puzzle. The dangers in not following up are that previously interested leads might take their business elsewhere, or, alternatively, you could end up with a database bloated with unqualified, out-of-market leads. Either outcome will mean a waste of your time, money, and effort when you eventually reach out to push for your products and services. Following up requires sound B2B lead generation strategies in place every step of the way.
The goals of your primary leads strategy should be two-fold: the maximization of meaningful engagement and increasing the potential to close a sale. Remember, your leads are busy people and you’re one in 10,000 vying for attention and mind space. It’s very easy for them to forget about you and move on unless you apply these proven best practices for lead generation follow-up.
Validate and Verify the Opt-In
There are several reasons why a prospect would give you their contact information. They may be genuinely interested and find the content you put before them highly relevant. Or they just have a minor interest in your content and want to read more, but that’s as far as it’s going to go. The only way to determine which is which is through validation—calling or sending an email and asking if they would like to know more. At best, you’ll establish rapport with an interested lead. At worst, you’ll know the roadblocks that prevent a lead from wanting to engage further. It’s an effective but time-consuming process.
Of course, you could just source your leads from a provider with an existing validated and verified B2B leads list. This benefits you in two ways. First, you don’t have to do it yourself—saving you time and money. Second, as long as you’re working with a proven provider, you can have as many leads as any of your campaigns might require across whatever factors you need: demographic, technographic, firmographic, etc.
Prepare Your Content and Timing Accordingly
Once you have your leads list prepared—segmented along the categorical lines your campaign needs—what’s next? You need to consider the content you’re going to send out. Make sure it builds upon whatever sparked your prospects’ interests to begin with. If you happen to have a discovery call as part of your nurturing campaign, make sure you address what questions arise. You also have to consider timing—don’t wait too long after initial contact to ramp up your efforts.
You would benefit a great deal from predictive analytics at this point—essentially, data that clues you in to who’s genuinely interested in what you have to offer…in some cases, even those with an intent to purchase. This helps further narrow down your leads to those who are worth investing more time and effort into nurturing and converting. Some providers even track behavior across multiple devices and IP address to help you figure out the best time to reach out.
Track the Metrics That Matter
The key to determining the success or failure of your follow-ups is by tracking performance metrics and adjusting your strategy accordingly. You might think that sales and conversions are the end all and be all of lead generation follow-up—but don’t get ahead of yourself. For now, it’s enough to look at how responsive your prospects are to your approach. If they’re somewhat resistant or antagonistic, your timing might be off—or else you’re not providing what they need.
If they ask further questions, they might be looking for more information to help them decide. You’re likely working with prospects numbering in the thousands, so you need to have a grading and scoring system in place to organize your leads. Scoring should be based on such important metrics as frequency and depth of engagement, interaction with your content, intent, and the like. This will help keep things organized as you hand off leads to different teams down the line.
Bonus: Know When to Quit
A final point worth mentioning: no matter how qualified, verified, or validated your leads are, there are always those who just aren’t interested at the moment, for whatever reason. If you get a clear “No” from a prospect, take that as a cue to back off. Perhaps you can just let them know you’re available should they become interested down the line. It’s often difficult for marketers to give up on a lead but knowing when to quit allows you to refocus your energy and efforts where it counts.
Effective lead generation doesn’t end when you’ve gotten your leads in. There’s still a lot of work that needs be done. It begins with validation and verification, continues with timely outreach and targeted, personalized content. Having a company help you through all stages of the lead development process will give you a competitive advantage in all areas of B2B lead generation.
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Having trouble building up your leads lists? Need help with your campaigns? DemandScience can help. Talk to us. We’re more than happy to help you.
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