57% of B2B organizations say “converting qualified leads into paying customers” is a top priority, according to Marketing Sherpa. Capturing prospect data is essential for B2B marketers to drive sales and measure return on investment (ROI).
But, simply adding a “contact us” or email subscription form to your website is not enough. Consistently engaging prospects, collecting vital data and using it to nurture leads throughout the sales cycle requires a cross-functional team—and a well thought out lead capture strategy.
Get started by following the steps below.
It is crucial to assemble a cross-functional team that represents all stages of your sales cycle. Discuss and come to agreement on roles and responsibilities to maximize efficiency and ensure everyone is on the same page. Identify who (business development, marketing, sales, etc.) needs to make contact (email, phone, etc.)—and at what frequency—with prospects. Detailing each “touch” in the sales process will eliminate errors including too much, or not enough, contact. Document results to create accountability for all parties involved.
Work with your team to define all lead types in your funnel. Ensure everyone has a clear understanding of different lead attributes so that communication within your organization is effective. While lead definitions can vary by company, all leads have in some way indicated interest in your company or product offering.
A lead is a contact that engaged with your business by visiting your website, viewing an ad impression, etc.
A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is a contact that has engaged with your marketing efforts and expressed interest in learning more about your company’s products or services. This contact may have downloaded a gated asset <link to blog>, attended a webinar or let you scan a trade show badge.
A Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) is a lead further along in the sales funnel. This type of lead has typically been nurtured by marketing and is ready to be turned over to a quota-carrying sales account executive. At this point the contact has been vetted by a salesperson and qualifies to be a good prospect.
As technology continues to evolve, so do the options available for capturing prospect data. Whether you choose to implement a simple web form or leverage more modern lead capture technology (with real-time data synchs and CRM integration) it is imperative that you first identify your needs. What type of data do you need to collect? How do you plan to use it? Developing a needs list will help you choose the solution that is best suited to your business.
If your business uses marketing automation software consider leveraging its tools to score leads and determine prospect interest level. Quantify the interactions contacts have with your brand by assigning them points for each engagement. This could be a download from your website, opting into your email list or signing up for your next webinar. The sum of points allocated for each interaction will help you identify potential buyers.
Considering 73% of B2B buyers are not sales-ready, it is a surprise that more B2B marketers are not leveraging nurturing tactics to move prospects further along in the buying cycle. In fact, a Marketing Sherpa study found that 65% of B2B marketers do not implement lead nurturing campaigns. Employing this best practice enables you to send triggered emails based on previous user actions. Delivering the right content at the right time in the buying cycle helps convert prospects into customers.
Creating an effective lead capture strategy—and continuing to evolve it as needed—will ultimately accelerate business and keep your sales funnel full. Collaborating with colleagues throughout this process will help you maximize conversions and boost your bottom line.