If your organization is generating plenty of leads but those initial inquiries aren’t converting to sales qualified leads, meetings, or pipeline, a myriad of things could be at fault:
1) sales follow-up may be sub-standard in either cadence, frequency, or message
2) lead nurturing may not be doing enough to educate the prospect , “warm up” the lead, or drive additional engagement, or
3) you could be generating the wrong types of leads altogether, namely either people that simply aren’t ready to engage with sales, or perhaps the wrong titles at the wrong companies.
Here are four potential solutions when leads don’t convert:
ABM is frequently promoted as a panacea to everything that ails modern B2B marketing, but this much is true: a well-designed ABM strategy is more likely to ultimately convert a greater percentage of those contacts who first engage with your brand, if only because those same contacts (or, more accurately: accounts) have been pre-determined to show a greater propensity to buy.
That doesn’t mean that an inbound strategy should be abandoned entirely in favor of ABM at the first sign of leads that don’t convert. In fact, ABM works best in combination with more traditional, funnel-based demand generation, and integrating ABM into the overall demand generation mix (focused on high-value, high-propensity accounts, say) can pay real dividends for most companies.
2. Conversational Marketing
As I wrote earlier in this space, the use of intelligent chatbots in demand generation is fast becoming a major trend, as marketers discover the technology’s potential for increasing the rate at which leads engage with sales. Like ABM, chat is not a cure-all, but the strategic, selective use of chatbots in marketing campaigns and on B2B sites is showing real potential for capturing leads who might not otherwise fill out a form, and driving more sales conversations from those that do.
3. Better Lead Nurturing
I’ve made the argument that part of the reason for the rise of ABM is that B2B marketers are really bad at lead nurturing. Indeed, in an era of intent data and finding people who are “ready to buy,” lead nurturing can feel like an afterthought or even unnecessary. However, sales can’t do it all, and a good nurture program is as critical as ever in ensuring that a company maintains brand awareness, educates leads, builds credibility, and generates sales engagement when prospects are ready to take the next step.
“We send monthly emails to our database” is not a nurture strategy. An effective nurture program is automated, segmented, and responds in real time to leads who exhibit signs of increased interest or intent.
4. Better Content
Good content is at the center of any effective demand generation strategy, but “good content” is more than just well-written and informative. Different topics appeal to different stages in the selling cycle. If your leads aren’t converting, it could be that you have too much “early stage” content – a white paper on industry trends, for example – that isn’t doing enough to identify those leads with a genuine problem to solve. Consider a formal content audit to identify where the holes are in your current library, and whether your lead generation content is working to attract the right types of prospects.